UA Profiler and Google Chrome
The night before it launched, I sat down to analyze Google Chrome from a performance perspective – what good performance traits did it have and which ones was it missing? I couldn’t get to the internal download links and had to resign myself to waiting for the official launch the next day.
Or did I?
Instead of watching Season 2 of Dexter or finally finishing Thunderstruck, I stayed up late writing some tests that could automatically poke at Chrome to determine its performance personality. It worked great, and made me want to run the same analysis for other browsers, and open it up to the web community to measure any browser of interest. A week later, I’m happy to announce the release of UA Profiler.
Getting back to where I started, let’s look at Chrome’s performance profile. It’s nice to see that Chrome is at the top right out of the shoot, having 8 of the 11 performance attributes tested, tied with Firefox 3 and Safari 526. The three performance features Chrome is missing are loading scripts and other resources in parallel, not blocking downloads when a stylesheet is followed by an inline script, and support for prefetch links. Looking at the Chrome user agent string we can see it’s based on Safari 525. If Chrome incorporates Safari 526 improvements, it’ll fix the most important performance trait – loading scripts in parallel. The detailed results show that Chrome has one improvement over Safari: caching redirects that have an expiration date in the future.
UA Profiler will continue to evolve. I have a handful of tests to add and there are several GUI improvements to be made. The main way it’ll grow is by people navigating to the tests with their own browsers, especially browsers that aren’t currently in the list. On each page there are links for contacting me about bugs, mistakes, and suggestions. I look forward to your feedback.