Quantum Flow Engineering Newsletter #14

We have about 13 more weeks before the train of Firefox 57 leaves the station.  Next week many of you will be at the upcoming work week, so I thought it may be a good time to have some retrospection over our progress so far, just so that you can get a good sense of how to extrapolate when you are planning things next week.

One difficulty with the Quantum Flow project is that since it touches many different areas of the browser, it doesn’t lend itself very easily to drawing nice charts for it.  🙂  It is hard to find one metric that all of this work fits inside, and that’s OK.  My goal this week is to highlight what we can achieve with focus in a limited amount of time, so I’ll bring a couple of examples.

This is a snapshot of our burndown chart1.  We currently have 182 closed bugs and 136 open bugs.  That’s great progress, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped with all aspects of this!

But to speak of a more direct measurement of performance, let’s look at our progress on Speedometer V2.  Today, I measured our progress so far on this benchmark by comparing Firefox 53, 54, 55.0b3 (latest beta as of this writing) and the latest Nightly, all x64 builds, on the reference hardware.  This is the result (numbers are the reported benchmark score, higher is better):

Speedometer improvements

There are also many other top level performance related projects that are ongoing and approaching final stages.  I’m really excited to see what the next few months are going to uncover for Firefox performance.

One bit of administrative note, as next week most people are able to get updates from each other face to face, I won’t send out the newsletter.  Now let’s finish with this week’s list of acknowledgements to those who helped make Firefox faster during the past week, hopefully I’m not forgetting any names!

[1] (The number of bug fixes is a weird metric to use for performance improvements, since we use bugs as a unit of work, and the performance impact of each bug can be vastly different.  But I have tried to describe the details of these bugs for the most part before so the detailed information is at least available.)

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5 comments on “Quantum Flow Engineering Newsletter #14
  1. manoj says:

    Ehsan and team — This list of fixes is a testament to the team’s focus and diligence. Nightly is faster (and relatively stable) on my iMac than the release version of Firefox – kudos!

    Given the number of fixes that are going to go in over the next few weeks, please consider categorizing fixes into buckets for us testing Nightly and reading your posts. A starter list of buckets is:

    1. Startup
    2. Browsing (Youtube, Facebook, etc.)
    Page Load
    Smoothness
    Responsiveness
    3. Shutdown
    4. Benchmarks & Standards
    5. Telemetry & Measurement

    Dominik wrote about perceived performance here: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2017/06/designing-for-performance-a-data-informed-approach-for-quantum-development/, and his post informed a few of the buckets on my list.

    Good luck next week, and keep the hits coming…

  2. klop*cz says:

    Hello, this is incredible, how much potential Firefox has to be better and faster! Keep going. And I have to say, at least on macOS, Firefox becomes faster with almost every nighty build. GREAT WORK!

    BTW: I have problem with loading of RSS of your blog. I hadn’t it last week. Is there some problem with RSS or is it some problem in FF? FF shows “Live Bookmark feed failed to load”. I have no problem with other RSSes, so that maybe the RSS file is corrupted.

  3. mayank says:

    Is https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1196094 still valid? It would be nice to have faster nightlies.

    • ehsan says:

      It is technically valid, but its benefit is unknown, and there are other improvements that we would like to make to our PGO training dataset as well (for Speedometer for example)…