Collected thoughts about software and site performance ...

Web performance matters. Responsive sites can make the online experience effective, even enjoyable. A slow site can be unusable. This site is about online performance, how to achieve and maintain it, its impact on user experience, and ultimately on site effectiveness.

Home | Entries about Rich Internet Applications (16), in reverse date order:

jQuery Library Performance Alert

Illustration: jQuery logo

Recently I've been doing a lot Web design and development work, using the Squarespace platform, a "A fully hosted, completely managed environment for creating and maintaining a website, blog or portfolio." I like Squarespace because it is xhtml/CSS based and lets me focus on a site's content and appearance. I get great performance and never have to deal with installing and managing any Web server software. Normally ...

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Web Analytics Vendors Adapt to Web 2.0

Illustration: Web Analytics Report

Most hosted Web Analytics vendors charge you according to page views -- not unreasonable since each view is a call to their server and a new record in their database. But what happens when Ajax and other rich applications eliminate the notion of a "page"?

That's from Web 2.0 Changes Web Analytics Pricing Models, a recent post by Phil Kemelor in CMP's Intelligent Enterprise Weblog. Describing how he sees Web Analytics (WA) vendors adapting to Web 2.0, Phil continues ...

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Improving Web 2.0 Application Performance

Illustration: Monitor and AJAX

Last week, TechTarget published an article by Patrick Lightbody about the performance of Web 2.0 applications. The article's technical core -- which I review below -- is a useful checklist of ten recommendations for developing and testing Web 2.0 applications with performance in mind.

For the full article, see Ten ways to improve testing, performance of Web 2.0 applications.

Because I believe in systematic performance engineering, I am always pleased when writers advocate proactive approaches to application performance. It's the only rational way to ensure acceptable performance in production applications. So it's too bad that Patrick feels the need to justify his good advice by surrounding it with an introduction and conclusion that suffers from all the worst features of Web 2.0 coverage. A few half-truths are buried in an amalgam of excessive hype, false claims, meaningless analysis, and an optimism that underestimates the real technical challenges.

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Ajax Performance Management

Illustration: Monitor and AJAX

In my post on Ajax Wisdom, I reviewed the progress of Ajax against the Gartner Hype Cycle, concluding that Ajax had not yet advanced beyond the Trough of Disillusionment. I referred to Michael Mahemoff's recent post about Ajax concerns as just one piece of evidence.

Michael responded (see the comments) that the mere existence of concerns does not indicate anything, because any viable technology has outstanding problems to be solved. To judge Ajax I should really look at the progress that has already been made in solving problems. So let's do that ...

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Understanding Web Usability

Illustration: Ryan Stewart

One of the great things about the Web has always been its democratic nature. Anyone can participate. But once you do, your contributions are wide open to public scrutiny. Good or bad, someone will evaluate your Web content. ... And an unpopular opinion can produce flaming responses, as Ryan Stewart of ZDNet (pictured above) found out last week.

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Yahoo! on Web Page Performance

Illustration: Monitor and AJAX

A recent post by Tenni Theurer, who works in a performance team at Yahoo!, appeared in the Yahoo! User Interface Blog. The post begins with the claim that ... most of web page performance is affected by front-end engineering, that is, the user interface design and development.

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Reporting Web Application Responsiveness

Illustration: Monitor and AJAX

In a previous post, I discussed some complications of measuring Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). In particular, I concluded that to report useful measurements of the user experience of response times, …

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RIA White Paper and Wikipedia

Illustration: RIA white paper

Blogging has taken a backseat to other activities for a couple of months, so I have some Performance Matters to report.

RIA white paper

Following publication of the seventh in my earlier series of posts about managing Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), I reworked most of that material into a single paper.

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Alistair Croll on Ajax

Illustration: Alistair Croll

Because of my particular interest in software performance optimization and related performance management topics, I often search the Web to see what people are writing about performance. And even though there are always new things to find, it seems to be getting harder to locate them.

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Managing RIA's [7]: Developing Usable RIA's

Illustration: Monitor and AJAX

This is the seventh post in a series devoted to the challenges of Service Level Management (SLM) for Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). In these applications, some processing is transferred to the Web client while some remains on the application server.

Previous posts introduced the subject and the SLM topics I plan to address, reviewed the principal RIA technologies, introduced The RIA Behavior Model, introduced the application measurement topic and discussed RIA measurement challenges.

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