Capturing Accurate Page Rendering Times

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Michael

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Nov 1, 2010, 1:24:50 PM11/1/10
to Make the Web Faster
We are looking for a tool that will allow us to accurately measure
page rendering time for multiple browser types. Tools like HTTPWatch
don't seem to capture JavaScript time. A tool like DynaTrace AJAX
looks promising but we need something that can be used across multiple
browser types.

Any suggestions?
-Mike

Timothy Fisher

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Nov 1, 2010, 1:39:52 PM11/1/10
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Compuware Gomez has a commercial tool that will let you do this.
http://www.gomez.com

If you are going the build-your-own route, and are open to RUM
testing, the Boomerang project from Yahoo is quite interesting and
would allow you to do what you are trying to do.

http://yahoo.github.com/boomerang/doc/


Tim

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Guy

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Nov 1, 2010, 2:04:47 PM11/1/10
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I wouldn't recommend Gomez, since they are not using a real browser, only an emulator.
I believe that webpagetest.org has a version that you can install on your servers.
--
- Guy

Martin Borthiry

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Nov 1, 2010, 2:14:46 PM11/1/10
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I don't know one tool cross browser. I'm using firebug for FF, inspector for Chr and DynaTrace for IE. 

I believe, you can make a little script on JS for take specific measures. 


Martín

Patrick Meenan

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Nov 1, 2010, 5:10:31 PM11/1/10
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As you've seen from the responses, there isn't really a good solution yet.  If you are just interested in the load time then Boomerang works pretty well (and even better as browsers start to implement the Web Timing spec).  There are a bunch of solutions that are browser-specific (Firebug + Net Export, Pagetest/WebPagetest, Dynatrace Ajax Edition) and have different feature sets.  We started up a Google group to standardize the interfaces and components (http://groups.google.com/group/web-testing-framework) but there isn't anything that exists today (at least that I'm aware of).  Hopefully that will start to change over the next few months.

-Pat

Timothy Fisher

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Nov 1, 2010, 9:19:14 PM11/1/10
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"I wouldn't recommend Gomez, since they are not using a real browser,
only an emulator."

That depends on which Gomez product you are looking at. They have
products that do both synthetic testing and actual or real user
monitoring. Their ActualXF product provides functionality very
similar to the Boomerang project that lets you gather page performance
metrics from real browsers. Works cross-browser. All of the data
from this product is captured and displayed through the Gomez
performance portal. Great way to go if you want boomerang-like
functionality but don't want to build the infrastructure for
collecting the data and visualizing it yourself.

Guy

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Nov 1, 2010, 9:37:46 PM11/1/10
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That is correct. I forgot about ActualXF.
BTW, instrumentation on the page will not give you the start-render time if you are after it (only a browser plugin can achieve that).

Sajal Kayan

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Nov 2, 2010, 2:39:07 AM11/2/10
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In newer browsers are the start render can also be collected by
javascript instrumentation.

http://dvcs.w3.org/hg/webperf/raw-file/tip/specs/NavigationTiming/Overview.html

Afaik this is available(in different namespaces) on chrome 6+, ie9.
Unfortunately didn't make it to Firefox 4 before feature freeze.

-Sajal

On 11/02/2010 08:37 AM, Guy wrote:
> That is correct. I forgot about ActualXF.
> BTW, instrumentation on the page will not give you the start-render time
> if you are after it (only a browser plugin can achieve that).
>
>
>
> On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 6:19 PM, Timothy Fisher <timo...@gmail.com
> <mailto:timo...@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> "I wouldn't recommend Gomez, since they are not using a real browser,
> only an emulator."
>
> That depends on which Gomez product you are looking at. They have
> products that do both synthetic testing and actual or real user
> monitoring. Their ActualXF product provides functionality very
> similar to the Boomerang project that lets you gather page performance
> metrics from real browsers. Works cross-browser. All of the data
> from this product is captured and displayed through the Gomez
> performance portal. Great way to go if you want boomerang-like
> functionality but don't want to build the infrastructure for
> collecting the data and visualizing it yourself.
>
>
> On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 2:04 PM, Guy <mug...@gmail.com
> <mailto:mug...@gmail.com>> wrote:
> > I wouldn't recommend Gomez, since they are not using a real
> browser, only an
> > emulator.

> > I believe that webpagetest.org <http://webpagetest.org/> has a


> version that you can install on your
> > servers.
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 10:39 AM, Timothy Fisher
> <timo...@gmail.com <mailto:timo...@gmail.com>> wrote:
> >>
> >> Compuware Gomez has a commercial tool that will let you do this.

> >> http://www.gomez.com <http://www.gomez.com/>


> >>
> >> If you are going the build-your-own route, and are open to RUM
> >> testing, the Boomerang project from Yahoo is quite interesting and
> >> would allow you to do what you are trying to do.
> >>
> >> http://yahoo.github.com/boomerang/doc/
> >>
> >>
> >> Tim
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 1:24 PM, Michael <mschel...@gmail.com
> <mailto:mschel...@gmail.com>> wrote:
> >> > We are looking for a tool that will allow us to accurately measure
> >> > page rendering time for multiple browser types. Tools like
> HTTPWatch
> >> > don't seem to capture JavaScript time. A tool like DynaTrace AJAX
> >> > looks promising but we need something that can be used across
> multiple
> >> > browser types.
> >> >
> >> > Any suggestions?
> >> > -Mike
> >> >
> >> > --
> >> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
> >> > Groups "Make the Web Faster" group.
> >> > To post to this group, send email to
> >> > make-the-...@googlegroups.com

> <mailto:make-the-...@googlegroups.com>.


> >> > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
> >> > make-the-web-fa...@googlegroups.com

> <mailto:make-the-web-faster%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>.


> >> > For more options, visit this group at
> >> > http://groups.google.com/group/make-the-web-faster?hl=en.
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
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> >> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
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> >> For more options, visit this group at
> >> http://groups.google.com/group/make-the-web-faster?hl=en.
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > - Guy
> >
> > --
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> >
>
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Tim Franke

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Dec 10, 2010, 6:08:43 PM12/10/10
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Interesting discussion.... has anyone here used AlertFox or
Browsermob before? Both are new services that offer real user
monitoring for website performance at a fraction of what Gomez or
Keynote charge. I am in the search for good performance monitoring
for our web app.

-Tim

TheOpsMgr

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Dec 13, 2010, 11:59:26 AM12/13/10
to Make the Web Faster

HI Tim,

Can I clarify what data you want (the title says rendering time?) and
what
you want to use the monitoring data for e.g. KPI reporting as that has
a big
impact on what you select...

(1) If you want repeatable, accurate MONITORING of your application
performance so you know when (and are alerted) when your backend slows
down
or fails - I would use active, synthetic monitoring e.g.
www.siteconfidence.com or keynote or gomez or alertsite or webmetrics
etc as
nauseum.

(2) If you want to constantly MEASURE the real user experience - I
would use
a proper RUM tool either tag-based like WebTuna www.webtuna.com or
network
based like Pion www.atomiclabs.com or Coradiant or Tealeaf etc

(3) if you want to TEST the performance of your application (including
client-side measurements like render start time) I would automate it,
either
externally like
http://blog.siteconfidence.com/2010/11/performance-analyser-is-live-s...
as part of your continuous integration process internally like this
http://blog.dynatrace.com/2010/11/17/dynatrace-ajax-edition-2-0-is-re...

cheers,
Steve

Timothy Fisher

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Dec 13, 2010, 1:14:59 PM12/13/10
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The Gomez ActualXF tool that I described also fits into category #2 from Steve's post.  ActualXF is a tag-based RUM tool.  In addition to WebTuna as he mentioned, there are several other commericial competitors in this space as well.  Also there is at least a couple of open source RUM tagging projects including Yahoo Boomerang, and the Jiffy project released by whitepages.com.

Tim


rouli nir

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Dec 16, 2010, 9:33:39 AM12/16/10
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Is anyone using ActualXF or WebTuna?
Client side real user monitoring seems like a really powerful tool but it seems like only a few use it (especially in comparison to web monitoring tools). At the very least are way less products on this category than on others.
Why is that so?

(sorry for the open question, but I'll appreciate your opinions)

Tim Franke

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Dec 17, 2010, 5:02:40 AM12/17/10
to Make the Web Faster
Hi Stephen, Tim

Thanks for the detailed answer and the links. I learned something new
here. Just a short follow up:

My question was mainly about #1 (monitor web app performance)

I called Keynote and Gomez, but once they heard my budget (few hundred
$/month) they lost interest. Then I noticed that all the services you
listed had no prices on their website. That is always a warning sign
if you are on a budget ;-)

I signed up with the AlertFox 30 day trial now, and so far that gives
interesting results. Our site is AJAX heavy and has some Flash video
applets. AlertFox seems to be the only service in my budget range that
offers synthetic monitoring with Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Browsermob has interesting load testing, but we postponed that for
2011.

Thanks again for the good tips.

Tim

Timothy Fisher

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Dec 19, 2010, 4:01:50 PM12/19/10
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On a low budget if you are willing to collect and visualize your own metrics, I would recommend looking at the Yahoo Boomerang project.  Boomerang provides an implementation of browser-based RUM similar to the Gomez ActualXF product.  If you then get to a point where you need to scale larger and want a third party to collect the metrics, you could then move to ActualXF if that became within your budget.

Tim


Tim

Timothy Fisher

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Dec 19, 2010, 3:59:21 PM12/19/10
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Current customers of Gomez ActualXF include Pizza Hut, Apple, and Toys R Us, and many others.  Real User Monitoring is a category of performance products that is rapidly growing.  Just within the past year, in addition to the Gomez product, there have been a flurry of start-ups and open source targeting this area.  The W3C Web Timing APIs will also make browser-based RUM products more standardized when they are consistently implemented.

Tim
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