Google Launches JavaScript Test Suite Sputnik
Article by George Norman
On 01 Jul 2009
The development team behind Chrome, Google’s take on how a web browser should look and feel, has announced the release of a new open-source JavaScript testing and performance suite called Sputnik. The main purpose of Google’s Sputnik is to identify how JavaScript implementations adhere to the 3rd edition of the ECMA-262 specification, and in order to achieve this goal it encompasses more than 5000 comprehensive tests – tests that address every aspect of the JavaScript language. Sputnik has been released under the BSD license, as an open source project.

“Soon after the V8 project started we also began work on what would become the Sputnik tests. The goal was to create a test suite based directly on the language spec that checked the behavior of every object, function and individual algorithm in the language. The task was given to a team in Russia – hence the name "Sputnik" – which went about systematically producing tests. As the test suite grew we used it to ensure that V8 conformed to the spec and to detect unexpected changes in our behavior,” commented Google Software Engineer, Christian Plesner Hansen.


When Google launched the V8 project, the team behind it soon discovered that not all tests should be passed by all implementations. It is a hard lesson to lean, but sometimes in order to be compatible with the web you have to be incompatible with the spec. What the Google team wants to use Sputnik for is to identify differences between various implementations.

Christian Plesner Hansen again: “One of the biggest challenges for web developers today is the many incompatibilities between browsers. Finding these differences is the first step towards removing them. In an ideal world web developers would not have to worry about which browser is being used to view their site and users would not have to worry about whether a site supported their browser. We hope the Sputnik tests will make the browser community take another step towards making that a reality.”

If you would like to get started with Sputnik, you can visit the official web page here.

Tags: Google, Sputnik, JavaScript, Test
About the author: George Norman
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