I wrote the original tests and implementation for XMLHttpRequest's timeout feature. Since then, there's been a number of intermittent failures because timeouts are inherently not guaranteed to run in the order of the delay you set them by. I've been thinking for a while that while the timeout feature itself relies on a certain number of milliseconds passing, the Promises API may provide a more reliable manner of scheduling the exercising of other features (resetting the timeout, or calling abort early, for instance). Promises were much less mature when I wrote the original feature and tests, and I certainly didn't know very much about them, if anything.
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