Windows XP bests OS X in RIA test on Intel

'Kinda like Acid3 on speed'


A benchmark test for rich internet application (RIA) frameworks claims Apple's OS X lags Microsoft's Windows XP on Intel when rendering HTML, being just over half as fast.

Sean Christmann, an experience architect at user interface specialist EffectiveUI, released the GUIMark benchmark following concerns over the lack of a proper test to compare RIA frameworks and technologies such as Adobe Systems' Flex and Flash, Java's Swing, Microsoft's Silverlight and good, old HTML.

EffectiveUI specializes in building RIAs and numbers eBay, Ford, Discovery Channel and United Airlines among its clients.

Christmann, an experienced user interface designer who led the development team for eBay's Desktop, tested a range of RIA frameworks on an Intel-based MacBook Pro under Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.5 and found that XP consistently outperformed OS X.

"I’ve been surprised with the results so far between WinXP and OS X. On the same machine it's very clear which vendors take more advantage of the underlying hardware," Christmann said.

While he acknowledged that software developers have put more effort into optimizing Windows versions of their products, he speculated that the Mac's APIs might be obstructing faster processing.

"The results for the different plug-in technologies aren’t too surprising since it’s regularly admitted that most companies spend their optimization time on Windows due to its larger install base. This argument doesn’t hold any water though when comparing HTML rendering on Safari/Mac against IE/Windows where there’s roughly a 1.6:1 advantage to the IE team. I can’t help but wonder if the core APIs on the Mac platform are creating any unnecessary roadblocks."

Christmann said GUIMark was devised as “kinda like Acid3 on speed” specifically to see how smoothly RIA runtime frameworks can render an animated design.

Despite the rapid spread of RIAs on the web, comparative benchmark tests are only in their early stages of development. The best known is Bubblemark a simple test that uses a screen of bouncing balls to test RIA capability.

Chet Haase, previously a member of Sun Microsystems' Java client group and now working on Adobe’s Flex, along with James Ward, Adobe’s Flex technical evangelist, last month highlighted Bubblemark's limitations. Christmann's decision to build GUIMark was, in part, a response to this.

Ward himself offers a RIA benchmark called Census that "benchmarks how quickly an application can get data from a server, parse that data, and render the data in a datagrid".

While we have many options, though, a single test suite everyone could buy in to would help when it comes to building and testing RIAs for multiple platforms and browsers. A commonly agreed suite is important, given the fast rollout of technologies from Microsoft, Adobe and others, and the challenges they create in development and interoperability given standards bodies are unable to keep pace

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Heart FM's borkfast show – a fine way to start your day

    Jamie and Amanda have a new co-presenter to contend with

    There can be few things worse than Microsoft Windows elbowing itself into a presenting partnership, as seen in this digital signage for the Heart breakfast show.

    For those unfamiliar with the station, Heart is a UK national broadcaster with Global as its parent. It currently consists of a dozen or so regional stations with a number of shows broadcast nationally. Including a perky breakfast show featuring former Live and Kicking presenter Jamie Theakston and Britain's Got Talent judge, Amanda Holden.

    Continue reading
  • Think your phone is snooping on you? Hold my beer, says basic physics

    Information wants to be free, and it's making its escape

    Opinion Forget the Singularity. That modern myth where AI learns to improve itself in an exponential feedback loop towards evil godhood ain't gonna happen. Spacetime itself sets hard limits on how fast information can be gathered and processed, no matter how clever you are.

    What we should expect in its place is the robot panopticon, a relatively dumb system with near-divine powers of perception. That's something the same laws of physics that prevent the Godbot practically guarantee. The latest foreshadowing of mankind's fate? The Ethernet cable.

    By itself, last week's story of a researcher picking up and decoding the unintended wireless emissions of an Ethernet cable is mildly interesting. It was the most labby of lab-based demos, with every possible tweak applied to maximise the chances of it working. It's not even as if it's a new discovery. The effect and its security implications have been known since the Second World War, when Bell Labs demonstrated to the US Army that a wired teleprinter encoder called SIGTOT was vulnerable. It could be monitored at a distance and the unencrypted messages extracted by the radio pulses it gave off in operation.

    Continue reading
  • What do you mean you gave the boss THAT version of the report? Oh, ****ing ****balls

    Say what you mean

    NSFW Who, Me? Ever written that angry email and accidentally hit send instead of delete? Take a trip back to the 1990s equivalent with a slightly NSFW Who, Me?

    Our story, from "Matt", flings us back the best part of 30 years to an era when mobile telephones were the preserve of the young, upwardly mobile professionals and fixed lines ruled the roost for more than just your senior relatives.

    Back then, Matt was working for a UK-based fixed-line telephone operator. He was dealing with a telephone exchange which served a relatively large town. "I ran a reasonably ordinary, read-only command to interrogate a specific setting," he told us.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021