We’re excited to
announce that it’s been 10 years since the initial launch of WebXPRT! In early
2013, we introduced WebXPRT as a unique browser performance benchmark in a market
space that was already crowded with a variety of specialized measurement tools.
Our goal was to offer a benchmark that could compare the performance of almost
any web-enabled device, using scenarios created to mirror real-world tasks. We
wanted it to be a free, easily accessible, easy-to-run, useful, and appealing
testing option for OEM labs, vendors, and the tech press.
When we look back on
the last 10 years of WebXPRT, we can’t help but conclude that our efforts have
been successful. Since those early days, the WebXPRT market presence has grown
from humble beginnings into a worldwide industry standard. Hundreds of tech
press publications have used WebXPRT in thousands of articles and reviews, and testers
have now run the benchmark well over 1.1 million times.
Below, I’ve listed
some of the WebXPRT team’s accomplishments over the last decade. If you’ve been
following WebXPRT from the beginning, this may all be familiar, but if you’re
new to the community, it may be
interesting to see some of the steps that contributed to making WebXPRT what it
In future blog posts, we’ll look at how the number of WebXPRT runs has grown over time, and how WebXPRT use has grown among OEMs, vendors, and the tech press worldwide. Do you have any thoughts that you’d like to share from your WebXPRT testing experience? If so, let us know!
This week, we published the Exploring WebXPRT 4 white paper. It describes the design and structure of WebXPRT 4, including detailed information about the benchmark’s harness, HTML5 and WebAssembly (WASM) capability checks, and changes we’ve made to the structure of the performance test workloads. We explain the benchmark’s scoring methodology, how to automate tests, and how to submit results for publication. The white paper also includes information about the third-party functions and libraries that WebXPRT 4 uses during the HTML5 and WASM capability checks and performance workloads.
The Exploring WebXPRT 4 white paper promotes
the high level of transparency and disclosure that is a core value of the
BenchmarkXPRT Development Community. We’ve always believed that transparency
builds trust, and trust is essential for a healthy benchmarking community.
That’s why we involve community members in the benchmark development process
and disclose how we build our benchmarks and how they work.
You can find the paper on WebXPRT.com and our XPRT white papers page. If you have any questions about WebXPRT 4, please let us know, and be sure to check out our other XPRT white papers.
We’re excited to announce that WebXPRT 4 is now available! Testers can access the benchmark at WebXPRT.com. If you’ve already been using the WebXPRT 4 Preview, your Preview test results will be comparable with results from the current official build.
Longtime WebXPRT users will notice that WebXPRT 4 has a new, but familiar, UI. The general process for kicking off both manual and automated tests is the same as with WebXPRT 3, so the transition from WebXPRT 3 to WebXPRT 4 testing should be straightforward. We will continue to make WebXPRT 3 available for legacy testing.
If you missed
earlier XPRT blog posts
about WebXPRT 4, here is a quick overview of the differences between WebXPRT 3
and WebXPRT 4:
- We’ve updated the aesthetics of the WebXPRT UI to make WebXPRT 4 visually distinct from older versions. We did not significantly change the flow of the UI.
- We’ve updated content in some of the workloads to reflect changes in everyday technology, such as upgrading most of the photos in the photo processing workloads to higher resolutions.
- We’ve updated the base calibration system for score calculations, and adjusted the scoring scale. WebXPRT 4 scores should not be compared to scores from previous versions of WebXPRT.
- Photo Enhancement. We increased the efficiency of the workload’s Canvas object creation function, and replaced the existing photos with new, higher-resolution photos.
- Organize Album Using AI. We replaced ConvNetJS with WebAssembly (WASM) based OpenCV.js for both the face detection and image classification tasks. We changed the images for the image classification tasks to images from the ImageNet dataset.
- Stock Option Pricing. We updated the dygraph.js library.
- Sales Graphs. We made no changes to this workload.
- Encrypt Notes and OCR Scan. We replaced ASM.js with WASM for the Notes task and updated the WASM-based Tesseract version for the OCR task.
- Online Homework. In addition to the existing scenario which uses four Web Workers, we have added a scenario with two Web Workers. The workload now covers a wider range of Web Worker performance, and we calculate the score by using the combined run time of both scenarios. We also updated the typo.js library.
thankful for all of the feedback we received during the WebXPRT 4 development
process, and we look forward to seeing your WebXPRT 4 results!
The WebXPRT 4 development process is
far enough along that we’d like to share more about changes we are likely to
make and a rough target date for publishing a preview build. While some of the
details below will probably change, this post should give readers a good sense
of what to expect.
Some of the non-workload changes in
WebXPRT 4 relate to our typical benchmark update process, and a few result
directly from feedback we received from the WebXPRT tech press survey.
- We will update the aesthetics of the WebXPRT UI to make
WebXPRT 4 visually distinct from older versions. We do not anticipate
significantly changing the flow of the UI.
- We will update content in some of the workloads to
reflect changes in everyday technology. For instance, we will upgrade most
of the photos in the photo processing workloads to higher resolutions.
- In response to a request from tech press survey
respondents, we are considering adding a looping function to the
- We are investigating the possibility of shortening the
benchmark by reducing the default number of iterations from seven to five.
We will only make this change if we can ensure that five iterations produce
consistently low score variance.
Changes to existing workloads
Enhancement. This workload applies three effects
to two photos each (six photos total). It tests HTML5 Canvas, Canvas 2D, and
- Organize Album Using AI. This workload currently uses the ConvNetJS neural network library to complete two tasks: (1) organizing five images and (2) classifying the five images in an album. We are planning to replace ConvNetJS with WebAssembly (WASM) for both tasks and are considering upgrading the images to higher resolutions.
- Stock Option Pricing. This workload calculates and displays graphic views of a stock portfolio using Canvas, SVG, and dygraph.js. The only change we are considering is combining it with the Sales Graphs workload (below).
- Sales Graphs. This workload provides a web-based application displaying multiple views of sales data. Sales Graphs exercises HTML5 Canvas and SVG performance. The only change we are considering is combining it with the Stock Option Pricing workload (above).
- Encrypt Notes and OCR Scan. This workload uses ASM.js to sync notes, extract text from a scanned receipt using optical character recognition (OCR), and add the scanned text to a spending report. We are planning to replace ASM.js with WASM for the Notes task and with WASM-based Tesseract for the OCR task.
- Online Homework. This workload uses regex, arrays, strings, and Web Workers to review DNA and spell-check an essay. We are not planning to change this workload.
Possible new workloads
- Natural Language Processing (NLP). We are considering the addition of an NLP workload using ONNX Runtime and/or TensorFlowJS. The workload would use Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) to answer questions about a given text. Similar use cases are becoming more prevalent in conversational bot systems, domain-specific document search tools, and various other educational applications.
- Message Scrolling. We are considering developing a new workload that would use an Angular or React.js to scroll through hundreds of messages. We’ll share more about this possible workload as we firm up the details.
The release timeline
We hope to publish a WebXPRT 4
preview build in the second half of November, with a general release before the
end of the year. If it looks as though that timeline will change significantly,
we’ll provide an update here in the blog as soon as possible.
We’re very grateful for all the
input we received during the WebXPRT 4 planning process. If you have any
questions about the details we’ve shared above, please feel free to ask!
In May, we surveyed
longtime WebXPRT users regarding the types of changes they would like to see in
a WebXPRT 4. We sent the survey to journalists at several tech press outlets,
and invited our blog readers to participate as well. We received some very helpful feedback. As we explore new possibilities for WebXPRT 4, we’ve decided to
open an updated version of the survey. We’ve adjusted the questions a bit based
on previous feedback and added some new ones, so we invite you to respond even
if you participated in the original survey.
To do so, please send your answers to the following questions to firstname.lastname@example.org before July 31.
- Do you think WebXPRT 3’s selection of workload scenarios is representative of modern web tasks?
- How do you think WebXPRT compares to other common browser-based benchmarks, such as JetStream, Speedometer, and Octane?
- Would you like to see a workload based on WebAssembly (WASM) in WebXPRT 4? Why or why not?
- Would you like to see a workload based on Single Page Application (SPA) technology in WebXPRT 4? Why or why not?
- Would you like to see a workload based on Motion UI in WebXPRT 4? Why or why not?
- Would you like to see us include any other web technologies in additional workloads?
- Are you happy with the WebXPRT 3 user interface? If not, what UI changes would you like to see?
- Have you ever experienced significant connection issues when testing with WebXPRT?
- Given its array of workloads, do you think the WebXPRT runtime is reasonable? Would you mind if the average runtime increased slightly?
- Would you like to see us change any other aspects of WebXPRT 3?
If you would like to share your thoughts on any topics that the questions above do not cover, please include those in your response. We look forward to hearing from you!
In early May, we sent
a survey to members of the tech press who regularly use WebXPRT in articles and
reviews. We asked for their thoughts on several aspects of WebXPRT, as well as what
they’d like to see in the upcoming fourth version of the benchmark. We also
published the survey questions here in the blog, and invited
experienced WebXPRT testers to send their feedback as well. We received some
good responses to the survey, and for the benefit of our readers, we’ve
summarized some of the key comments and suggestions below.
- One respondent stated that WebXPRT is demanding enough to test
performance, but if we want to simulate modern web usage, we should find the
most up-to-date studies on common browser tasks and web technologies. This
suggestion lines up with our intention to study the feasibility of adding a WebAssembly workload.
- One respondent liked that fact that unlike many other browser
- One respondent suggested that we include a link to a WebXPRT
white paper within the UI, or at least a guide describing what happens during
- One respondent stated that they would like for WebXPRT to
automatically produce a good result file on the local test system.
- One respondent said that WebXPRT has a relatively long runtime
for a browser benchmark, and they would prefer that the runtime not increase in
- We had no direct calls for a battery life test, because many
testers already have scripts and/or methodologies in place for battery testing,
but one tester suggested adding the ability to loop the test so users can measure
performance over varying lengths of time.
- There were no requests to bring back any aspects of WebXPRT 2015
that we removed in WebXPRT 3.
- There were no reports of significant connection issues when
testing with WebXPRT.
We greatly appreciate the members of the tech press that responded to the survey. We’re still in the planning stages of WebXPRT 4, so there’s still time for anyone to send comments or ideas to email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!