Sunday, September 13, 2009

Announcing Browserscope

I'm excited today to announce the release of Browserscope at

Browserscope is an open-source project for profiling web browsers and storing and aggregating crowd-sourced data about browser performance.

The goals are to foster innovation by tracking browser functionality and to be a resource for web developers.

Browserscope is based on Steve Souders' UA Profiler, and his original tests have been preserved here as the Network test category. Other test categories include Ian Hickson's Acid3 test (ported by Jacob Moon into Browserscope), Annie Sullivan's Rich Text Edit Mode tests, and John Resig's Selectors API Test Suite (ported by Lindsey Simon into Browserscope).

The Advantages of Crowdsourcing
The ability for users to contribute results is the key for Browserscope's longevity, accuracy, and currency.
  • No dedicated test resources are required; enabling the project to run in perpetuity
  • Tests are run under a wide variety of real world test conditions
  • Aggregating results reduces selection bias
  • New browsers show up immediately due to developer testing
 And this is where you come in! Click the button below to run your browser through the tests on Browserscope.

Below are some ideas culled from the project issue tracker on Google Code. Do you have some ideas? Add them, or feel free to checkout and work on the code. We'd love to get your patches (as directory diffs) and review those for inclusion in Browserscope!
  • Visualize test result trends over time
  • Wall of fame, up-and-comers, Billboard top 50
  • More test categories - cookies, security, reflow
  • More contributors
  • Tagged/personalized test results
  • Normalize time-based results across platforms
  • User agent parsing library


I want to extend my sincere and deep gratitude to everyone who's offered feedback, worked on the codebase, or otherwise helped Browserscope along. Specifically I want to thank:
Steve Souders: you've been a great mentor to work with, and your ability to think BIG and beyond is something I hope continues to rub off on us all a little ;) 
Steve Lamm: I've never worked with anyone who writes code that is of such high quality and readability. Browserscope's backend would not be the same without you.
Annie Sullivan: You're quick, wise, and totally fun to work with - I also really hope that Rich Text Edit  mode development will get easier thanks to your dedication.
John Skidgel: Design master, cohort, and all-around tolerater - you love problems, you has solutions.
Brett Slatkin and the App Engine team: Your insight into the overall system design was critical to our being able to deploy this on App Engine, and the Task Queue API rocks.
Jacob Moon: We sure got lucky that you provided the first outside-the-project developer experience! Thanks for bringing the Acid3 tests (and others) into Browserscope and for showing us how doable it is to port new tests into the system.
Christian Stockwell and the IE team: Your feedback was essential to uncovering issues regarding selection bias, hopefully the reflow tests will make their appearance again soon once we've done some more to address this issue.
Mike Belshe and the Chrome team: Your advice and feedback re: benchmarks versus compatibility testing was crucial. Yall run the tightest ship on the planet and it shows, i <3 Chrome.
David Baron, Dion Almaer, Ben Galbraith, John Resig and the Mozilla team: Your ideas and suggestions are present in many parts of the codebase - and additionally I couldn't have made the site look nearly as decent without using Firefox.
Robert Bowdidge: Thanks for inspiring me to work on this.
Lastly a big thanks to Google for giving me 20% time to work on this project for the last year.

1 comment:

H.O. said...

Wow, that is awesome! We are following the scoreboard here in Austin with interest and admiration!