Google Shows Off V8 Javascript Improvements In Chrome

Google has taken to their blog to explain how a big part of the Chrome performance puzzle, the V8 Javascript engine, has improved in the recent past. The team behind improvements to the V8 Javascript engine created a way to measure real-world performance and gain insight on improvements that need to be made, and thanks to data collected over the past year or so, have managed to improve Chrome's V8 performance around 25% to 35% across operating systems and ecosystems. Chrome's handling of Javascript in the V8 engine saw the most growth in Android, with desktop Linux being a close second and Mac OS nipping at its heels. Windows saw the least improvement of the bunch.

The team's biggest factor in figuring out how to improve performance has been the employment of a new Javascript benchmarking standard based on monitoring page snapshots and how the Javascript code under the browser's hood reacted to them. This method was used in conjunction with the Speedometer web benchmark to figure out, among other aspects, that the time it took to start up a particular script was a big factor in overall performance, even in fairly simple pages. They moved on from a benchmarking suite known as Octane, which was shown to be inferior to Speedometer for their purposes. The data that they gleaned enabled them to improve Chrome's overall performance thanks to better Javascript performance, and tighter integration between running Javascript and running other types of web code under Chrome's hood.

The V8 team's efforts are a big part of why Chrome was able to shed its stigma of being a bloated, slow, and clunky browsing option, though allegations that it uses far more RAM and battery life than other browsers, at least in the desktop ecosystem, are still easy to find. For now, the team plans to continue working as they have been, using site snapshots and Speedometer results to figure out what tweaks they can make to improve performance further. Looking forward, the biggest challenge for the team is taking on new standards, script types, tools, and APIs that are always popping up in the Javascript development world. The plan for overcoming that challenge is to pay special attention to new elements popping up in aggregated website snapshots, developing entirely new tools and code branches within V8 as necessary to optimize new elements as they end up on pages. Google's blog post about the matter didn't go into detail about how they would figure out which elements to prioritize.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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