Andy Davies

Independent Web Performance Consultant

The Need for Speed... Why Slow Page Load Times Matter

About a week ago, I did a presentation at BarCamp Stroud on why page load times matter and things that can be done to improve them.

It was fun to present and share what I’d learnt on a topic I’d spent a lot of time investigating and implementing for a WebApp I run (got quite a few things still left to do)

Here’s the presentation for anyone who’s interested, and there will probably more as I’ve already made some notes on other things to cover.

.net and ISA Server - Reducing Bandwidth Consumption

Earlier this year I came across some problems with some .net resources not being cached by ISA Server (.net and ISA Server - a match made in hell?)

The problem in a nutshell is that by default ISA Server doesn’t cache URLs that have query parameters, and the method .net uses to serve static resources that are bundled in .dlls relies on query parameters.

When .net uses the Microsoft AJAX framework, script elements like the one below are inserted into the page

<script src="ScriptResource.axd?d=ki7GLYn2P5z-CEtE0SsvKYJhnTEkD13edwjg24cmxWe4aD03WzKyGXQD45nYCFy70&t=633178683580000000" type="text/javascript"></script>

After looking at some of the lastest developments in .net 4.0 I discovered that ScriptManager could be used to serve out static versions of the AJAX framework (even in versions of .net before 4.0).

.net and ISA Server - a Match Made in Hell?

I’ve been looking at the bandwidth consumption of a .net based webapp and working with the developers to implement many of the common recommendations for improving front-end performance - minifying, gzipping, cache-control headers etc - we’ve noticed some improvements in performance but we’ve also noticed some oddities.

.net has the ability to embed static resources e.g. javascript, css etc., in a .dll and then these can be served to the browser using a special handler - ScriptResource.axd for the Microsoft AJAX framework and WebResource.axd for others.

From RSS to Delicious via ping.fm and Twitterfeed

One of my continuing frustrations in the love/hate relationship I have with delicious is there’s no easy way of getting items from an RSS feed into delicious.

I’ve got stuff I’ve ‘liked’ in FriendFeed, starred items in Google reader, favourites on Slideshare, Twitter etc, that I want to pull directly into one place and that place is delicious, but it seems delicious aren’t interested in making my life easy.

Alas, Twitter Cripples SMS in the UK (and Elsewhere)

Woke up this morning to an email from twitter saying they were scrapping outbound SMS messages for the portion of the world that charges for sending rather than receiving text messages i.e. anywhere that’s not the US, Canada or India.

The same message is on their blog too - Changes for Some SMS Users—Good and Bad News - and despite the title there was no good news in the post, only the vague promise that they’d introduce new local SMS numbers for unspecified countries within Europe in the coming weeks and months.