Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Practice

Idle-Time Garbage-Collection Scheduling


Idle-Time Garbage- Collection Scheduling, illustration

back to top 

Google's Chrome web browser strives to deliver a smooth user experience. An animation will update the screen at 60FPS (frames per second), giving Chrome approximately 16.6 milliseconds to perform the update. Within these 16.6ms, all input events have to be processed, all animations have to be performed, and finally the frame has to be rendered. A missed deadline will result in dropped frames. These are visible to the user and degrade the user experience. Such sporadic animation artifacts are referred to here as jank.3

JavaScript, the lingua franca of the Web, is typically used to animate Web pages. It is a garbage-collected programming language where the application developer does not have to worry about memory management. The garbage collector interrupts the application to pass over the memory allocated by the application, determine live memory, free dead memory, and compact memory by moving objects closer together. While some of these garbage-collection phases can be performed in parallel or concurrently to the application, others cannot, and as a result they may cause application pauses at unpredictable times. Such pauses may result in user-visible jank or dropped frames; therefore, we go to great lengths to avoid such pauses when animating Web pages in Chrome.


 

No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account
ACM Resources