W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-coremob@w3.org > April 2012

Re: How many browsers matter Re: Ringmark is now open source

From: Joe Cincotta <joe@pixolut.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 10:28:47 +1000
Message-ID: <CAM4JFMF7TW4mx+gmFPFsWEP9R4cDQVhfXbTCuW1RXaUmvO530A@mail.gmail.com>
To: "public-coremob@w3.org" <public-coremob@w3.org>
Cc: developers <developers@pixolut.com>
This is my first post on this group, so apologies for rushing in like a
bull in a china shop...

I think Ringmark as it stands is just missing the point. It's a nice idea,
but it's an inconsistent abstraction of something that is already
inconsistently implemented. All it serves to do is make things less clear
for developers. This is not to say that the idea of creating a standardised
benchmark platform using coremob is wrong, just abstracting the feature
groups in to rings (or arbitrarily clustering them at all).

If you look at the rings when you run the benchmark and see grey areas it
doesn't really help you - it would make more sense to just remove the
'ring' part of the rendering on the benchmark and create a text list with
commonly agreed names for each feature that is being tested in the suite
and just render a green tick or red cross. A visual Pass/Fail of that test
marks compliance of a specific feature for a specific browser
implementation. (I do understand that the implementation of the TESTS is
then the burning issue, but at least it isolates the real issue from the

The purpose of this then is of having an agreed set of feature
implementation benchmarks for mobile browsers - it allows browser vendors
freedom to implement features as they see fit and get immediate visibility
in to compatibility (will our implementation work for the mobile web
developers) - it also provides developers clarity on feature specific
compatibility for their target browsers (will my code run on that browser).
I can run the benchmark on a set of browsers that I want to target and
check if the features I want to use are implemented. Easy.

To extend on this idea, it would be great to allow browser vendors to then
publish the results of the benchmarks as part of their release process
(even as part of their nightly build process) to a central repository so
that developers could refer to a central W3C location and search it without
needing the browser OR the hardware. The database of test results would
provide clarity on feature compatibility for specific browser versions -
possibly even on a per device basis.

In summary, if you want to cluster features, as a developer it makes sense
to do that at your discretion, since your application will be using
features in a unique way (do I really need level 1 compatibility if I use a
single feature that IS implemented on browsers that are not fully 'ring 1
compliant'?). As a consumer, I doubt a users decision would EVER be based
on 'ring' compatibility - so simplification down to a 'marketing' style
visual representation of rings is kind of pointless for that too. I think
we should definitely explore a standardised test suite as a high level
determination of feature compatibility for mobile browsers and devices that
is open...




*Joe Cincotta,
Managing Director
*[image: Pixolüt]
P  +61.2.8517.5080
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Received on Thursday, 12 April 2012 14:20:10 UTC

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