Firefox/Projects/Crowdsource Performance Data
Crowdsource the collection of Firefox performance data.
We're busy making new Talos tests with more realistic profiles, but we should also enable users to easily contribute data that captures their experiences with Firefox performance. I'm thinking specifically of startup perf, but any area we'd like to target is a candidate. People send crash reports; why not perf reports?
- Such data captures not the performance of a small number of "realistic" profiles but rather the performance of a large number of real profiles.
- Users who experience performance issues tend often to get angry and vocal about it. We can judo that. Enabling people to submit perf data turns them from helpless users into motivated contributors. Plus, it's a small way to let them vent.
- The problem of sample skew is interesting in this case. I suspect that the majority of opt-ins would be 1) people experiencing perf problems and 2) tech-savvy people who opt-in to surveys like this and therefore tend to use Firefox to its fullest, with lots of add-ons, history, tabs, etc. These are exactly the people that can help us the most. We'd probably get an upper-bound picture.
- If we can collect data from lots of people, we can collect it from one person. Any one user reporting unusual symptoms can be directed to submit her data, and support people (or perhaps automated systems) can look over it for obvious problems.
The Internets sometimes (and sometimes unfairly) slam Firefox for being slow compared to other browsers. The vibrant Mozilla community is our competitive advantage over other browsers. We can leverage it here.