Visual warning for slow B2G transaction landed

With the landing of bug 1055050, if you turn on the FPS counter on mobile you will now notice a rectangle around the screen edge to warning you that a transaction was out of budget.

  • The visual warning will appear if a transaction took over 200ms from start to finish.
  • Yellow indicates the transaction took over 200ms.
  • Orange will indicate the transaction took about 500ms.
  • Red will indicate the transaction is about 1000ms or over.

What’s a transaction?

It’s running the rendering pipeline and includes (1) Running request animation frame and other refresh observers, (2) Flushing pending style changes, (3) Flushing and reflow any pending layout changes, (4) Building a display list, (5) Culling, (6) Updating the layer tree, (7) Sending the final to the compositor, (8) Syncing resources with the GPU. It does NOT include compositing which isn’t part of the main thread transaction. It does not warn for other events like slow running JS events.

Why is this important?

A transaction, just like any other gecko event, blocks the main thread. This means that anything else queued and waiting to be service will be delayed. This means that many things on the page/app will be delayed like: animations, typing, canvas, js callbacks, timers, the next frame.

Why 200ms?

200ms is already very high. If we want anything in the app to run at 60 FPS that doesn’t use a magical async path then any event taking 16ms or more will cause noticeable stutter. However we’re starting with a 200ms threshold to focus on the bigger items first.

How do I fix a visual warning?

The warning as just provided as a visual tool.

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