High Performance JavaScript - WebDirections USA 2010
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High Performance JavaScript - WebDirections USA 2010

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Ever wonder why the page appears frozen or why you get a dialog saying, “this script is taking too long”? Inside of the browser, JavaScript and the page’s UI are very intertwined, which means ...

Ever wonder why the page appears frozen or why you get a dialog saying, “this script is taking too long”? Inside of the browser, JavaScript and the page’s UI are very intertwined, which means they can affect each other and, in turn, affect overall page performance. Ensuring the fastest execution time of JavaScript code isn’t about geek cred, it’s about ensuring that the user experience is as fast and responsive as possible. In a world where an extra second can cost you a visitor, sluggishness due to poor JavaScript code is a big problem. In this talk, you’ll learn what’s going on inside the browser that can slow JavaScript down and how that can end up creating a “slow page”. You’ll also learn how to overcome the conspiracy against your code by eliminating performance bottlenecks.

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • Another excellent presentation. Also a big fan of your book, High Performance JavaScript.
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  • High Performance JavaScript
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  • Nice reminder of some fundamental concepts. I confess that it never occurred to me to use DocumentFragments to avoid reflow issues; I'll definitely be doing that in the future.

    Oh, and +10 for the TRON theme. :)
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High Performance JavaScript - WebDirections USA 2010 High Performance JavaScript - WebDirections USA 2010 Presentation Transcript

  • High Performance JavaScript Nicholas C. Zakas Yahoo!, Inc. The Web Industry Conference September 21–25, 2010 Midtown Atlanta
  • Greetings, program Principal Front End Contributor, Engineer Creator of YUI Test Author Lead Author Contributor Lead Author
  • I know what you're thinking
  • Is he really going to use a Tron theme throughout this presentation?
  • Yes, because it's awesome
  • Well, mostly awsome
  • Does JavaScript performance matter?
  • After all, all browsers now have optimizing JavaScript engines Tracemonkey/ V8 Squirrelfish Chakra Karakan JaegarMonkey (all) (4+) (9+) (10.5+) (3.5+)
  • So our scripts are getting really, really fast
  • Old computers ran slow applications Small amounts of CPU power and memory
  • New computers are generally faster but slow applications still exist More CPU + more memory = less disciplined application development
  • It's still possible to write slow JavaScript on the new, faster JavaScript engines
  • JavaScript performance directly affects user experience
  • "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril." -Sun Tzu, The Art of War
  • The UI Thread The brains of the operation
  • The browser UI thread is responsible for both UI updates and JavaScript execution Only one can happen at a time
  • Jobs for UI updates and JavaScript execution are added to a UI queue if the UI thread is busy Each job must wait in line for its turn to execute
  • <button id="btn" style="font-size: 30px; padding: 0.5em 1em">Click Me</button> <script type="text/javascript"> window.onload = function(){ document.getElementById("btn").onclick = function(){ //do something }; }; </script>
  • Before Click UI Thread time UI Queue
  • When Clicked UI Thread time UI Queue UI Update onclick UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update time UI Queue onclick Draw down state UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update onclick time UI Queue UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update time UI Queue Draw up state
  • No UI updates while JavaScript is executing
  • JavaScript May Cause UI Update <button id="btn" style="font-size: 30px; padding: 0.5em 1em">Click Me</button> <script type="text/javascript"> window.onload = function(){ document.getElementById("btn").onclick = function(){ var div = document.createElement(“div”); div.className = “tip”; div.innerHTML = “You clicked me!”; document.body.appendChild(div); }; }; </script>
  • A UI update must use the latest info available
  • Long-running JavaScript = Unresponsive UI
  • Responsive UI UI Thread UI Update JavaScript UI Update time
  • Unresponsive UI UI Thread UI Update JavaScript UI Update time
  • The longer JavaScript runs, the worse the user experience
  • The browser vendors know this and put limits on JavaScript via the runaway script timer
  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • Runaway Script Timer Limits • Internet Explorer: 5 million statements • Firefox: 10 seconds • Safari: 5 seconds • Chrome: Unknown, hooks into normal crash control mechanism • Opera: none
  • Does JIT compiling help?
  • Interpreted JavaScript UI Thread Interpret time
  • JITed JavaScript (1st Run) UI Thread Compile Execute time
  • JITed JavaScript (After 1st Run) UI Thread Execute time
  • How Long Is Too Long? “0.1 second [100ms] is about the limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting instantaneously, meaning that no special feedback is necessary except to display the result.” - Jakob Nielsen
  • Translation: No single JavaScript job should execute for more than 100ms to ensure a responsive UI
  • Recommendation: Limit JavaScript execution to no more than 50ms measured on IE6 :)
  • Techniques Ways to ensure JavaScript doesn't run away
  • function processArray(items, process, callback){ for (var i=0,len=items.length; i < len; i++){ process(items[i]); } callback(); }
  • Technique #1: Timers
  • //create a new timer and delay by 500ms setTimeout(function(){ //code to execute here }, 500) setTimeout() schedules a function to be added to the UI queue after a delay
  • function timedProcessArray(items, process, callback){ //create a clone of the original var todo = items.concat(); setTimeout(function(){ var start = +new Date(); do { process(todo.shift()); } while (todo.length > 0 && (+new Date() - start < 50)); if (todo.length > 0){ setTimeout(arguments.callee, 25); } else { callback(items); } }, 25); }
  • When Clicked UI Thread time UI Queue UI Update onclick UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update time UI Queue onclick UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update onclick time UI Queue UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update time UI Queue
  • After 25ms UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update time UI Queue JavaScript
  • After 25ms UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update JavaScript time UI Queue
  • After Another 25ms UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update JavaScript time UI Queue JavaScript
  • After Another 25ms UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update JavaScript JavaScript time UI Queue
  • Technique #2: Web Workers
  • Web Workers ● Asynchronous JavaScript execution ● Execution happens outside of UI thread ● Not on the UI thread = no UI delays ● Data-driven API ● Data is serialized when sending data into or out of Worker ● No access to DOM, BOM ● Completely separate execution environment
  • //in page var worker = new Worker("process.js"); worker.onmessage = function(event){ useData(event.data); }; worker.postMessage(values); //in process.js self.onmessage = function(event){ var items = event.data; for (var i=0,len=items.length; i < len; i++){ process(items[i]); } self.postMessage(items); };
  • When Clicked UI Thread time UI Queue UI Update onclick UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update time UI Queue onclick UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update onclick time UI Queue UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update onclick time Worker Thread UI Queue UI Update
  • When Clicked UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update time Worker Thread UI Queue JavaScript
  • Worker Thread Complete UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update time UI Queue onmessage
  • Worker Thread Complete UI Thread UI Update onclick UI Update onmessage time UI Queue
  • Web Workers Support 3.5 4.0 4.0 10.6
  • Repaint and Reflow Hidden performance costs of common operations
  • Long UI updates = Unresponsive UI
  • Unresponsive UI UI Thread UI Update JavaScript UI Update time
  • JavaScript can cause long UI updates by triggering repaint and reflow
  • A repaint occurs when a visual change doesn't require recalculation of layout Changes to visibility, colors (text/background), background images, etc.
  • Repaint <button id="btn" style="font-size: 30px; padding: 0.5em 1em">Click Me</button> <script type="text/javascript"> window.onload = function(){ document.getElementById("btn").onclick = function(){ this.style.color = "#ff0"; }; }; </script> Repaint!
  • A reflow occurs when a visual change requires a change in layout Initial page load ▪ browser resize ▪ DOM structure change ▪ layout style change layout information retrieved
  • Reflow <button id="btn" style="font-size: 30px; padding: 0.5em 1em">Click Me</button> <script type="text/javascript"> window.onload = function(){ document.getElementById("btn").onclick = function(){ var div = document.createElement(“div”); div.className = “tip”; div.innerHTML = “You clicked me!”; document.body.appendChild(div); }; }; </script> Reflow!
  • Repaints and reflows are queued up as JavaScript executes and then executed in order
  • Reflow var list = document.getElementsByClassName("items")[0], i, item; for (i=0; i < 10; i++){ item = document.createElement("li"); item.innerHTML = "Item #" + i; list.appendChild(item); } Reflow x 10!
  • Limiting repaints/reflows improves overall performance
  • Technique #1 Perform DOM manipulations off-document
  • Off-Document Operations • Fast because there's no repaint/reflow • Techniques: – Remove element from the document, make changes, insert back into document – Set element's display to “none”, make changes, set display back to default – Build up DOM changes on a DocumentFragment then apply all at once
  • DocumentFragment • A document-like object • Not visually represented • Considered to be owned by the document from which it was created • When passed to appendChild(), appends all of its children rather than itself
  • DocumentFragment var list = document.getElementsByClassName("items")[0], fragment = document.createDocumentFragment(), i, item; for (i=0; i < 10; i++){ item = document.createElement("li"); item.innerHTML = "Item #" + i; fragment.appendChild(item); } list.appendChild(fragment); 1 Reflow
  • Technique #2 Group Style Changes
  • Repaint! Reflow! element.style.color = "red"; element.style.height = "100px"; Reflow! element.style.fontSize = "25px"; element.style.backgroundColor = "white"; Repaint!
  • Grouping Style Changes .active { color: red; height: 100px; fontSize: 25px; background-color: white; } element.className = "active"; Reflow!
  • Grouping Style Changes var item = document.getElementById("myItem"); item.style.cssText = "color:red;height:100px;" + "font-size:25px;background-color: white"); Reflow!
  • Technique #3 Avoid Accidental Reflow
  • Accidental Reflow element.width = "100px"; var width = element.offsetWidth; Reflow!
  • What to do? • Minimize access to layout information – offsetTop, offsetLeft, offsetWidth, offsetHeight – scrollTop, scrollLeft, scrollWidth, scrollHeight – clientTop, clientLeft, clientWidth, clientHeight – Most computed styles • If a value is used more than once, store in local variable
  • Does hardware acceleration help?
  • Traditional Rendering UI Thread Compositing Drawing time
  • Hardware Acceleration UI Thread Prep Wait time Rendering info Signal complete Compositing Drawing GPU
  • Recap
  • awesome!!
  • The browser UI thread is responsible for both UI updates and JavaScript execution Only one can happen at a time
  • Responsive UI UI Thread UI Update JavaScript UI Update time
  • Unresponsive UI UI Thread UI Update JavaScript UI Update time
  • Unresponsive UI UI Thread UI Update JavaScript UI Update time
  • Avoid Slow JavaScript • Don't allow JavaScript to execute for more than 50ms • Break up long JavaScript processes using: – Timers – Web Workers
  • Avoid Long UI Updates • Be careful of repaint and reflow • Perform complex DOM operations off- document – Remove elements and re-add them – Use DocumentFragment objects • Group style changes together • Avoid accidental reflow
  • Etcetera • My blog: www.nczonline.net • My email: nzakas@yahoo-inc.com • Twitter: @slicknet • These Slides: http://slideshare.net/nzakas/presentations/ • Rate Me: http://spkr8.com/t/4511
  • Questions?
  • See ya!
  • Creative Commons Images Used • http://www.flickr.com/photos/hippie/2406411610/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/55733754@N00/3325000738/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/eurleif/255241547/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/off_the_wall/3444915939/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/3296379139/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/derekgavey/4358797365/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mulad/286641998/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/2361164281/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ottoman42/455242/