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High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers Paperback – September 18, 2007
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About the Author
Steve Souders works at Google on web performance and open source initiatives. His books High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites explain his best practices for performance along with the research and real-world results behind them. Steve is the creator of YSlow, the performance analysis extension to Firebug with more than 1 million downloads. He serves as co-chair of Velocity, the web performance and operations conference sponsored by O'Reilly. Steve taught CS193H: High Performance Web Sites at Stanford, and he frequently speaks at such conferences as OSCON, Rich Web Experience, Web 2.0 Expo, and The Ajax Experience.
Steve previously worked at Yahoo! as the Chief Performance Yahoo!,where he blogged about web performance on Yahoo! Developer Network. He was named a Yahoo! Superstar. Steve worked on many of the platforms and products within the company, including running the development team for My Yahoo!. Prior to Yahoo! Steve worked at several small to mid-sized startups including two companies he co-founded, Helix Systems and CoolSync. He also worked at General Magic, WhoWhere?, and Lycos.
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The book is a quick read containing some good hints and tips. Many are fairly easily investigated and implemented in most companies.
Seemingly out of place, however, is Rule 2: Use a Content Delivery Network. While it's certainly a good way to improve performance, it's not something every company can afford.
Overall, an interesting book.
This book, however, is written by someone (a Yahoo engineer) who knows the front end (how the emitted HTML performs for the user) *is* often the biggest problem.
Instead of vague generalities, you'll find precise prescriptions (14, in fact) that when applied will make your site faster. The prescriptions are well-supported with both the *reasons* as well as examples of live URLs with and without the rules applied.
This book should be required reading for your whole engineering team. If you ran a series of brown-bag lunches and applied 1 rule per week, at the end of a calendar quarter you'd have a much snappier web site.
I consider this a must read.
You, hopefully, will find that you're already using a lot of these techniques. Still, this is a satisfying read that provides background and fills in gaps.