[webkit-dev] setTimeout as browser speed throttle

Peter Kasting pkasting at chromium.org
Tue Sep 30 13:41:50 PDT 2008

On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 1:35 PM, Brady Eidson <beidson at apple.com> wrote:

> If we add a new well specified API that all browser vendors agree on,
> everybody wins.

No; everybody who's willing and able to change wins.

Everyone else wins or loses depending on whether the new behavior is better
or worse for them.  My argument is that this makes life better for nearly
all pages affected.  The entire reason to change setTimeout() is precisely
_because_ not everyone will change their web pages.

(Furthermore, I claim the number of people who will realize they could get
something better, and change their code to get it, is lower than the number
of people who will see that something is wrong and fix it.)

> negates the need to introduce new incompatibilities into the already
> published web by changing setTimeout().

This still implies there is a meaningful compatibility hit to making this
change.  I have not yet seen any reason to agree that is the case (in the
sense of "CPU usage is not a web compatibility issue").  There is _already_
no compatibility here.  Browsers do completely different things, of an
equivalent magnitude (6 ms) to the suggested change of 10 ms -> 3 or 4 ms.
 Firefox is even different based on whether Flash happens to be running!
 How can there be compatibility problems introduced by this proposal that
don't already exist?

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