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

Re: detecting connection speed

From: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 08:40:14 -0800
Message-ID: <CAEnTvdDLdCO+p9uP0NUyYJSzi_O0swnDPU=qVAZ9=O7q_-w3MA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Aaron Heady (BING AVAILABILITY)" <aheady@microsoft.com>
Cc: Luke Blaney <luke.blaney@ft.com>, Puneet Mohan Sangal <pmsangal@yahoo-inc.com>, James Graham <james@hoppipolla.co.uk>, Philippe Le Hegaret <plh@w3.org>, "public-web-perf@w3.org" <public-web-perf@w3.org>
On Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 8:32 AM, Aaron Heady (BING AVAILABILITY) <
aheady@microsoft.com> wrote:

>  This is taking a very similar track to the conversation about having the
> UA return more details about the screen resolution. That simply does
> account for the many ways a user can change the meaning of the resolution.
> Do they have the screen zoomed? Is it a giant screen, but being looked at
> from across the room… it goes on with just about as many gotcha’s as the
> connection speed conversation.
>

Could you point me at that discussion ? Sounds interesting.

I actually think it is qualitatively different from the connection speed
issue. Information about the physical screen resolution and physical screen
size may well be present at the client and information about the typical
viewing distance may also be implicit in the type of device (think TV vs
laptop). Thus there are many cases where reasonable default behavior can be
derived from those known physical properties. There is a problem right now,
for example, because the definition of CSS pixel assumes a particular
viewing distance.

On the other, hand, network performance depends on many many things which
are unknowable by the client device - what's on the other side of the WiFi,
where is the server, what does the cross-traffic look like etc. etc.


>
>
> For connection speed, maybe we should think of it more like progressive
> encoding of a streamed movie. You assume the worst connection speed (that
> you are willing to optimize for). It sets up the basic UI and if that was
> the actual speed it would most likely stop there as the larger components
> wouldn’t download or could be timed out and further features not loaded. If
> they have a better connection, then some of the middle tier experience
> loads, but the full experience times out and stops loading. And obviously
> that last stage is everything is fast enough that nothing gets cut off and
> they get the full experience.
>

That's one option, though people with fast connection often prefer to get
the full experience up-front, without having to wait though the low-end
one.

...Mark


>
>
> I’d say that more than two experiences, a basic experience (slow
> connection) or full experience (high enough connection), probably exceed
> most shops developer resources.
>
>
>
> Aaron
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Luke Blaney [mailto:luke.blaney@ft.com]
> *Sent:* Wednesday, December 4, 2013 8:09 AM
> *To:* Puneet Mohan Sangal
> *Cc:* James Graham; Philippe Le Hegaret; public-web-perf@w3.org
>
> *Subject:* Re: detecting connection speed
>
>
>
> 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.
>
>
>
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>
> --
>
> Luke Blaney
>
> Labs developer, FT Labs [labs.ft.com | 0870 085 2038 | @ftlabs]
>
>
>
>
>  ------------------------------
>
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Received on Wednesday, 4 December 2013 16:40:46 UTC

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