Christian Heilmann

Posts Tagged ‘performance’

TTMMHTM: Reference in FireBug, YQL even cooler, Unicorns, Second Base explained, and much more

Friday, February 6th, 2009
This is our second installment of Ask SM, featuring reader questions about Web design, focusing on HTML, CSS and JavaScript. If you have a question about one of these topics, feel free to reach me (Chris Coyier) through one of these methods:
1. Send an email to ask [at] smashingmagazine [dot] com with your question.
2. Post your question in our forum. You will need to sign up (yes, the forum is not officially launched yet, but it is running!).
3. Or, if you have a quick question, just tweet us @smashingmag or @chriscoyier with the tag [Ask SM].
Please note: I will do what I can to answer questions, but I certainly won’t be able to answer them all. However, posting questions to the forum gives you the best opportunity to get help from the community.

People I’d like to see on stage more: Nicole Sullivan

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

This is a new series of posts I am starting, tying in with things I’ve been saying in presentations and at interviews lately: I think it is time we mixed the speaker circuit up a bit and hear from different people than the “rock stars” of web development.

In this series I will talk about people I very much enjoy following and had great experiences witnessing as presenters or colleagues. Hopefully it’ll inspire some conference organizers to consider them and you to have a lookout for them.

First up is Nicole Sullivan, which is the name of her real life mild-mannered self.

On the web she is known as Stubbornella and writes a lot about performance, image optimization, CSS maintenance and other things that are both highly technical and very related to the grey area of web development that is the blurry border between design and engineering.

nicole sullivan

Nicole is right now writing on a book about image optimisation together with Stoyan Stefanov one of her partners in battling those extra bytes clogging the web. Together they built Smushit, a ridiculously useful tool to optimize your images without changing their visual quality. She used to work in Yahoo in the exceptional performance team and was a large part of the research team that brought the best practices for images and CSS when it comes to performance.

Nicole gives presentations both in English and French and has a wonderfully pragmatic approach to her work. While a lot of performance presentations can be highly technical, academic or deal with edge cases, Nicole keeps her “down in the trenches web developer” hat firmly on that curly head of hers and gives advice you can use immediately and get a result for your sites. Want proof? Check out this video of her speaking at the internal Yahoo developer summit:

Nicole Sullivan: "Design Fast Websites" @ Yahoo! Video

I’ve seen Nicole several times, been with her at Paris Web and The Ajax Experience and can safely say it’ll be cool to have her share her wisdom with more people out there.

Displaying useful tweets on your blog (second version using YQL)

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Back in September I showed a solution how to display filtered tweets on your blog using Yahoo Pipes which is in use on this page in the sidebar on the right.

There were a few issues with it: the data returned was pretty big and slowed down the page (yeah I could delay this after page load, but size down the wire is size down the wire) and I only used the last 20 updates, which – with my twitter pace – meant that a lot of times there wasn’t any ‘blogworthy’ tweet available any longer.

So, I dug around and realized that instead of analyzing the RSS feed of your tweets it makes much more sense to use the API, in detail the user timeline which allows me to get up to 200 of the latest tweets using the count parameter.

This is awesome, however, as the API repeats all my information in every status (I guess to cover changes, like location) the result can get very large, right now for example the JSON output of my twitter updates is 120KB – not good.

By using YQL I can easily cut this down to the bare necessities using the following command:

select status.text from xml where url = '' and status.text like '%§%'

Using this with JSON output and wrapper I only get the updates I need as a 1.2KB large JavaScript file!

The HTML and JavaScript solution doesn’t change much:

Now I got a faster useful tweets badge with information that stays longer. Easy.

TTMMHTM: Back online, news draught, monkeys, squirrels

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Things that made me happy this morning:

Squirrels with coffee - OMG!

Time to go to the gym to work on those lazy bones.

Geekmeet Stockholm – Performance and Play

Friday, December 5th, 2008

I am just getting ready for my second day in Stockholm, Sweden to go to the bwin offices and talk about professional web development and the change of JavaScript. The professional thing is going to be interesting as I am still feeling the beers of the GeekMeet yesterday night.

Geekmeet SwedenGeekmeet Sweden

Talking of GeekMeet, except for the interesting choice of advertising keywords showing up when you look for it, it was a roaring success and if I had a hat it’d be off to the organizers at Creuna and Robert Nyman for pulling this out of their hats (ok, you killed that metaphor, now let it die in peace).

Over 150 geeks came to drink beer and pizza and had to wait for those by listening to my drivel about website performance and ethical hacking. Some seemed to have been inspired by it, so that’s good I guess.

What I have to say to the credit of the Swedish audience is that they have a great sense of humour and are very happy to get distracted by unexpected slides and side-stories. It was great fun presenting and chatting to people afterward.

Credit must also go to Robert Nyman for not being only a masterly “one, two” announcer but also finding a very nice way to introduce myself – playing hangman with my name using all the emails and messages I sent him over the years telling him off for doing things wrong. Thanks for making me sound like a picky bastard, but I understand that it came from the heart. I also explained that my connection with PPK started the same way – but with him being the picky one.

My first presentation revolved around things you can do to speed up your web sites, unashamedly based on the work done by Steve Souders, Nicole Sullivan, Stoyan Stefanov, Ed Eliot and Stuart Colville. You can get the slides on slideshare:

[slideshare id=819648&doc=shiftinggears-1228434047613720-9&w=425]

The second presentation was (re)introducing the concept of ethical hacking and an invitation for people to see the web as their playground using cURL and GreaseMonkey to remix and improve it:

Playing With The Web

Playing With The Web

My second talk at geekmeet sweden talking about the tools you can use to hack and remix the web.

Read “Playing With The Web” with Easy SlideShare

All in all I had a wonderful time and I was impressed how easy it was for me to deliver all of this in such a short amount of time (I just gave seven presentations and two interviews in three days in two countries, having written the presentations on airports and flights in between).

Sweden rocks! Now I am off to check out the ice bar in the hotel and tomorrow it is back to England.