Web Performance Journal #01

Dawn Parzych

Web Performance

As an avid reader, I am always looking for interesting articles or books to read. My Goodreads to-read list is currently at 48 and the list of work related articles and blogs I want to read is currently at 13. On a regular basis I’d love to share with you interesting items I have read in relation to the web performance space. These can be articles that were forwarded to me, I found on Twitter (follow me @dparzych), or I stumbled upon in some other manner.

Here are some items that piqued my interest during January (this is not a comprehensive list of interesting articles, just a sample).

Website Obesity Crisis

Macieg Ceglwoski at Idlewords posted the text of a speech he made regarding website obesity. People that know me, knew this would interest me - I think it was forwarded to me by at least 3 different people. The article is long but it is definitely worth a read or if you don’t want to read you can watch the video of him delivering the talk. The speech includes real world examples of the problem, solutions that have been proposed, and what we need to do to ensure the web maintains its accessibility.

F5’s State of Application Delivery

For the second year in a row F5 has published a report on the state of application delivery, this year expanding the respondents globally. The survey asked about 24 application services pertaining to availability, security, identity & access, performance and mobility. From a performance perspective a few of the findings surprised me. In 2016 I would expect that nearly every web application takes advantage of common optimizations like caching and compression, it was surprising to hear that only 50% of respondents currently have some form of caching deployed and even fewer are using compression (42%). On the positive side, only 8% of respondents were willing to trade the performance of their applications for a more secure network.

Browser News

Lots of news on the browser front, from Internet Explorer terminating support for IE 8, 9 & 10 to the announcement of a new browser. The end of support for Internet Explorer marks an interesting time as this is the first time in many years that Microsoft has not provided support for multiple browsers. Newer browsers generally load pages faster than older browsers as they are able to take advantage new technologies such as the timing specifications (navigation, user and resource), prefetch and HTTP/2.

While support for 3 browsers ended a new browser emerged on the scene. Former Mozilla CEO, Brandon Eich, launched Brave. Brave is designed to make the web faster & more secure by blocking ads and trackers that can impact a site’s performance. Brave claims that sites can load up to 60% faster with ads and tracking cookies blocked. I haven’t yet tested these claims out myself but am interested in doing so soon.

Page data and load time with and without tracking and ads allowed

New Compression Algorithm

Brotli compression ratio. 25% HTTPS, 75% HTTP

Brotli has been around for a few months, but there was an uptick in conversations regarding it in January as Google announced that it is now ready to be rolled out and Firefox will also be supporting it soon. Brotli provides higher compression ratios over traditional algorithms than As was the case with SPDY, Brotli will only be available on applications that communicate over HTTPS to get past proxies without being decoded incorrectly and breaking the application. This requirement has raised some questions, as today the majority of sites do not use HTTPS, as shown from HttpArchive.

Come across an interesting article/anecdote? Share it with me @dparzych.

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