Help Us With the Web Browser Grand Prix Scoring System

Over the past couple of years we've implemented several reader suggestions into the Web Browser Grand Prix, such as adding the analysis tables alongside raw placing, later dropping the placing tables entirely, and de-emphasizing the winner over other strong finishers. However, one of the most frequent requests has been to incorporate some kind of points-based scoring system. One which gives added weight to the more important categories of testing, and less weight to areas that have little or no bearing on everyday real-world Web browsing.

We've received numerous emails suggesting such a system, but so far they've all been too simplistic or far too complicated (think Dungeons & Dragons rule-set). With the tenth installment of the Web Browser Grand Prix just around the corner, we think it's about time to grant this request. So, we're seeking your help.

First, let's look at the the current analysis table from which the champion is largely determined. Today the Web Browser Grand Prix has 48 individual tests which fall into the following 14 categories:


Winner
Strong
Average
Weak
Page Load Time




JavaScript




DOM




CSS




Page Load Reliability




Standards Conformance




Flash




HTML5




Startup Time




Memory Efficiency




Java




Silverlight




HTML5 Hardware Acceleration




WebGL





From here we need to rank these categories into brackets which reflect their importance to the average Web browsing experience. We've come up with the following four brackets:

Essential
Page Load Time, JavaScript, DOM, CSS, Page Load Reliability, Standards Conformance
Important
Flash, HTML5
Nonessential
Startup Time, Memory Efficiency, Java, Silverlight
Unimportant
HTML5 Hardware Acceleration, WebGL


The Essential bracket holds everything that makes up the core of what it is to browse the Web. The Important bracket includes the ubiquitous Flash plug-in and the rapidly-evolving HTML5 spec. The Nonessential bracket is for tests that could apply to any application (not just browsers) as well as the common, but lesser-used plug-ins. The Unimportant bracket is for upcoming technologies that simply aren't found in the wild, outside of testing and demo pages. While these brackets aren't set in stone and we're still open to feedback, the next step is where we really need your help.

This is where the points come in. We need to assign point values to the bracketed analysis table. There are a variety of ways to go about this. We could have a simple system where each type of finish (winner, strong, average, and weak) has a set score and a different modifier is applied to each bracket. Alternatively, we could have different point values assigned to each finish in each bracket.

Either way, there are more questions to be answered. Does an acceptable finish rate any points at all? Should weak be given negative points? Or should every type of finish in every bracket merit some points? How much of a bonus does the winner deserve over the strong finishers? Et cetera, et cetera.

Testing for the tenth installment of the Web Browser Grand Prix is complete - this one has a twist, and it's not what you'd think. Give us your feedback on the scoring system in the comments below so we can declare a champion. The outcome of Web Browser Grand Prix 10 is up to you!

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  • annymmo
    The most important things of course if it does what it should do in the first place:
    page reliability and correctness.
    Speed always comes after that.

    Features and WIP are something that is about correctness.
    Maybe give a feature categorie divided in essential and experimental???
    14
  • Other Comments
  • Trewyy
    First of all, I think your importance system is terribly flawed and wrong. Here is the revised system I recommend:

    Essential: Page Load Time, CSS, Page Load Reliability, HTML5, Startup Time, Memory Efficiency
    Important: Flash, JavaScript, DOM, Standards Conformance
    Nonessential: Java, Silverlight
    Unimportant: HTML5 Hardware Acceleration, WebGL

    The importance system you had was based on what developers and power users are interested in. What is in important is how the main user experiences the browser. The main user doesn't care about things like Standard Conformance and DOM. They want their webpage to load beautifully and fast.

    I will not post a points recommendation until you make your importance scheme actually make sense. Your old scheme is far better than this new one you propose.

    Robert
    5
  • annymmo
    The most important things of course if it does what it should do in the first place:
    page reliability and correctness.
    Speed always comes after that.

    Features and WIP are something that is about correctness.
    Maybe give a feature categorie divided in essential and experimental???
    14
  • MooseMuffin
    trewyyFirst of all, I think your importance system is terribly flawed and wrong. Here is the revised system I recommend:Essential: Page Load Time, CSS, Page Load Reliability, HTML5, Startup Time, Memory EfficiencyImportant: Flash, JavaScript, DOM, Standards ConformanceNonessential: Java, SilverlightUnimportant: HTML5 Hardware Acceleration, WebGLThe importance system you had was based on what developers and power users are interested in. What is in important is how the main user experiences the browser. The main user doesn't care about things like Standard Conformance and DOM. They want their webpage to load beautifully and fast.I will not post a points recommendation until you make your importance scheme actually make sense. Your old scheme is far better than this new one you propose.Robert


    I thought this was a website for power users. I start my browser like once per reboot and leave it open forever. I don't care how long it takes to start up. My system has plenty of memory, so I'm not terribly concerned about efficiency either. What I care about is if using browser x will result in the page displaying quickly and correctly, which is why load time/standards conformance/dom/js belong at the top.
    7