Archived entries for Front End Engineering

What Browsers Need to Provide – Alex Russell’s Perspective

Alex Russell (of Dojo fame) has an good post up right now called Browser.Next in which he lists 10 key things browsers need to give us poor developers so we can do our jobs without going insane. Here’s the list, but head to his blog to read the details:

  1. Event Opacity
  2. Long-Lived Connections
  3. Expose [DontEnum] To Library Authors
  4. Fast LiveCollection -> Array Transforms
  5. Provided A Blessed Cache For Ajax Libraries
  6. Mutation Events
  7. onLayoutComplete
  8. HttpOnly cookies
  9. Bundle Gears
  10. Standardize on the Firebug APIs

I’ve long felt that the balance of power between web developers and browser vendors is out of whack: for every one developer working on the browser itself there are probably 1000 web developers at companies around the world toiling endlessly, struggling to overcome the shortcomings and weaknesses of the browsers. It’s wrong. It’s wasteful. It’s expensive – a drain on the economy, and serious sand in the gears of what should be the world’s most powerful innovation platform.

And so, from that perspective, I’m very happy to see visible developers like Alex telling the world (*cough* browser vendors *cough) what needs to change. He’s got a good list of comments going over on his blog – I hope you’ll join in the rally.

Shameless Plug – Vote for My SXSW Session

I submitted a session proposal for the 2008 South by Southwest Interactive Festival. There are about 600 proposed talks and panels. Only a fifth of those will be chosen. Though there’s an editorial aspect to the selection process, the primary factor is democratic. So, if you would, please take a moment to review the description of my session and vote for it if you find it interesting.

You need to register on their site before you can vote, but it only takes a second.

As the description says, the talk is based on a book I’m writing with Matt Sweeney. (Yes, writing a book. An exciting prospect, but a challenge, too.)

Here’s my talk’s page on their Panel Picker application. And here’s the description:

The State of Professional Front-End Engineering

An immense body of theory and practice in the front-end engineering discipline has evolved in the past decade, particularly in the past four years. This talk draws from my forthcoming O’Reilly book, separates signal from noise, and codifies the state of the art of Professional Front-end Engineering.

Thanks!

YSlow, a Web Performance Plugin for Firebug, Release by Yahoo!

I let the cat out of the bag about the forthcoming YSlow plugin for Firebug during my @media presentation (High Performance Web Sites) last month. But the wait is finally over and I’m happy to let you know that Steve Souders, Yahoo!’s Chief Performance Yahoo! (and the guy who’s data I used in my presentation), made the announcement during his session at OSCon yesterday.

YSlow has three main views: Performance, Stats, and Components. Performance view scores the page against each performance rule, generates an overall YSlow grade for the page, and lists specific recommendations for making the page faster. Stats view summarizes the total page weight, cookie size, and HTTP request count. Components view lists each component (image, stylesheet, script, Flash object, etc.) in the page along with HTTP information relevant to page load times. It also contains several tools including [Douglas Crockford's] JSLint.

Give YSlow a try, your users will thank you. And for more about performance, check out the Exceptional Performance section on the Yahoo! Developer Network.

“High Performance Web Sites” at the @media 2007 Conference in London

Opening slide of the presentation

photo by Amnemona

I’ve uploaded the slides from my High Performance Web Sites presentation at the @media conference in London last week. They are available in PDF format (3mb) as well as in PowerPoint format (25mb) as delivered.

Please note an important change: In Steve Souders and Tenni Theurer’s original three-hour presentation (which I remixed into a hour-long session for @media), and in the forthcoming O’Reilly book, “High Performance Web Sites,” there are 14 rules for faster web sites. My talk offered 12 due to time constraints. In the interest of consistency I added the two missing rules to my slides before posting them. The added rules are #12: Remove duplicate scripts; and #14: Keep Ajax cacheable and small. With these restored the numbering used in my slides will match the numbering in the longer workshop and in the book. (The new rules are #12 and #14; the dozen rules I presented have their same numbers except for #12 which became #13.)

I’d like to thank Steve and Tenni and the entire Exception Performance Team at Yahoo! for letting me bring this important content to the @media audience. Thanks also to Patrick Griffiths and the @media staff for the invitation to speak, all their help, and a great conference across the board. Most importantly I’d like to thank my wonderful audience for their time and attention, for our good round of Q&A, and for the feedback already posted on blogs across the web. Thank you.

I hope to see you all again soon. (Maybe at Hackday this weekend?)

Heading to StartUp Camp on Monday

StartUp Camp 2 is this Monday in San Francisco.

Startup Camp is an unconference-style event that’s dedicated to bringing together the various members of the startup community for a face-to-face collaborative meetup where its the attendees that drive the agenda (in true unconference fashion).

I’m really looking forward to tasting the excitement in air and seeing all the cool projects. 100s of people have registered – it should be fun. (But the real reason work’s giving me the day to attend is so I can be on hand to help people realize their dreams using YUI.)

If you’re there, please come find me and say Hi (even if you don’t need YUI support).

Is That You?

I’ll keep this short: I’m looking for a few top-notch front-end engineers / web developers for some interesting and challenging projects. If you think that’s you, please drop me a note at nate at koechley dot com.



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