Using Firefox to test web server performance.

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Using Firefox to test web server performance.

Steven Young-2
  Hello,

  I'm trying to come up with a way to measure the absolute time it
takes to retrieve a web page and all the images/js files/etc required to
render it to screen.  However, I don't want to waste time actually
trying to render it, as the CPU time spent on visual layout would skew
the benchmark results.

  This isn't as easy as wget -m, since some links are generated on the
fly by javascript.  I was looking at using Firefox or something related
to do this, since it will correctly evaluate the js and grab the right
files.  However, as I mentioned, I don't want it to actually try and
render the page, just get all the files it needs.

  Is there any way I can coax Firefox in to doing this? I'm not adverse
to patching it to disable the entire UI and rendering framework,
although I don't really know where to start.  Any suggestions or advice
you folks can give would be much appreciated.

  Thanks,
  Steve.
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Re: Using Firefox to test web server performance.

Eli Friedman
You can run your tests in a iframe with the style "display:none"; that
will disable generating the presentation.  Do note, however, that
background images won't load unless the page gets rendered.  Also, if
you're testing how long it will take the user to see the page, you might
want to take rendering time into account.

Of course, the general advice for speeding up web page loading is that
less data is better, fewer files is better, and compression is good if
possible.

-Eli

Steven Young wrote:

>   Hello,
>
>   I'm trying to come up with a way to measure the absolute time it
> takes to retrieve a web page and all the images/js files/etc required to
> render it to screen.  However, I don't want to waste time actually
> trying to render it, as the CPU time spent on visual layout would skew
> the benchmark results.
>
>   This isn't as easy as wget -m, since some links are generated on the
> fly by javascript.  I was looking at using Firefox or something related
> to do this, since it will correctly evaluate the js and grab the right
> files.  However, as I mentioned, I don't want it to actually try and
> render the page, just get all the files it needs.
>
>   Is there any way I can coax Firefox in to doing this? I'm not adverse
> to patching it to disable the entire UI and rendering framework,
> although I don't really know where to start.  Any suggestions or advice
> you folks can give would be much appreciated.
>
>   Thanks,
>   Steve.
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Re: Using Firefox to test web server performance.

Matt Nordhoff-3
In reply to this post by Steven Young-2
Steven Young wrote:

>   I'm trying to come up with a way to measure the absolute time it
> takes to retrieve a web page and all the images/js files/etc required to
> render it to screen.  However, I don't want to waste time actually
> trying to render it, as the CPU time spent on visual layout would skew
> the benchmark results.
>
>   This isn't as easy as wget -m, since some links are generated on the
> fly by javascript.  I was looking at using Firefox or something related
> to do this, since it will correctly evaluate the js and grab the right
> files.  However, as I mentioned, I don't want it to actually try and
> render the page, just get all the files it needs.
>
>   Is there any way I can coax Firefox in to doing this? I'm not adverse
> to patching it to disable the entire UI and rendering framework,
> although I don't really know where to start.  Any suggestions or advice
> you folks can give would be much appreciated.

FYI, the Firebug extension [1] can time how long it takes each element
of a page to load. Fasterfox [2] also times the total page load. (But
for heaven's sake, don't enable Fasterfox's "enhanced prefetching". It's
a monumental bandwidth waster.)

[1] <https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1843/>
[2] <https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1269/>
--
Matt Nordhoff, back from the dead. Or something.
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