Load Testing Blog

What’s new in Load Tester 4.2

The 4.2 release focuses on platform compatibility and productivity increases from our services work in the past year with such clients as the US Census and the New York Marathon.
With a slew of new browsers and operating systems available, this release also includes support for 64-bit Windows and AIX operating systems, the latest versions of Internet Explorer, as well as the Chrome and Safari browsers.
On the productivity side there are some pretty big changes to allow testers to configure more complex testcases with less effort than ever before. Some of those changes are evident in the new Fields View and … Continue reading »

IE Performance Tip: avoid repeating <img> tags

This tip is more for those users who have developed a sophisticated data-crunching interface to their app. On one screen, for simplicity, the app gives a long list of data, without pagination controls being created by the user (such as a “View All” feature). To keep it pretty, each line has a visual icon or some surrounding images. Sound familiar? For example, let’s say the list is created by a testing system, indicating which tests were passed and which failed. The list may look something like:

For this example, we’ve created a few lengthy files to measure IE’s rendering performance. They … Continue reading »

IE8, favicon.ico and silly server stunts

At first glance, load testing software seems like it should be pretty straightforward. And like most things, it turns out to be really complex — at least, if you want to do it well. Simulating a browser could be pretty easy – except for the need to do it very, very, very efficiently, so that the solution can scale to simulate hundreds or thousands of  virtual users per computer.
What does this have to do with favicon.ico and IE8? Occasionally while helping a customer use Load Tester, we run into some behavior that is difficult to explain, and this was one … Continue reading »

A Unique Browser approach to Fast: Opera Turbo

We’ve seen that modern browsers have made great strides to improve efficiency in rendering and javascript performance. But, the differences seem to be less noticeable when the network is stubborn. On a recent trip, I ran into just this problem. During the evening, the hotel’s local Wi-Fi seemed at peak capacity, the DNS servers were sluggish, and just getting connections opened often added a couple seconds. Getting onto common sites like Slashdot seemed to take 30 seconds or more from the overburdened local connection.
This seemed like a golden opportunity to try out one of Opera’s new features: Continue reading »

New JavaScript optimizer

From a load testing perspective, we are not generally concerned with Javascript performance – since it affects client-side rendering time and therefore has little relationship to load. However, we do see a lot of sites that could benefit greatly from improved Javascript performance – especially reducing the size of their Javascript files. Google has a relatively new project, Closure Compiler, that optimizes JavaScript code to reduce size and improve performance.
If you’ve tried the Closure Compiler, give us a shout. We’d love to hear about your results!
Chief Engineer

Load Testing with IE 8.0, Firefox 3.5

The performance improvements in the latest browsers (Internet Explorer 8.0 and Firefox 3.5) have been eagerly awaited for many months…though they come at a price.

Beta Browser Shootout

The latest crop of beta browsers, IE 8, Safari 4, and Google’s Chrome first release are examined using the most popular websites to see if any of them are indeed faster than the competition.
Read the article.

Memory consumption and reclamation – Chrome vs. Firefox

I reboot my laptop as infrequently as possible – which means that I keep Firefox running for weeks without restarting. At least, I would prefer to. But the longer it runs, the more memory it gobbles. The only way to reclaim it is to restart.
So when I read about the tab-isolation feature in Googles new Chrome browser which uses a separate process for each tab, it peaked my interest. I installed Chrome and tried a very quick (and not very scientific) test, as described below.
Firefox had been open for a few days and currently had 8 tabs open. I am … Continue reading »

Safari 3 Windows Performance Analysis

Evaluating Apple’s Browser Performance Claims in The Real World
On June 11th, Apple released a Windows beta version of its OSX web browser, Safari 3.0, claiming its the “fastest browser on Windows”. The claims were based on the results Apple found while running the iBench benchmark from Ziff Davis, with separate measurements for HTML, JavaScript performance, and application start time. While benchmarks are invaluable for performance evaluation, we set out to see if those claims would make a difference in actual browser usage.
Read the report


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