October 1, 2009

Book: Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers

After really liking Steve Souders' High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers, I really wanted to like his latest offering Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers.  I liked it, but not nearly as much.

While High Performance Web Sites is centered around Souders' "14 Rules" for better web performance, Even Faster Web Sites isn't rule-oriented.  Instead, it is organized into the three areas of JavaScript performance, network performance, and browser performance.  And six of the fourteen chapters were written by contributing authors, rather than by Sounders himself.

All this adds up to a somewhat uneven, and less widely applicable, set of ideas.

Here's the list of chapters:
  • Understanding Ajax Performance - written by Douglas Crockford
  • Creating Responsive Web Applications - written by Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer
  • Splitting the Initial Payload
  • Loading Scripts Without Blocking
  • Coupling Asynchronous Scripts
  • Positioning Inline Scripts
  • Writing Efficient JavaScript - written by Nicholas C. Zakas
  • Scaling with Comet - written by Dylan Schiemann
  • Going Beyond Gzipping - written by Tony Gentilcore
  • Optimizing Images - written by Stoyan Stefanov and Nicole Sullivan
  • Sharding Dominant Domains
  • Flushing the Document Early
  • Using Iframes Sparingly
  • Simplifying CSS Selectors
A good book, but still a minor disappointment.