[whatwg] Script loading and execution order for importScripts

Oliver Hunt oliver at apple.com
Sat Mar 7 01:40:04 PST 2009

On Mar 7, 2009, at 1:20 AM, ben turner wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 6, 2009 at 8:40 PM, Oliver Hunt <oliver at apple.com> wrote:
>> In all honesty i'm not sure which is the better approach as the spec
>> approach requires developers to manually handle the potential for  
>> partial
>> library execution, but the Mozilla approach removes the ability to  
>> load and
>> execute scripts in parallel, which may cause latency problems.
> You are half-correct :)
> Currently we load all scripts in parallel and then _compile_ each
> script as soon as it has finished loading (which can be in any order).
> We do not _execute_ them, however, until all loading and compilation
> have completed successfully, and then we execute them in the order of
> the arguments passed to importScripts.
> You're right that this is different from the behavior described in the
> spec... I was supposed to mail this list a while ago and completely
> forgot, many apologies. We felt that our approach was a good
> compromise between executing only some of the scripts and executing
> each script as soon as possible. We are certainly open to any better
> alternatives. Do other JS engines have support for separating the
> compilation and the execution of scripts?

If by "compilation" you mean you're (effectively) just doing a syntax  
check then webkit is able to this, although it has a reasonable cost  
associated with it, but then i have a vague hope that the work being  
offloaded onto workers is more substantial than the work the engine is  
putting into parsing.

So in effect, there are 3 steps that mozilla currently takes:
1. for (url in arguments)
         absoluteUrl = resolve(url);
         if (!isValid(absoluteUrl)) throw SYNTAX_ERR
2. for (url in absoluteUrls)
         script = loadScript(url)
         if (!isValidSyntax(script))
            throw SYNTAX_ERR;
3. for (script in scripts)

While the loads in (2) can be done in parallel, i do not believe that  
the syntax checking can occur in parallel as the syntax error that can  
be thrown represents an observable side effect, and thus load  
completion order could result in different exceptions being thrown  
(syntax error on file2.js vs. file1.js)

In general i think i prefer this model, despite the fact that we end  
up not being able to execute js while waiting for later scripts to  
load, it's seems much more reasonable to give not have side effects if  
any of the resources has a basic non-execution dependent fault.

> -Ben

More information about the whatwg mailing list