A little over a year ago, Steve Souders put together a presentation about a web page timing framework called Episodes. I guess very early in Souders career at Google either he asked to write about the idea or someone got the bug in his ear. Either way, Souders appears to be one of the only people out there talking about Episodes. My personal belief is that when Souders speaks, we should all listen.
According to Souders…
Episodes is a web performance measurement framework that solves these issues. It has the following key features:
- Supports measuring Web 2.0 applications by having the timing instrumentation integrated with the application’s client code.
- Separates the instrumentation from the data collection. This reduces the work for the application developer, allows multiple services to consume and report the information, and results in a lighter weight implementation.
- Is Open Source, gathering the best practices from across the industry without bias to any company or organization.
- Provides a single framework that can be used by web developers, tool developers, browser developers, and web metrics service providers.
The goal is to make Episodes the industrywide solution for measuring web page load times. his is possible because Episodes has benefits for all the stakeholders. Web developers only need to learn and deploy a single framework. Tool developers and web metrics service providers get more accurate timing information by relying on instrumentation inserted by the developer of the web page. Browser developers gain insight into what’s happening in the web page by relying on the context relayed by Episodes.
Most importantly, users benefit by the adoption of Episodes. They get a browser that can better inform them of the web page’s status for Web 2.0 apps. Since Episodes is a lighter weight design than other instrumentation frameworks, users get faster pages. As Episodes makes it easier for web developers to shine a light on performance issues, the end result is an Internet experience that is faster for everyone.What I find interesting about the idea is the programmatic nature of embedding a timing framework into a web request. This is not new, in fact Jiffy was one of the first to do such a thing. Either framework in my opinion is worth investigating.
I haven’t seen much web traffic on either Jiffy or Episodes in a while, so I ended up sending a quick note to Steve Souders to get his perspective on what’s happening next with either framework. Hopefully he will respond…
Either way I would love for us to investigate…