If you know me you know I am a fanatic about application performance and that I am a big fan of Steve Souders and the practice of web performance optimization (WPO). In the past I have recommended both High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites for any web developer to own. Performance optimization should be a requirement before any application is pushed to production. Failing to do so is choosing to reduce success and profit.
This week a new WPO book was released, Web Performance Day Book Volume 2. This is a collection of articles written by some of the world's web development thought leaders and engineers. And in case you are wondering, there is not a Volume 1. Stovan Stefanov jokes the book is so much about performance that volume 2 was produced before volume 1.
The book features articles covering a wide range of topics including mobile web as well as general browser performance optimization techniques. There are around 20 contributing authors with a wide range of experience. Most either work for some of the Internet's leading properties like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc, or are well known web optimization experts. Some of the names include Nicholas Zakas, Stoyan Stefanov, Steve Souders, Betty Tso, Nicole Sullivan, James Pearce and many others.
Last night I read a handful of very insightful articles around localStorage performance, third party script loading and CSS optimizations. While I am fairly versed in each of these topics and how they affect performance these articles all offered much deeper insight into each topic.
Another article I read explained the pros and cons of inlining content, which I have heard about, and only practiced in limited amounts. If you are unaware of this technique it is where the server provides a single file with the entire site's content produced in the markup. This means all the scripts, CSS and images are all part of the single text file. On the client the content is parse and stored for retrieval. This reduces the number of http requests, but makes for one very large download. Generally subsequent requests have a mechanism to check for file updates and new content. As for the pros and cons of this technique I will let you download the book to find out.
If you have never attempted to apply performance optimization to your web applications before the Web Performance Day Book Volume 2 is a great place to start. While the topics go deep they are written well enough for the novice WPO worker to grok and begin applying principles. It also provides enough depth and research to get someone like me excited. I highly recommend downloading The Web Performance Day Book Volume 2 for your collection today.