Google, Apple, and Mozilla are working together to create a better web browser benchmark.
Speedometer 3 will be a “cross-industry collaborative effort” between the developers of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox to create a new model that balances the companies’ visions for measuring responsiveness.
Making a tool to rate the effectiveness of competing products by three companies sounds like a recipe for disaster. However, Speedometer’s governance policy includes a consent system that varies depending on potential consequences.
Significant changes, for example, will require approval from the other two companies, whereas “non-trivial changes” will require consent from one of the other two parties. Meanwhile, “trivial changes” can be approved by any of the three browser makers’ reviewers.
“The working team should be able to move quickly for most changes, with a higher level of process and consensus expected based on the impact of the change,” according to the policy.
Historically benchmarks haven’t done a great job at this and have actively competed for attention with the needs of real sites.
Speedometer 2 was a leap forward when it shipped in 2018, but it’s time to update it to test real user journeys from online life today.
— Mozilla Developer 👩🏾💻 (@mozhacks) December 15, 2022
The project will be modelled after Speedometer 2, the current industry standard developed by Apple’s WebKit team. Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are the three most popular browsers today.
Microsoft Edge, the fourth browser, does not have its own engine, instead relying on Google’s open-source Chromium with Blink and V8 engines.
The Speedometer 3 project is still in its early stages, as stated on its GitHub page, and it is “in active development and is unstable.”
The groups advise using Speedometer 2.1 until development progresses further, though we don’t yet know when Speedometer 3 will be ready.