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Re: Efficient Script Yielding - First Editors Draft

From: Annie Sullivan <sullivan@chromium.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2011 16:41:25 -0700
Message-ID: <BANLkTi=bieaOJg78kK8xGUJyXhDwEPWLM+h1hm1Kc1cJEB+yYw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jason Weber <jweber@microsoft.com>
Cc: "public-web-perf@w3.org" <public-web-perf@w3.org>, Jatinder Mann <jmann@microsoft.com>
Hi Jason,

I have a high-level question about the goal of efficient yielding. You say
the goal is to allow breaking apart long-running scripts, and you give
examples like bubble-sorting without blocking the UI. Isn't this the same
goal as the web workers spec (
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/complete/workers.html)?
Can you clarify the use cases met by efficient yielding and not web workers?

Thanks,
Annie

On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 3:17 PM, Jason Weber <jweber@microsoft.com> wrote:

>  One of the deliverables that we took on as part of the expanded Web
> Performance Working Group was to find a way to allow javascript applications
> to more efficiently yield control to the host (browser) and receive
> immediate callbacks when the host has completed processing pending work (for
> example handling user input of document layouts).****
>
> ** **
>
> We had the action item to summarize the motivations for the Efficient
> Script Yielding deliverable, which we’re doing through this email, and to
> publish the first editors draft which can be found here:
> http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/webperf/raw-file/tip/specs/setImmediate/Overview.html
> ****
>
> ** **
>
> As the working group has discussed, we believe there’s an opportunity for a
> new API that allows the web developers to (1) efficiently use the CPU
> without wasted cycles, (2) efficiently use the CPU in bursts to conserve
> power, (3) improve performance for end user scenarios, and (4) feels
> familiar to current API’s and programming patterns.****
>
> ** **
>
> Today we see setTimeout and setInterval used for three primary patterns:**
> **
>
> ** **
>
> **1)      **Scheduling distant future callbacks (at least 500ms)****
>
> **2)      **JavaScript Based Animation****
>
> **3)      **Breaking apart long running scripts.****
>
> ** **
>
> We think about #1 as the cases where the current setTimeout pattern works
> well. For example, you may want to update stock quotes or check for new
> email on a regular schedule. The problems with #2 are well understood and
> the working group has a great proposal in place with requestAnimationFrame.
> The “efficient yielding” deliverable is intended to more efficiently solve
> scenario #3.****
>
> ** **
>
> Today, browsers don’t process events while long running scripts are
> executing. This includes everything from UI updates, to user input, to end
> user features like spell checking. Even though the JavaScript may be
> manipulating the DOM or updating styles, these updates aren’t presented to
> the user until after the script yields. To allow applications to remain
> responsive and to process visual changes, web developers are forced to
> sprinkle setTimeouts throughout their code allowing the browser to process
> pending work and then call script back at a future time.****
>
> ** **
>
> The setTimeout callback frequency on Windows has traditionally been around
> 64 callbacks a second which aligns with the 15.6ms timer frequency. The
> HTML5 specification recommends 250 callbacks a second which means a 4ms
> timer frequency. This positively improves the perceived performance around
> pattern #3 however it comes at the cost of actual performance (interference)
> and more importantly power consumption. We’ve measured this extensively on
> Windows and decreasing the timer frequency from 15.6ms to 4ms impacts
> battery life by around 22% for common customer scenarios. This is a hardware
> factor and not specific to Windows. And as we consider forward looking
> hardware trends we expect this to become more of an issue.****
>
> ** **
>
> Decreasing timer resolutions may help with some patterns, however it
> doesn’t fully solve the underlying problem. If you think about the bubble
> sorting example, a developer doesn’t actually know how long a single pass
> will take. To keep the browser responsive they yield frequently, often
> during each sorting pass. If a modern script engine can perform that pass in
> 1ms that means 3ms or 75% of the CPU time are wasted and not available to
> the web developer.****
>
> ** **
>
> That’s why we believe there’s an opportunity for an API that allows the web
> developers to (1) efficiently use the CPU without wasted cycles, (2)
> efficiently use the CPU in bursts to conserve power, (3) improve performance
> for end user scenarios, and (4) feels familiar to current API’s and
> programming patterns.****
>
> ** **
>
> There has been a lot of discussion in the web community and ECMA working
> groups around the future of the javascript language and the possibility of
> moving the event queue into the javascript runtime itself. Those are
> interesting discussions however forward looking and outside the prevue of
> this deliverable. We would like to leave the larger discussion for the
> experts on the ECMA side and focus this discussion around a targeted API
> that will solve the immediate problem and fit well into the HTML4/HTML5
> patterns of today.****
>
> ** **
>
> Here’s the first draft of what a “setImmediate” API may look like. We know
> a few people have expressed concerns around the API name. The “set” portion
> of the name follows the setTimeout and setInterval naming conventions, and
> the “Immediate” portion was intended to communicate the immediate nature of
> the callback. This feels like a good initial name which we validated doesn’t
> have compatibility implications across the top 1 million sites. We expect to
> iterate on the name based on feedback as the design evolves.****
>
> ** **
>
> We’re looking forward to your thoughts on the first draft.****
>
> ** **
>
> As an aside, we now have drafts for all three of the new API’s we brought
> into the performance working group charter this spring. It’s cool to see
> Page Visibility,  Request Animation Frame, and Efficient Script Yielding all
> starting to come together. Congratulations everyone.****
>
> ** **
>
> Thanks,****
>
> Jatinder and Jason****
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
Received on Friday, 1 July 2011 05:48:06 UTC

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