Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Slow onclick Javascript handling in Google Chrome 5.0.375.55

Google's Chrome has been a pretty slick browser, and it's speed was the primary reason it became my default browser. The V8 Javascript engine supposedly blows other engines out of the water, and it did feel noticeably faster than others - until this latest version.

Sometime last week, my version of Chrome was auto updated to 5.0.375.55, and I noticed that the website I've been developing became terribly slow. Because of a previous Chrome bug, I hadn't migrated my site from jQuery 1.3 to 1.4, so one of the first things I did was verify the fix and then update my site to use the newer, faster jQuery. As I began testing, I noticed a significant reduction in performance of some features on my site.

Initially I suspected it had something to do with jQuery upgrade. After a few hours of changing things around, I was pretty convinced the problem wasn't jQuery 1.4. I noticed that Firefox and even IE 8 didn't exhibit this latency, so now I started to suspect the new version of Chrome. I hacked up a couple of test pages, and I think I found the culprit. It looks like the onclick handler's performance degrades with the size of the HTML page, resulting in a very noticeable (1-2 second) lag once you have a table with 3000/4000 rows. Firefox and IE 8 don't seem to have any trouble handling this.

I've logged Issues 45620 in the Chromium project with details and a repro to track this problem. This definitely isn't good news for me - with growing adoption of Chrome and general perception that Chrome is the fastest browser, problems like these make website look faulty even when they might not be.

As an aside, I have noticed that Chrome feels like it has regressions more often than other browsers (perhaps a function of shipping more often?) I've run into several issues developing for Chrome - the silver lining is that bug fixes are quicker than rival browsers, but better QA before release would certainly help developers.

Other Chromium issues that I've had trouble with and have had to work around are Issue 7771, Issue 30693, Issue 33411 and Issue 36559.

Update: An comment on Issue 45620 identifies one of the reasons for the slowdown and a workaround.


david said...


I have experience the same problem with my javascript execution in chrome.

Right now I have a version like this:
18.0.1025.142 m

Do you know if there is a solution to this problem???

Thanks for your post.


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