RoboHornet’s nest

Paul Irish recently announced that the RoboHornet browser benchmarking tool is being open-sourced. This is great news!

RoboHornet is designed to avoid the selective dick-measuring that characterises so many benchmarking results touted by browser vendors in their marketing spiel. Instead, the criteria that RoboHornet tests against are decided by developers like you and me. It’s like Stack Overflow for browser performance.

Sadly, Roger Capriotti from Microsoft used the announcement as an opportunity to engage in even more swaggering selective dick-measuring. Bizarrely, he seems to have completely misunderstood how RoboHornet works. Repeatedly mischaracterising it as “micro-framework”, he takes it to task as a tool that “only focuses on specific aspects of browser performance” …completely glossing over the fact that those “specific aspects” are chosen by us, the developers who build the websites that the browsers are supposed to render.

Instead, he chooses “a real-world scenario” …imitating the scrolling text effect seen in the 1999 movie The Matrix, concluding:

This is a great example of why we have consistently said real-world performance matters when evaluating a browser.

WAT?

But, y’know, the risible example and complete misrepresentation of RoboHornet isn’t what bothers me about the post. It’s the tone. I’ve had it with this sort of sniping, mean-spirited, playground politics. This does not move the web forward. This does not make a more beautiful web.

On the plus side, crap like this makes you appreciate the professionalism of the people working on Firefox, Chrome and Opera (Apple, of course, dodges the issue entirely by having absolutely zero developer relations when it comes to their browser).

Don’t get me wrong: there are very, very good people working on Internet Explorer at Microsoft. But they’re not the ones writing petulant blog posts. I feel bad for them. If Roger Capriotti—whose job title is “Director, Internet Explorer Marketing”—is supposed to be speaking for them, he is letting them down badly.

Have you published a response to this? :