PubSubJS vs. jQuery custom events

JavaScript performance comparison

Revision 6 of this test case created by Andrew Betts


An attempt at showing that PubSubJS is faster than using jQuery custom evens for publish/subscribe style messaging.

It's certainly not as rich in features, and I am happy with that.

Introducing PubSubJS

Preparation code

<script src="//"></script>
<script src=""></script>
  var callback1 = function(event) {
    return false;
  var callback2 = function() {};
  var payload = {
   somekey: 'some value'
  var body;
  var someJqueryObject = $({});
  // let's use jQuery.ready to make sure that the DOM is ready,
  // before trying to work with it
  jQuery(function() {
   // we'll use the body element to exchange messages for jQuery
   // if using deeper nested elements, jQuery will be slower, as custom events bubble
   body = $('body');
   // subscribe our callback1 function to the custom event for jQuery, only once
   body.bind('my-event', callback1);
   // subscribe our callback1 function to the custom event for the plain jQuery object (non-DOM)
   someJqueryObject.bind('my-event', callback1);
   // subscribe our callback2 function to the message for PubSub
   PubSub.subscribe('my-event', callback2)
   // Use document instead of 'body' as the anchor for custom events
   doc = $(document)

Preparation code output

Test runner

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Testing in unknown unknown
Test Ops/sec
jQuery DOM - trigger
body.trigger('my-event', payload);
jQuery Object - trigger
someJqueryObject.trigger('my-event', payload);
PubSub - publish - asyncronous
PubSub.publish('my-event', payload);
PubSub - publish - syncronous
PubSub.publish('my-event', payload, true);
jQuery document - trigger
doc.trigger('my-event', payload);

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1 comment

Andrew Betts (revision owner) commented :

Added a test for jQuery custom events using the document object rather than an element. Basically equivalent to using an element, but worth including as many tutorials on custom events advise firing the event on the document object.

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