Yahoo’s Boomerang is one of the most interesting and innovative projects I’ve discovered recently. Developers often test the performance of pages and scripts using tools such as Firebug and YSlow. The tools can typically measure load times and latency to ensure your pages remain responsive.
Unfortunately, you can never be certain your lab testing represents conditions in the real world. You might be using Chrome on a new Mac Book connected to a 100Mb broadband pipe, but what if the majority of your users are sitting on the other side of the world using IE4 on Windows 98 with a dial-up connection? (OK, it’s unlikely, but you get the idea!)
You should note that Boomerang isn’t an install-and-go solution like YSlow — you need to define your own testing parameters, storage and reports. However, I suspect easy-to-use hosted versions of the application will appear in the near future.
Would you find Boomerang useful? Will you try it on your systems?
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.