woensdag 25 februari 2009

Safari 4 public beta: benchmark time!

Today Apple released the latest version of their browser: Safari 4. It's only a public beta but with an impressive list of new features including a JavaScript engine that is 4.5 times faster than the previous Safari version, I couldn't resist: benchmark time!

For this benchmark I used the webkit SunSpider benchmark. This benchmark only tests the core JavaScript language, not the DOM or other browser APIs. Looking at the current RIA trend this makes sense: more and more of the application logic (and therefore data structure) is being run inside the browser, so core data structure manipulation will become much more important in the future.

The benchmark runs a couple of tests that consist of crypto and 3d calculations, some bit operations, string and date manipulations, recursion, and object access tests. It returns the time it took to complete each test and the sum of all the tests is the overall score. Here is an example of one of my runs on safari 4 (time in milliseconds). 

For the benchmark I used my Dell latitude D830, running Windows XP. I tested the following 5 browsers:

- The new Safari 4

- Google Chrome 1.0

- IE 7

- IE 6

- Firefox 3.0

- Opera 9.6

After running the same test 5 times in each of the browsers I found the following results (lower bar is better)

In my very non-scientific tests the new Safari 4 is just a fraction faster than Google Chrome and about 2.2 times faster than Firefox and Opera. But it's much much faster than IE6 and IE7: a whopping 13 times on my machine.

Apple itself claims to be 3 times faster than Firefox and even 30 times faster than IE7, using SunSpider and iBench as benchmarks. My findings where not this extreme, but impressive nonetheless.

I guess Google's goal to raise the bar on JavaScript performance was a success. With their dependance on fast JavaScript for all their cloud apps I guess they are the ones that will be most pleased with this new version of Safari.

Oh, and don't forget our ultimate benchmark. Yeah baby!

dinsdag 17 februari 2009

Afstudeerverslag: Data Streaming

Alex Kasabov (2008)

What mechanisms are available to push data updates, resulting from a back-end model data changes, directly to (thin or thick) client applications that are connected to, or interested in updates? Which of these can be used in a Flash/Flex and Java Enterprise Edition-based environment, and how to keep only a loose coupling with the model when retro-applying them?

These questions were faced by graduation student Alex Kasabov from Bulgaria, who dived into the subject and researched and prototyped technologies like BlazeDS, LiveCycle Data Services, WebORB and the connectivity with an Enterprise Java Beans 3 model through JMS (Java Messaging Service). Alex demonstrated his approach and findings by integrating push-datastreams with ISAAC's Personal Time Management software. The prototype made use of JBoss as an application server, JBoss MS, and BlazeDS from Adobe. Alex finished his project in July 2008 with an in-depth presentation at ISAAC.

Due to the technical depth and insight, well-performed research and excellent reporting on his graduation project, Alex was rewarded with a 9 as graduation mark.

Download graduation report

woensdag 11 februari 2009

Afstudeerverslag: Dashboard Development

Merijn Bertels (2009)

In iedere organisatie spelen de vragen "Hoe gaat het met proces X?" of "Hebben we de afgelopen drie maanden beter gepresteerd op gebied Y?". Deze vraagstukken dienen voor een efficiƫnt beslissingsproces zo snel mogelijk te worden beantwoord. Merijn heeft voor Loyalty Lab een systeem ontworpen dat de belangrijkste indicatoren van de organisatie meet, de Key Performance Indicatoren (KPI). Het systeem meet periodiek de performance van de organisatie en presenteert deze in een overzichtelijk dashboard. Via deze manier is het mogelijk om management informatie snel beschikbaar te stellen.
De afstudeerstage bestond uit twee fases:

· Fase 1 : Inventariseren van indicatoren bij Loyalty Lab en deze vertalen naar KPI's.

· Fase 2 : Het realiseren van een proof-of-concept dashboard.

Merijn heeft zijn afstudeerstage voor BI op de Fontys Hogeschool Eindhoven in janauri afgerond. Hij gaat vrolijk een volgende studie volgen op de TU/e.

Download afstudeerverslag