W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-web-perf@w3.org > December 2013

Re: detecting connection speed

From: Luke Blaney <luke.blaney@ft.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 16:09:07 +0000
Message-ID: <CAP+PQ_uo43VEZpYKe6nrbuatPfV_55A-V509w=T32_tcpkOofg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Puneet Mohan Sangal <pmsangal@yahoo-inc.com>
Cc: James Graham <james@hoppipolla.co.uk>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, "public-web-perf@w3.org" <public-web-perf@w3.org>
When you say "connection speed", what exactly do you mean?  Are you
referring to just the first hop from the client?  Or all the hops the whole
way to the server?

Just looking at the first hop can be misleading as it assumes that's where
the bottleneck is.  This isn't always the case, particularly on personal
wifi hotspots (which use wifi for the first hop, but 3g for the second) or
captive portals (which can use wifi for the first hop, but drop connections
for the second)

Using the entire connection from client to server would provide a more
accurate indicator (though still totally ignores the fact that conditions
change over time). I guess this would be harder to implement as the User
Agent would require a different value for every server it contacts.

On the whole, I think a better approach would be to not implement this API
and encourage web developers to think "Offline First".

On 4 December 2013 05:05, Puneet Mohan Sangal <pmsangal@yahoo-inc.com>wrote:

>  James, I understand it's a difficult problem to solve, however it will
> be a very useful dimension when conducting analysis on performance data.
> May be we should start with what the possible solutions could be, and then
> consider the pros & cons?
>  Phillipe, how can we obtain more info on Network Information API status?
>  Cheers,
> Puneet
>   From: James Graham <james@hoppipolla.co.uk>
> Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:46 PM
> To: "public-web-perf@w3.org" <public-web-perf@w3.org>
> Subject: Re: detecting connection speed
> Resent-From: <public-web-perf@w3.org>
> Resent-Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:47 PM
>   On 03/12/13 16:04, Philippe Le Hegaret wrote:
> On Wed, 2013-11-27 at 09:38 +0000, Puneet Mohan Sangal wrote:
> Is there any ongoing work in detecting connection speed, as part of
> this group?
> See http://www.w3.org/TR/system-info-api/#network and
> http://www.w3.org/2012/11/performance-workshop/report.html#i4
>  The short answer is no one is working on it in the web performance
> working group at the moment. I don't quickly see any visible progress on
> the Network Information API for the past 12 months but you may want to
> ask them if there were progress or not.
>  Detecting connection speed in a useful way is a very difficult problem,
> not least because it's often a time varying quantity (consider a mobile
> device that might switch between wifi, 3G, 3G but with high packet loss,
> and no signal at all, all in the course of interacting with a single
> page). I think that in general trying to expose this kind of data can
> lead to worse user experiences than not exposing it (e.g. if pages
> erroneously shift into some sort of "low bandwidth" mode due to some
> temporary network congestion or whatever). Therefore I don't think this
> should be something that we expose, unless it is clear that we can do it
> in a good way that will solve actual problems.

Luke Blaney
Labs developer, FT Labs [labs.ft.com | 0870 085 2038 | @ftlabs]


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Received on Wednesday, 4 December 2013 16:09:34 UTC

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