Lifes too short – write fast code!


This is the second talk that follows-up on the 14 best practices from YSlow and “High Performance Web Sites”. The first talk presented three new best practices: Split the Initial Payload, Load Scripts Without Blocking, and Don’t Scatter Inline Scripts.

The most important of these is loading external scripts without blocking other downloads and preventing page rendering. One complication is this may introduce undefined symbol errors if inlined code uses symbols from the external scripts. Luckily, there are several techniques to workaround this problem. That and other topics will be covered in this presentation of three more best practices:

* Coupling Asynchronous Scripts
* Use Iframes Sparingly
* Flush the Document Early

Much of this talk discusses material from Steve’s book, High Performance Websites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers. The talk is full of great advice, I found the discussion around loading scripts both synchronously and asynchronously and the performance gains that can be achieved. However this has to be combing with understanding that you also have to couple scripts together in order to preserver the order they are loaded in, as well as understanding that by default loading external scripts blocks download of other elements on the page. Steve discusses a number of techniques that can address these issues as well as the pros and cons associated with each. His discussion around John Resigs idea of using degrading script tags is extremely useful.

This is a hugely useful tech talk and a must for anyone doing serious Javascript development.

Tim Berners-Lee: The next Web of open, linked data

20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he’s building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together.

This is an inspiring talk by Tim that goes to the heart of the work that we are doing at Talis with our Platform and the new generation of products we are building on the platform, such as Talis Aspire and Talis Prism.

    "Data is relationships!"
    "The really important thing about data is that the more  things
       that you have to connect together the more powerful it is."       

A wonderfully simple and succinct way of describing the importance of Linked Data. It’s a great talk and well worth watching.

“The Sixth Sense” – Wearable Tech

This demo — from Pattie Maes’ lab at MIT, spearheaded by Pranav Mistry — was the buzz of TED. It’s a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Imagine “Minority Report” and then some!

Think Microsoft Surface without the table! This is amazing. The basic idea is that this device can augment our reality by providing information about objects we interact with in the real world. This immediate access to information at all times reminds me of Cory Doctorow’s book “Down and out in the Magic Kingdom”.