back to article 'Real' JavaScript benchmark topped by...Microsoft

Douglas Crockford - the man who "discovered" JSON and a senior JavaScript architect at Yahoo! – has released a new benchmark designed to test the "actual" performance of the major web browsers on "real" JavaScript applications. And according to the test, the browser with the speediest JavaScript not Google Chrome. …


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  1. sisk
    Thumb Down

    Consider the source

    "A recent paper coauthored by Microsoft researchers...."

    'Nuff said. We now know why the paper pegs IE 10 as the fastest brower.

    On every JavaScript application I've ever written (which, given that web development is the biggest portion of my job, is a lot) Chrome is noticable faster than IE. As is Firefox. Safari and IE clock in roughly equal in my experience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      consider the article?

      Crockford wasn't involved in the original MS co-authored paper, he merely took its findings regarding benchmarking and used his own js application as a benchmark. I'm involved in a couple of projects which are pretty js heavy and like you generally find that Chrome is markedly faster, closely followed by FF. Crockford's results are interesting with regard to IE10 because it has only just been released as a platform preview. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up at full release - all good from my point of view, healthy competition driving the technology forward.

    2. Circadian

      Consider the test...

      "...does not benefit from the faster JavaScript engines because performance of those applications is limited by the DOM (Document Object Model, the browser's crap API)". So a test to see how well javascript performs pretty much *excludes* updating the web page? Any javascript test that does not include how it interacts with the stuff seen on screen is not much good as a web-browser test. Technically (please insert many lawyer-type weasel words here) it is a test of the *javascript* engine, but can hardly be called representative of what a user would experience sat in front of a browser.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Auto-Microsoft bashing failure

      It's sad to see that about 50% (of those who vote on posts) failed to comprehend that Douglas Crockford, "senior JavaScript architect at Yahoo!", is nothing to do with Microsoft. Or that the Mircosoft paper wasn't used to provide IE10 benchmarks.

      1. Marvin the Martian

        Crockford not at MS

        But for how long?

  2. pcsupport

    Warms the cockles of my heart to...

    … see Google fail so miserably :)

    1. g e

      On a Microsoft report of a Microsoft product?

      My what small cockles you have...

      1. Ammaross Danan

        Re: g e

        "On a Microsoft report of a Microsoft product?"

        As stated before, a Microsoft report said IE10 was the fastest, so an independent developer (of JSON none-the-less) took his Javascript program and ran benchmarks on it that were independent of the DOM or browser APIs (likely full of just raw Javascript since it's a javascript debugger and analyzer, rather than looping <div> ID lookups and the like). His results concurred with Microsoft's findings.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Makes sense

          It's DOM manipulation that's always slowed all our JS applications to an absolute crawl in IE. Don't really care about JS performance until they sort their awful rendering engine

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Can't wait for 2013 now for IE 10! lol

  4. Eddie Johnson

    Sounds Like Cheating to Me

    Tuning software to a specific benchmark is like studying for a test you have access to - you only bother to learn what you know will be asked. The only valid benchmarking results from running against a benchmark the testees didn't have access to in advance.

    Your goal is to have the benchmark results be scalable to the real world and if the testees are allowed to tune specifically to the benchmark this will not be the case unless the coders are volunteering to tune their code to each and every user's actual code also.

    1. Tom 13

      Everybody tunes to the benchmark, because those

      are the numbers the tech rags report. My issue with this isn't whether it is tuned to the benchmarks or even whether or not he's an MS shill. It is that he is comparing an unreleased product to those in production.

  5. Allicorn
    Thumb Down

    Title schmitle

    If we're including IE10 then why aren't the pre-production / nightly versions of the other browsers on the list?

    1. ph0b0s

      So Firefox best....

      I love misleading article titles and editorials. The article was really saying that with this 'suspect' benchmark Firefox was fasted out of all the currently released browsers.....

      Don't think it is fair to compare IE10 as it is only a preview rather than a fully functioning browser with all Microsoft's traditional bloat

  6. zourtney

    Are we native yet?

    "The approach is similar to what Firefox has done with the TraceMonkey extension to its JavaScript engine. TraceMonkey does not use adaptive compilation, but it works to detect code loops and covert them to assembly code."

    Cool. That answers this question:

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To be Fair

    It doesn't matter how they score in these trivial tests, its how they perform in real world tests. So Google have tuned their browser to the most commonly used code, thats only natural. I stand by Chrome as the 'real' fastest.

  8. WinHatter

    you don't need to hear a fart to

    know it stinks.

    Crankshaft was inspired by Sun's Java HotSpot performance engine. Here is your hotspot fart.

  9. Steven Knox

    Well there's your problem!

    "His benchmark is based on JSLint, a JavaScript code quality tool developed by Crockford himself. It's designed to look for problems in JavaScript programs, and it too is a JavaScript program. Unlike existing JavaScript benchmarks, Crockford says, his is more representative of large, well-written JavaScript programs – because JSLint is a large well-written JavaScript program."

    I don't buy it.

    He says that his benchmark is more "real" because it represents large, well-written JavaScript programs because it's based on his code. I'll let the second assumption (i.e, that his code is well-written) stand because I don't intend to refute it. Instead I intend to use it against him.

    Instead, I'll focus on the much larger initial assumption: that "real" JavaScript is large, well-written code. The "large" part may well be true, but if you look at JavaScript in the wild, "well-written" is very debatable.

    If he wanted to put forth his benchmark as one valid for testing "proper" JavaScript performance, then we could just look at the second assumption for validity. But the first assumption is so far at odds with the prevailing evidence that I believe that it is Mr. Crockford's responsibility to prove his point.

    Show us, Mr. Crockford, with a valid study proving that the majority of JavaScript out there being consumed on the web today is well written. Please. I would love to believe that to be true.

    1. henchan

      just The Good Parts

      Let's allow your assumption that most Javascript is not well written. However, a crucial point here is whether 'real' must be only empirical or may be aspirational too.

      Crockford has done more than perhaps anybody else to work on improving the quality of Javascript in the wild. Including through his release of jslint. Perhaps it is reasonable to allow that Crockford is shooting at where the target will (should) be rather than where it is now. As a developer of extensions for one browser (not IE), who has a well-thumbed copy of The Good Parts on his desk, I am interested when Crockford says IE 10 handles large, well-written code better than other browsers do - even if IE10 may not benefit the majority of badly written code that is out there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Good Parts is the best programming book I've read. That's partly because I found it eminently readable, and partly because it helped me love javascript and stop trying to treat it like some other language (which seems to be what 95% of us do with javascript, and that's why it's so bad).

        So, yeah, I agree. He's not going to be right, just because he's Crockford, but he is going to be someone worth listening to with the cynicism dialled down 2 notches.

        Also, Crockford helped me lose three stone one summer.

        1. The First Dave

          @John Dee

          Sorry, but about half of 'Good Parts' was a repetition of the first half. Even so, it was a pretty short book.

          As for this being a 'Real World Test' that is utter rubbish - there is no such thing, as all real world usage has some interaction with the DOM, which automatically invalidates any attempt to test the JS engine on its own, the best you can do is deliberately test including the DOM, and accept that this result is dependant on the rendering engine.

          1. henchan


            "all real world usage has some interaction with the DOM"

            You are apparently unaware of nodejs (V8) and couchdb (SpiderMonkey) for instance. Not all JS runs in a browser nowadays.

            1. The First Dave


              Well aware of both of them, and of Hyperwave too. Which of them is comparable with IE10?

              1. henchan

                ∀x(p) ∧ ∃x(!p) == FALSE

                all real world usage [of Javascript] has some interaction with the DOM

                AND I am well aware of some real world usage of Javascript which has no interaction with the DOM

                == FALSE

                No wider point here, other than to pick up on your incorrect use of an absolute.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            There is a modicum of repetition. I believe that's called "building on what we learned earlier". There is slightly more than a modicum of repetition in the appendices. I believe that's called "a useful summary of everything we learned earlier". You'll find both of these in most text books worth the cover price. The second half in no way repeats the first half.

            As for it being short. I wanted a book about the javascript language. Not the DOM. Not the browser. I didn't want 900 Bible pages of minutiae about the Date Object. We have an internet for all of those.

  10. Mark McC

    Alarm bells

    They ring in my head when I look at the list of browsers and see the usual stable releases and one ultra-bleeding-age hasn't-even-reached-beta version of a certain company's browser. I wonder what made him choose IE10 while sticking to Chrome 10, instead of Chrome 11 or 12 which have been readily available for longer than the IE developer preview.

    Firefox performing well is a surprise, and further cements my opinion that JS performance isn't as big a deal in the real world as it's made out to be. In day-to-day usage both Opera and Chrome feel faster FF4. Maybe it's the more responsive user interface, but I'll stick with what 'feels' fastest regardless of whichever browser is currently waving its e-penis from the top of the benchmark table.

    1. rhdunn


      Right now, the main thing holding back Firefox is that their Garbage Collection algorithm is slower than Chrome, and introduces pauses when it runs. So for day-to-day performance issues, that is where the difference is likely to be. They are working on this at the moment, and have landed some improvements to the FF5 and FF6 code lines.

      All the different benchmarks are equally valid, they are just testing different aspects of JavaScript and different optimisation techniques that are possible.

      And yes, real-world JavaScript interacts with the document (DOM) and canvas, so will trigger performance issues there (such as when dynamically modifying the page). Real-world JavaScript also relies on helper libraries such as jQuery and prototype. The prototype library is easy to test as JavaScript only as it does not interact with DOM. With jQuery, you can test some parts of it (e.g. $.each on an array) but not others (DOM manipulation) without it not being a JavaScript test -- that is, the test will be testing a different area of the browser, such as how fast it can draw lines on a HTML5 canvas.

  11. icedfusion

    sounds great

    so where do i download IE10 for my linux machines and mac? Oh, that's right I can' it is about as much use as a chocolate teapot!


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Re: sounds great

      That's ok... calm down, Apple will send you a dictat when you when you can / must download something for your Mac. They can't allow you to make such decisions yourself...

      Anyway they probably already installed the IE10 beta "by mistake" ... then Skeletor decided to remove it without your permission while you were sleeping.

      1. kissingthecarpet

        very droll

        However, OP's point still stands - that IE is effectively part of one OS alone, whereas the others are all cross-platform stand-alone browsers. Even if IE10 is the best browser ever, no-one is about to use a different OS just for that. With the others, you don't have to - so a *Huge* minus for IE, then.

        I could be wrong, of course - maybe I'll soon be typing "apt-get install IE10-non-free" ......or not

  12. Relgoshan


    The guy's claims are bullshit. He's running his parse library against itself. Hardware also still plays a role. On my Atom N280 @ 1.4GHz, Opera 11.10 can run the same parse in ~3.3sec. Consistently. With sixty other tabs open. FF4.0.1 takes ~3.4sec consistently, run separately and with no other tabs open.

    The new IE10 this 32bit or 64bit? Because 64bit IE9 is dog-slow. Possibly the speed improvement in IE10 would just come from porting Chakra. He also fails to acknowledge that DOM operations and general rendering are integral to a web application as a whole. A better benchmark for javascript game performance would be measuring the resource consumption of JS Workers threading. In fact, his application doesn't really seem to make proper use of concurrent multithreaded javascript AT ALL. I'll have to look more closely, but I don't think I saw any Float operations either.

    A program that runs once and exits, parsing plain text, is a TERRIBLE example of a modern web app. This just further advertises his shitty programming and inflated ego.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So... think you can come up with better real world tests? Show us.

      1. Ben 42

        Re: So...

        The ability to recognize bad tests is not the same thing as the ability to write better ones. Just like how I can recognize a bad book when I read it, but can't necessarily write a better one.

        1. Relgoshan


          That's exactly what I'm thinking. Even if you despise the coding of sites like Facebook, or take issue with certain workarounds in Google Docs/Reader/GMail etc, the fact remains that THOSE are actual sites which receive a lot of traffic.

          This Crockford arrogates himself to the position of claiming that a specialized code-analysis toolkit WHICH RUNS ONCE LOCALLY AND EXITS, should supersede REAL code that uses REAL network connections to fetch actual data and update the page. Apparently he thinks IE10 would make a decent engine for some web application that does your taxes. Unfortunately our demands are often much greater.

  13. g e

    I too have an impressive CV

    Although an appropriately large payment will have me say Microsoft rules.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Who gives a shit about IE on Linux

    Forget market share stats. The truth is consumers and enterprise customers are the biggest users of IE and so the performance of IE matters very much in the real world. Testing IE10 preview is fair, the point I suspect was to show how good next generation JavaScript engines will be.

    Most of the reactions on here seem to me to be emotive around the fact that Microsoft might be doing something right for a change with IE. It's time to stop bashing MS for mistakes of two decades ago and start praising them for the things they are starting to do right with IE. The "real world" is about good user experience, not about 100% standards compliance or test results.

    1. sisk

      Who mentioned Linux?

      #1, testing a not-even-released bleeding-edge product against current stable products is fair how? That gives IE a distinct advantage as IE10 SHOULD have more advanced tech in it.

      #2, No one's bashing MS for mistakes made 2 decades ago. They're bashing MS for recent deceptive marketing BS.

      #3, Standards compliance is an important part of the user experience in the "real world". If I code my site to be standards compliant then my customers are going to have a good experience in any standards compliant browser (assuming, of course, that my design carries a good experience to begin with) but will not have a good experience in a browser that doesn't follow standards. On the other hand, if I code my site to work in one specific, non-standards-compliant browser then only the people using that browser will have a good experience. But to be fair IE's standards compliance has gotten markedly better in the last few versions.

      1. Jolyon


        "testing a not-even-released bleeding-edge product against current stable products is fair how? That gives IE a distinct advantage as IE10 SHOULD have more advanced tech in it."

        Or does it put Microsoft at a disadvantage because their product is not yet finished?

    2. Anonymous Coward


      "The "real world" is about good user experience"

      And although I am not a Chrome user, most people that I know that use Chrome feel that it is much faster for them than IE.

      Microsoft are only harping on about standards and their latest browser tech because of the competition at the moment. You would quickly see them going back to the mistakes of two decades ago given a different environment.....

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


      microsoft de-couple IE from their operating systems, the 2 decades of mistakes will carry on

      or as someone put it

      pwn me once shame on you, pwn me twice shame on me

      1. Lewis Mettler

        you will purchase IE again and again and again

        Microsoft bundled IE to force you to buy it. You have to be real slow in the thinking department not to know that.

        And the truth remains: The US Appellate Courts decided that commingling code between the OS and IE was in fact illegal. That has not changed. Microsoft continues that illegal practice despite the bad engineering.

        Just how many copies of IE have you had? And how many of them did you purchase?

        If you have a copy of IE, Microsoft mandates that your opinion matters not one bit. You will buy it again and again. Illegally. The consumer is not engaged in the illegal practice but Microsoft certainly is. All lawyers at Microsoft know that for fact. Maybe you have not figured it out yet?

        That would be pretty slow thinking.

    4. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Enterprise desktops lag behind

      But many enterprise users are on XP with IE6.

      So what good is IE9 or 10 when they require Vista and 7.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      REe: Who gives a shit about IE on Linux

      Most linux distros circulation is probably down to it being installed on 19$ switches, netbooks (which then get formatted and replaced by old XP so you can actually use it for something), set top boxes, or apache web servers that get 6 hits a month and are much loved by commodity hosting providers, as the markup is great.

      Why people are complaining because Microsoft have not released a beta for linux... oh dear, where to start with this one... so many idiots, so little time...

      Linux is useful for speed tests for the UK mirror service though, as a 650 MB download that gets deleted much more quickly.

    6. Lewis Mettler

      but IE is sold illegally

      Funny how it is that Microsoft employees always suggest that their illegal business practices should be ignored and everyone should only look at their technical work.

      I have absolutely no intrerest in any company or their products when they count upon illegal practices to force the sale of their products. Period.

      If you have a copy of IE, your opinion simiply does not count. Microsoft prevents it. And that includes your opinion of IE.

  15. Muckminded

    Mixed baggage

    On the one hand, I'm just glad there is now a battle for Javascript speed dominance. It was only a few years back that none of the browser manufacturers paid the least bit of attention to it.

    That said, it does seem that Crockford's testing contradicts his stated aim. First, he claims that most JS test suites don't test code as you would encounter in the wild. Then, instead of gathering a sample of real-world JS apps, he chooses to only test against his own, well-written codebase. I don't believe the test skewed his results for Microsoft (using a pre-release browser did that), but he did potentially skew his results against real-world JS apps.

    Now that Microsoft has relegated itself to only trying to capture a subset of a subset of the browser market, how well IE performs on speed tests has become a lot less interesting.

  16. Arctic fox

    Even if you disagree with the guy's methodology some of the usual........

    ........comments from the usual suspects that imply he is a paid stooge for MS slagging off Chrome show very clearly that they did not bother to read this bit of the article:

    "Crockford admits that he expected Chrome to top the list. "My guess is that they overspecialized for specific styles of programming, and that Chrome was tripped up by a real program. There are some very smart people at Google, and I would expect them to rectify this.""

    Now you can agree or disagree with what he says but his comments (or his work for that matter) cannot simply be dismissed as paid for by The Great Satan From Redmond.

  17. Oninoshiko

    Crockford's real-world vs. the real-real-world

    Let me cut out Mr. Crockford's bias against DOM from this quote, and get it to the part that matters:

    "...most of it does not benefit from the faster JavaScript engines because performance of those applications is limited by the DOM..."

    This little gem is spot on, and exactly why his test is nothing like a real-world javascript program. The reality is, from the perspective of working with (X)HTML or XML (what the majority of javascript does) the DOM is how much of it is done. Because of that, a truly realistic representation of JS performance also should test out the specific implementation of the DOM.

    He goes on to say:

    "My guess is that they overspecialized for specific styles of programming, and that Chrome was tripped up by a real program. There are some very smart people at Google, and I would expect them to rectify this."

    Yes, probably "overspecialized" for more DOM intensive styles. You know, like most of the JS that will be encountered in the real-real-world (as opposed to the "real-world" where code analyzers are the majority of the code we run *boggle*).

    As impressive as Mr. Crockford's CV may be, he has still missed the forest for the trees. He has created (and I propose we call this) "Yet Another Worthless Browser Benchmark" because of his particular gripes with DOM.

  18. Q We

    His definition of "the real world", then... "one large well-written application"?

    oh yeah, right. the real world of javascript is a wild, wild west of code horribly written and mashed together, copy-pasted over and over again from the same stupid "here's how to make letters jump"-style tutorials.

  19. Reg Sim

    @Arctic fox.

    Whilst he may or not be a stooge for MS, I notice that we are given a lack of information in the article presented to us. When he talks about Chrome overspecialising for particular types of code, surly they have specialised for the 'most common code'. We are also given no indication of what types of operation's his code does and in what ratios, nor is it mentioned on what basis does he believe that his 'well written' code is indicative of 'real world code'.

    No your final comment "Now you can agree or disagree with what he says but his comments (or his work for that matter) cannot simply be dismissed as paid for by The Great Satan From Redmond.", draws my interest, as if IE10 did not top the list or get very high, would anybody of paid any attention to this chaps benchmark?, additionally, I suspect he often works in a corporate environment (ie his customers environment), this his tools are designed with IE in mind.

    Now you could call that scepticism with out cause, however there is not enough in the article el'reg provided to tell one way or the other. It would also not be out of character for articles/benchmarks to be more 'beneficial' to one browser over another.

    1. Arctic fox

      @Reg Sim

      I am not in any way defending this guy's benchmarking or any implicit assumptions he may be operating on. Indeed I am not in any way defending the ranking he has generated either. Several of the postings we see on this thread represent considered criticism of his work and they I have no problem with. I do however point out that the *main* thrust of *some* of the postings is that he *must* be some kind of paid shill for MS - it is that kind of posting where the messenger rather than the message is attacked that I was criticising.

    2. Oninoshiko

      You are correct about one thing

      This article does lack enough information to accurately decide if he is a "stooge" or not. On the other hand, the internet is a vast, but indexed place.

      The code he based his benchmark on is publicly available, and quite heavily littered with comments (to Mr. Crockford's credit). If you care to peruse and/or analyze it:

      A simple LinkedIn login does give an impressive list of recommendations and work history for him. From the companies that come up, I suspect your suspicion is wide of the mark. Merely a cursory look for information (not that it should be necessary. His assertions should be assessed on their own merit) show Arctic Fox to be likely correct, and this analysis was likely presented in good faith.

      As I stated above, I disagree with his methodologies and conclusions, but have no reason to doubt his earnestness. In the future, rather then make suppositions about someones motives based on your admitted ignorance (you keep bringing up the lack of information on the background of Mr Crackford in the article), maybe you could ask google? It would certainly beat libeling someone.

      1. Arctic fox


        Thanks. My problem was not in fact with criticism of the guy's work here, it was the ad hominem attacks that got up my nose! As it so happens (in as much as my opinion is worth anything on a topic that is not exactly within my field) I agree with the criticisms you posted above. The benchmark does appear to be highly artificial - a failing with many such perhaps?



        1. CaptSmeg

          @arctic fox (nasally challenged)

          "ad hominem attacks that got up my nose"

          Dude, this is the El Reg commentards section..

          You're gonna need nostrils like zeppelin hangers if you're gonna hang out here.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Even if you disagree with the guy's methodology some of the usual........

    Erm, how do his disparaging comments about Google somehow mean that he's not paid my MS? He faintly praises them then gives a guess as to why Chrome fails his specially designed test. Nothing there to suggest he's not paid by MS, especially given the suspicious use of a certain company's pre-beta release vs. production builds of every other browser. That seems to me to be a test specifically designed to get that company some good press on an upcoming product...

    1. Arctic fox


      I will quote him again:

      "Crockford admits that he expected Chrome to top the list. "My guess is that they overspecialized for specific styles of programming, and that Chrome was tripped up by a real program. There are some very smart people at Google, and I would expect them to rectify this.""

      In what way can his remarks be construed as "disparaging"?

      dis·par·age (d-sprj)

      tr.v. dis·par·aged, dis·par·ag·ing, dis·par·ag·es

      1. To speak of in a slighting or disrespectful way; belittle.

      He referred to Google's programmers in a perfectly respectful and friendly fashion making it clear that he did not expect the result he got and that he respected their abilities. *That* was what I was referring to. Those who attack the messenger get no respect from me. Constructive and properly argued criticism (e.g Oninoshiko's first post on this thread) however is another matter.

    2. DavCrav

      Not how I read it

      Didn't the article say that he read a puff piece about IE10, and decided to test it to see if it is true? In that case, if he wanted to reproduce their work, he would test IE10 against current browsers, not as-yet unreleased ones?

  22. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Seems rather biased

    I'm guessing the author of the report isn't a multi billionaire and needs money to put food on the plate?

    So is possible in the slightest that he has been given some money to come up with a test to show off how great IE10 is going to be?

    Why show a preview browser against real browsers? it's pretty obvious it is an article that is trying to drum up support for the next version of IE.

    Performance is a pretty pointless way of selling a browser to someone. Security and reliability should be the top considerations.

    1. Lewis Mettler

      regardless of merit

      The quality of IE is just not relevant.

      You have to purchase it regardless of what you think.

      So why test IE at all? You still have to buy it.

      Why even talk about it? You still have to buy it anyway.

      Microsoft is a rapist that thinks that rape is okay if they can argue the sex was good. That is all there is to their PR about IE. Entirely. People are supposed to feel good about being raped. They no choice in the matter.

      It is illegal to commingle IE code with the OS. And Microsoft continues to do that. So where is the decision by any consumer? Does it matter is IE is good or not? Ask someone who has been raped. Ask someone who has a copy of IE.

      Either you have the choice as a consumer or you do not. With Microsoft you absolutely do not have the choice. You MUST BUY IE. You must pay for the R&D. You must pay for the marketing. You MUST pay for the PR crap. You must pay.

      So why are you even bothering to evaluate it? You have to buy it regardless. And you can not remove it. You are raped. Only Microsoft employees claim to think otherwise. Or, consultants paid by Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Let it go Lewis...

        Whether or not one pays for IE is not relevant to the discussion or the article, so change the record because it is really wearing thin.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Would a MS stooge...

    really create a bench mark that placed IE9, MS's current "flagship" browser, in second to last place? If he's fixed to to place IE10 in first place, I'm sure he could have fixed it so that IE9 placed higher.

  24. Arctic fox

    @AC RE: Would a MS stooge....

    A very good and logical point - just do not expect the "cognoscenti" to appreciate it!



  25. Robert E A Harvey

    do we care?

    All computers are fast enough, its only a browser, and given how many people they employ, it would be remarkable if M$ did not turn out some good code now and again.

    My complaints against M$ have rarely had much to do with the code, particularly their compilers. It's the politics and marketing that gt up my nose.

    I don;t see that a benchmark like this is anything but flamebait.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I agree

      And IMHO the problem with browsers isn't slow Javascript, it's crap user interfaces, eg: stop buttons that have no effect or more or less crash the browser (Mozilla Firefox: Not responding). Pages that carry on downloading anyway or go blank if you press the stop button (Chrome). Is it really rocket science to kill every activity connected with a page in, say 200mS, given a multi GHz processor? Why worry about the difficult stuff, which is mostly pretty good already, when they can't get what should be the easy stuff right?

  26. Gilgamesh

    What I utterly fail to understand is ...

    why is everyone so obsessed with Javascript performance? When do you ever sit there in front of your browser thinking "hmmm, this script is really taking a long time to add a table row and apply a CSS style" ?

    You don't. No one does. Chasing JS performance is a waste of time, for the vast majority of users it is completely irrelevant.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: what I utterly fail to understand is...

      I'd go further. If your script execution time is even measurable against the network time on a real internet connection then you should be taken outside and hanged by your CAT6 network cable until dead. That's true even if you've designed the pages so that http's caching model works as nature intended, rather than spewing "custom" pages for every request.

      DOM performance is probably the only interesting figure of merit for browsers, since that's all that the browser *ought* to be doing.

  27. Mark 65

    JS Guru? Yes. Right about what to target? No.

    "Asked if benchmarks should measure crap JavaScript code as well as well-written applications, Crockford says no. "There is indeed a lot of crap JavaScript out there, and most of it does not benefit from the faster JavaScript engines because performance of those applications is limited by the DOM (Document Object Model, the browser's crap API)," he tells us."

    I would argue that targeting the performance of bad code is more important as that's what users are more likely to be faced with. Browser creators are far more likely to be concerned with real-World here-and-now applications than getting great performance from well written code they are unlikely to hit upon. Besides, if it is well written it won't need as much of a boost as the shite stuff.

    Thumb Down

    ie 10

    microsoft maybe making ie 10 the fastest but it still doesnt deter that its ie and ie is always buggy somewhere inside that browser il never leave chrome. google will keep updating chrome making it faster and they will beat microsoft to it

  29. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Not good

    I lost interest when he talked about 'Real Word' then went on about a piece of specialist code.

    I'm no expert by any means, but I can think of a 'Real World' (tm) test that will be far more useful.

    Simply select a number of sites with the usual average of 3-4 internal bits of JS and another 5-6 'foreign' imports.

    From a clean start run all of these one after the other and time them.

    Where do I pick up my fee?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It's a test of pure JavaScript. Rather than application performance I'd consider it more as a test of overhead.

    I haven't done heavy JS since 2002/2003. Just like many other applications, the performance bottleneck was in updating the screen (via the DOM), although IE also had painfully slow access to "object"s in additional windows since that went through a painfully slow RPC mechanism, which necessitated putting functions in the "dumb" child window to do any DOM work.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    Wow, what a blast from the past! I used to watch you as old "Cut 'n Paste Mettler, Esq." back on ZDNet in the 90s before they banned you for being so annoying! Man, those were good times. Just click any article on MS and look for your slightly modified posts pasted just like all your other ones, changed just enough for a good chuckle.

    Anyway, good to know you're still around spouting the same bile. Cheers!

  32. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not representative

    This is not representative.

    First, JSLint will be doing a few specific types of manipulations. It's like benchmarking a system by running, well, Lint, or perhaps GCC. A system could be great at running that, but horrible at running mathematical computations, for instance. I suspect JSLint will be heavy on string manipulations, which from my recollection of REAL benchmark results, was one thing that IE was faster at than other browsers, while being slower at others. This is why a real benchmark does not just run a single application.

    Second, what's the matter with making a JIT that works well with crap code? If crap code is heavily used in real-life Javascript (and let's just say, i think it is...), it should be included in a benchmark. If DOM is slow, then the DOM component on the benchmark will be low. This does not mean that DOM should be excluded so that IE can have fast results.

    Optimizing for benchmarks is certainly a concern -- there've been cases in the past where companies have been caught going so far as SPECIFICALLY targetting benchmarks getting abnormally high results even when compared to the exact same application outside the benchmark. But, with Opera, Firefox, Chrome, IE, all targetting different benchmarks and the resultant "pissing contests" involving numerous different benchmarks, I don't know if this is a big problem.

  33. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Failure to understand

    Re: "why is everyone so obsessed with Javascript performance? When do you ever sit there in front of your browser thinking "hmmm, this script is really taking a long time to add a table row and apply a CSS style" ?"

    I have had significant speedups on my 1.3ghz Atom, going from Firefox 3.0 to 3.6, due to 3.0 slowing to a dead crawl on some of the bloated Javascript some pages had. It significantly improved my battery life too.

    "You don't. No one does. Chasing JS performance is a waste of time, for the vast majority of users it is completely irrelevant."

    This is the kind of attitude that ends up with the bloatware that plagues the lives of Windows users (both the Microsoft-included ones, and the horribly written apps that can be added later.) Some have the attitude that, if their application runs adequately as the only thing running on a single-user system, they are done. Traditional UNIX tihnking has ALWAYS accomodated a large range of system speeds, and accomodated the idea that there may well be multiple users on the system. Your app runs well enough on a XYZmhz system? Good, but see if you can make it faster, then the system can accomodate more simultaneous users. In addition, on a battery-powered device, improvements in performance SAVE BATTERY POWER.

  34. Dave B 1

    @Lewis Mettler

    Quick suggestion: Next time you're going to post something, give it a quick proof read over first, and ask yourself, "Do I sound like a raving maniac for writing this?". This will help you to avoid doing silly things like calling Microsoft a rapist in a public forum and stuff.

  35. Adam Inistrator

    what about the obvious possibility?

    that they TUNED IE to work well on that benchmark .. at the expense of all the benchmarks.

  36. paulc

    This Means Nothing To ME...

    as IE will not run on my computer... nor will any other crap from Microsoft...

    penguins for the win...

  37. Muckminded


    Sometimes in life, we may want to heap all of our woes on the back of a beast, and send it forth into the wilderness, hoping neither beast nor trouble will again find us fumbling with our noodles. While the goat known as "IE" (henceforth referred to as "Billy") may have been painted by its master with every wicked stripe, it has returned cleansed, after a time, and deserves at least a salt lick, if not a pat on the head.

    The wickedness ascribed to this cloven-hooved mossback (ie: rape), was never its aim. One can never fortell what a semi-domesticated scapegoat will get into, but unrequited this and that could not have been its original goal. It must have been the heat.

    Oh yeah, it also has little to do with Javascript benchmarks.

  38. Darth
    Jobs Horns

    Bug has been fixed in Chrome

  39. mikebartnz

    Waste of time

    By the time IE10 comes out all the other browsers would have moved on and probably by several versions so the article is a complete waste of time in my books.

    I to am suspicious of him testing IE10 and not the latest test builds of the other browsers.

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