Microsoft to Co-Chair New W3C Web Performance Working Group

August 19th, 2010

Earlier this morning the W3C announced the formation of a new Web Performance Working Group chartered with making it easier to accurately measure web application performance. Enabling web developers to understand the real world performance characteristics of their applications is critical to the success of HTML5, and we’re excited to have been selected as co-chairs of the new working group alongside Google. We look forward to partnering with the W3C and the broader web community to enable these scenarios through an interoperable API.

The first deliverable for the working group is to recommend an API that measures the performance of browser navigations. The WebTimings specification provides a good starting point for these capabilities, so this specification will move into the Web Performance Working Group and become the foundation for our recommendations.

The third Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview was the first browser to implement these portions of the WebTimings specification. Following standard conventions, we used a vendor prefix (ms) on the name because the specification was still under active development and hadn’t been brought into the charter of any working group. Google also recently provided an early implementation of these API’s inside Chrome using their vendor prefix (webkit). Through early collaboration between our engineering teams, we almost have interoperable implementations which are impressive for an API that has only been discussed for a few months. This is a great example of what’s possible through collaborative partnerships at the W3C.

With two early implementations available, it shouldn’t take long to finalize an interoperable API and remove the vendor prefixes. We can’t do this alone though – the new working group needs your feedback to ensure we have the right design. Over the next few weeks we’ll post more details on the working group website and begin to solicit feedback. In preparation, you can try out these API’s using the IE9 Platform Preview or Chrome 6 nightly builds. To help you get started take a look at the msPerformance demo on the IE9 TestDrive which shows these API’s in action.

Jason Weber
Lead Program Manager for IE Performance