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on June 16, 2009
This book is a follow-on to Steve Souder's first book entitled "High Performance Web Sites". Whereas the first book was authored entirely by Steve Souder, this newer book contains chapters authored by other experts in Javascript, Ajax, and/or Network Performance. Comparatively speaking, I tend to think of the performance tuning techniques discussed in the first book as all relatively straightforward to implement, while those in this newer book as ranging from some that are relatively straightforward to implement (e.g., how to write efficient Javascript and CSS Selector code, how to optimize image sizes, and how to flush documents early to trigger initial web page rendering as soon as possible), to others that tend to be trickier to implement, involving either the use of:

* lesser known http features (e.g., chunked encoding for incremental page rendering or low-latency data transfers from server to browser in support of near-realtime applications such as chat, stock quotes, etc), or

* still evolving technologies (e.g., Google GEAR or Web Worker API for overcoming Javascript's single-threadedness to get more concurrent work done), or

* not yet publicly released technologies (e.g., Microsoft Research's Doloto system that facilitates the "splitting and packaging" of a Javascript-intensive Web Application into a quick-loading initial component or cluster that enables early page rendering, and supporting payloads that are loaded more lazily or on-demand).

One theme that runs throughout this newer book is that in order to squeeze more performance out of a next generation web application, developers would have to become more and more adept with using asynchronous techniques (which could involve tricky issues); by this I don't just mean using Ajax which could involve asynchronously pulling data from server to browser, but also asynchronous techniques for facilitating parallel component downloads, etc.

Given the cutting-edge and more complex nature of some of the discussed techniques, this book is an invaluable aid to anyone itching to experiment: it lays out a problem, suggests approaches and related tools whenever appropriate (e.g., no access to Doloto?, here are alternative do-it-yourself implementation approaches), provides lots of sample code, calls out potential gotchas and how to workaround them, and then with the support of empirical data, tells you the relative pros and cons of each suggested approach. Highly recommended!
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on August 11, 2009
Today's Web developer knows that the speed of one's site is an important measure to its overall success, and Steve Souders' previous book, /High Performance Web Sites/ (O'Reilly), laid out what seemed to be every way to achieve good performance gains without the sacrifice of functionality or aesthetics. When I began reading Souders' /Even Faster Web Sites/, I therefore wondered how he could possibly demonstrate fresh ways to achieve performance gains without regurgitating the content of his previous book. What I discovered as I read /Even Faster Web Sites/ was it presented all new best practices for making your web sites "leaner and meaner" without repeating the content of his last book.

/Even Faster Web Sites/ takes the latest techniques available to developers and organizes them into three performance areas: JavaScript, network, and browser. Though I believe Souder knows what he is talking about regarding web site performance, I found it refreshing this time around that he had the contributions of other experts in the field to give their ideas on performance gains in these areas.

I thought the chapters on JavaScript, especially those discussing Ajax and asynchronous techniques, were well written and gave good, new best practices to trim time off the loading of content on a site. I also appreciated the chapter dealing with Comet, as these technologies are surely a driving force for future web applications, and having best practices early in their development will only help their progress. Of the two chapters on browser performance, I found the honesty of the discussion on the downsides of using iframes most helpful, especially when their use was discussed as a viable technique for improving performance early in the book. I did find the chapter on CSS selectors extremely useful for analyzing where slowdowns in styling may exist based on browser implementation. The chapters on network performance gave a good background on common hindrances such as connection limits and poor image choices, but also walked through what I felt were performance gains that can be made through less utilized techniques like chunked encoding and better compression.

Souder finished this book with an Appendix on performance tools that can be used to help in the improvement of a web site, which I found to be immensely helpful. While many tools he listed are well known to developers, there are some I was unaware of and began making use of immediately on my own sites.

/Even Faster Web Sites/ is an excellent follow-up to High Performance Web Sites, giving new best practices for making your web sites even faster. As I see it, even hundredths of a second begin to add up when you put all of these techniques together, and most of the techniques presented in this book are practical for any web site being developed. I would recommend this book to any developer looking for ways to improve the performance of his web site, as Souder has certainly demonstrated his knowledge and expertise on improving the speed of a site.
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on May 26, 2010
Steve Souders has been a leader in documenting and evangelizing techniques for improving web site performance, and his previous book High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers (or the web posting from which it evolved) is essential reading. Even Faster Web Sites is not an updating of that book, but a collection of additional advice from Souders and eight contributors. So the first thing to note is that you should probably only tackle this book if you've already mastered the techniques outlined in High Performance Web Sites.

The one exception to the advice above may be if you're a web developer who makes heavy use of Javascript, since over half of this book is devoted to AJAX. The remainder of the book addresses a variety of topics of interest to web development professionals in general--optimizing images, writing efficient CSS, advanced techniques for implementing gzipping, and more.

As with Souders previous book, there is little that will be new to professionals who've kept up with best practices via blogs and the like, but it's still nice to have all the information in one handy book. For those who are just starting to investigate web performance optimization, High Performance Web Sites plus Even Faster Web Sites will get you up to speed quickly.
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on January 6, 2010
This book was referred to me by a friend. I have been browsing internet for resources that will address the performance of web in simple and easy to implement way. I did find some articles and videos on that subject. All the articles and videos were about one or two particular topics for web site optimization. This books covers the whole science of website speed and performances in detail. The book lays the foundation and tries to make us understand the stake holders and important concepts. Then it takes each aspect and covers in detail. You will get the feeling as if you knew too little in some areas.

This book gives you good understanding and solution for different types of web site. I allows us to think in more web browser perspective. We as developers have always thought of accomplishing the business requirement and not focusing on how a browser will react.

Excellent book. I recommend this to everyone. Must have for any web development shop.

Good Luck!
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on May 30, 2015
A must read for anyone that works with developing applications that traverses any kind of network; LAN, WAN, Wi-Fi, whatever. It took me on a journey through my 90s and I reinstalled the tools I used back then ethereal, today named tshark/wireshark and I had some murmurring over TCP, UDP, ICMP, IGMP, and some other protocols that I do not really use in my daily life unless something goes wrong and I have to debug to that level.
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on December 14, 2011
The author of this book demonstrates a great deal of knowledge about exactly how the web works and while there are six guest authors who have written certain chapters the entire book is an integrated work and not just a series of approaches. While the implementation of techniques can produce improvements in a web page, those in other chapters can also be implemented in ways so that they complement each other for greater benefit.

The example sites used to demonstrate the techniques the book proposes are ten of the most popular sites on the web and so there is no need for the author to try to explain the theory of why we should do certain things (since their real world use makes it obvious that these techniques really do work). Sufficient explanations are nevertheless provided so that you not only do get to see that these techniques work but you also get enough understanding of why they work to be confident that they will work for your site.

Another very useful aspect to the way the information is presented in this book is that each technique can be implemented as and when required independently of the other techniques making it really easy to progressively implement them as needed. Whatever stage you are at with your web site there should be something in the book that you can implement to improve the way your site performs. Essential reading for anyone who has a web site that receives visits from more than a handful of people.
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on September 1, 2012
>>>..."Even Faster Web Sites : ...Developers" from Steve Souders & six contributing expert authors, is a follow-on to "High Performance Web Sites : ...Engineers" because Web growth in Web page content and Web 2.0 applications, etc. do not stand still waiting for US to catch up but will always introduce a new set of performances challenges!!!...Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers
>>>..."Even Faster Web Sites : ...Developers" provides the best practices needed by developers to make these next generation Web sites even faster.
>>>...>>> Steve Souders offers , in this combination of both books, on Web site development, etc. help to assist YOU!!!...NOW / TODAY >>> Invest / Purchase & Use both of them, YOU will find them to be Indispensable!!!...Michael!!!...
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on January 30, 2012
This book is like a sequel to the High Performance Web Sites by the same author.

Although there are some concepts in this book that I would've probably never used, mostly because I never knew about them. That does not mean to say I'll use those concepts regularly now, but they are definitely a good thing to know.

My best take-away from this book are two chapter 7 - Writing efficient JS and chapter 14 - Simplifying CSS. These are probably the most crucial aspects to work on when you start doing slightly advanced performance analysis on your site.

After reading chapter 10 - Optimizing Images, I started saying 'Image size reduces by 30kb... sure I'll do it'. Before, I would've said '30kb.. never mind'.

The downside of this book is that it'll change your perspective about web development forever.
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on January 7, 2010
Going beyond the excellent work in his first book _High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers_, this book includes great information on how to parallelize Javascript, minimize images, sprite images and write your web pages so that they don't block on one element. This along with the more basic stuff in his first book, like turning on compression, has speed up our page delivery times by a factor of 50%.

Remember that every 1 second longer your page loads costs you 10% of your users and you can use this book to convince management to invest resources in speeding up your site.
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on April 12, 2012
This is a great, detailed follow-up to High Performance Web Sites.

Browsers are changing fast, so some of the optimizations presented in this book could end up being unnecessary or even counterproductive. Fortunately, the authors explain the different approaches to each problem, show the results, and provide code to run the tests yourself.

This isn't a cookbook that walks you through configuring your webserver or making resources available through multiple domains, though there are pointers to many useful tools.
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