Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Hammerhead: Continuous integration for performance

Category: Performance, Utility

Steve Souders is launching Hammerhead today at The Ajax Experience.

What is Hammerhead? I kinda think of it as continuous integration for performance. It is a Firebug plugin that you can setup to monitor the performance of your application. Imagine if you add a new feature that you think will speed things up, this tool will let you know how performance was really affected.

There are also cool features when you just want to whip it up on your own Firebug:

Even if you’re not hammering a site, other features make Hammerhead a useful add-on. The Cache & Time panel, shown in Figure 3, shows the current URL’s load time. It also contains buttons to clear the disk and memory cache, or just the memory cache. It has another feature that I haven’t seen anywhere else. You can choose to have Hammerhead clear these caches after every page view. This is a nice feature for me when I’m loading the same page again and again to see it’s performance in an empty or a primed cache state. If you forget to switch this back, it gets reset automatically next time you restart Firefox.

Finally, Steve Lamm posted on the Google Code blog about testing slower connections as well as the high speed one that you are probably on, and the techniques for doing that with Hammerhead.

Steve continues to come up with small useful tools for Web developers. Thanks Steve!

Posted by Dion Almaer at 7:33 am
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This is nice but perf testing needs have extended into processes run well into the lifetime of a page. I’d love to see something like hammer built to support, for example, statistics from line A to line N marked similar to how breakpoints are marked on any loaded code accessible under firebug’s script tab.

Comment by sfrancolla — October 1, 2008

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