Editorial: To Benchmark, or Not to Benchmark?

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You might have seen some headlines recently about Google’s plans to retire their Octane JavaScript benchmark suite. If you’re not aware of this or didn’t read past the headline, let me briefly recap. Google introduced Octane to replace the industry-standard SunSpider benchmark. SunSpider was created by Apple’s Safari team and was one of the first JavaScript benchmarks. There were two problems with SunSpider. First of all, it was based on microbenchmarks (think testing the creation of a new array thousands of times) which didn’t reflect real-world usage very accurately. Secondly, SunSpider rankings came to carry a lot of weight among…
Editorial: To Benchmark, or Not to Benchmark?