Ruby Conf Australia 2013 in Review - Keith and Mario's Guide to Fast Websites | NetEngine

Ruby Conf Australia 2013 in Review - Keith and Mario's Guide to Fast Websites

Rowan Thursday, 28 February 2013

There were many inspiring talks at Ruby Conf Australia 2013, but this was a talk close to my own heart – front end performance!

Sure, Ruby could be faster (some proponents for jRuby and Rubinius were present), but the noticeable speed difference of a web app (to the end user) lies in the browser.


Mario Visic (@mariovisic) and Keith Pitt (@keithpitt) from Desktoppr were on a mission to get the load time of their new project Giftoppr from 9157ms to under 2000ms.

Using their own software, wbench, Mario and Keith were able to investigate the load time of their assets assuming no caching. They also made use of webpagetest.org which allows you to compare load time breakdowns from different locations, browers and devices.

The obvious (to me, anyway) optimisations such as assest minification, sprites/font libraries, and gzipping were given a mention.

They mentioned a favourite of mine, ImageOptim, which (manually) compresses images of a range formats. The app itself depends on and bundles together a number of open source image compression libraries into an easy-to-use Mac app.

The most noticable improvement, however, definitely came from the introduction of a CDN (in their case Cloudflare). 6133ms after minifcation, gzipping, image compression & async javascript loading became 2079ms when loading from a CDN!

Yes, this image was grabbed from Giftoppr!

They also investigated the benefits of SPDY, an alternative to HTTP.

So what’s next? Using wbench and webpagetest on this site gave me a good kick in the pants… To optimising we go!

See the slides or the saucy source.

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