about:internets

This is what you see when you visit about:internets. This is freaking awesome.

Years ago there was an idea to include the kitchen sink in Mozilla (you can view it here, not sure if that works in IE). It was a good idea considering it had everything else at the time.

I initially thought it was written using <canvas/>. I tried the typical view-source:, but in this case it doesn’t seem to work. The performance was really smooth with minimal CPU, more than <canvas/> typically allows. Now I was curious.

Then looking at the source it became obvious in about 0.1 seconds:

PathService::Get(base::DIR_SYSTEM, &path);
file_util::AppendToPath(&path, L"sspipes.scr");

It’s using the actual Windows screensaver (which is why it doesn’t work in Vista I presume). I hope for the Mac and Linux port they bundle jwz’s excellent XScreenSaver. Due to jwz’s impact in browsers and open source, I think there would be even better easter egg. From a quick look at the code it seems it’s not hard to do since every tab is it’s own process, it’s essentially just running the process inside the view.

For those who don’t understand why this is all so amusing, read this Wikipedia article about the “Series of Tubes“. It will only kill a small percentage of brain cells since it’s just the Wikipedia article explaining it. There are other Tubes references as I mentioned last night.

Thanks to those who left a comment in my last post for pointing this out.

By the way, check out Brendan’s post on TraceMonkey performance. He did a better comparison at actual JS performance. I only looked at selectors really quick.