Top 10 Bare Minimum Web Client Performance Tweaks

Posted in: Software Development Best Practices

In my previous article (Performance Tuning Resources For Web Clients) I discussed why you should care about the performance of your web client and then listed out some of the better places to go on the web to find information on how to go about tweaking your web clients to get that better performance. In this article I am going to dig a little deeper and call out specifically what I think are the Must-do-No-excuse-not-to-do-them-You-are-really-being-unprofessional-if-you-are-not-doing-them tweaks that you should be performing on every single one of your web development projects.
Continue reading »

Performance Tuning Resources For Web Clients

Posted in: Software Development Best Practices

Recently I have been doing some research on tweaking websites to make them faster (either in reality, or at least in appearance to the client). Specifically the research has been focused on the actual client tier interaction – requesting the page, downloading the assets and rendering the page in the browser. In this post I will document some of the better resources I have found, focusing on client-side tweaks, so these resources should be relevant no matter if you are a Java, PHP, .Net or any other flavor of developer.
Continue reading »

Ben Galbraith on Creating Compelling User Experiences

Posted in: Software Development Best Practices

I had the privileged of seeing Ben Galbraith present at JavaOne last week, in fact his presentation was the very last presentation of the conference for me, late on the Friday afternoon.

I have seen Ben present before and his presentations are always engaging, informative and I always end up with a page full of action items from them. This one was no exception.

Ben has put a post up on his blog that roughly covers the same material that was in the presentation, so I wanted to link to it to give a little back to Ben as I have gotten a lot from him over the last couple of years.

I strongly recommend reading the article if you are interested in user experience design and its importance in Software Engineering.

Thanks again Ben!

JavaFX – Too Little Too Late?

Posted in: Enterprise Java

Java was born out of a want to develop rich client side applications in the form of Applets originally. But, the horrendousness of the AWT and the poor user experience when it comes to the JRE plugin pretty much killed off that idea. Even today with Swing being available to help create nicer looking UIs, the JRE plugin nightmare remains. I can vouch for this as recently finished an Applet project that took 4 months to get through QA because of all of the issues related to the JRE installation process on different platforms and browsers.

So Sun blew it the first time around when they tried to take on the consumer facing domain and retreated back to the server-side which they seem to be doing pretty well on.

So now in the age of AJAX, Flex, Flash, Silverlight and Laszlo, Sun appears to want to take another shot at it with JavaFX. They are positioning it as a tool for not only coders, but also designers. Nothing I have seen looks anything like a Flash editor, so maybe I have missed something there. The designers I know are not going to be too interested in writing code, no matter how “script-y” or “dynamic-y” it might be.

I had given up on Sun ever trying to fix the plugin issue. It seemed clear to me that they had written off the client side and had put all of their eggs on the server side. I had resorted to hoping the open sourcing of the JDK might provide an opportunity for a project to spring up that aimed to write a better JRE plugin that would work as seamlessly as the Flash Player Plugin. There is some glimmer of hope on this from Sun with update 10 of JDK 6, but only time will tell if they have done enough.

The latest bump in the road is the Oracle acquisition of Sun, and there seems no clear indication what Oracle’s intention for Java on the client might be.