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Web performance – Weekend must-read articles #27

web performance

This is our collection of must-read articles for the weekend.  There’s something about SPDY, web performance and the London Olympics, Varnish, and more.

Every week we bring you a collection of links to places on the web that we find particularly newsworthy, interesting, entertaining, and topical. We try to focus on some particular area or topic each week, but in general we will cover Internet, web development, networking, performance, security, and other geeky topics.

This week’s suggested reading

A History of Web Performance @ Lonely Planet

“‘Screamingly fast’ is now a requirement of all our projects. We’ve only made incremental improvements to our page performance over the past couple of years but this is about to change dramatically. I’ll be sharing our progress on this blog. We’re also experimenting with tools to help us capture performance data in real time and we’ll share some of this data when we can.”

Web Performance APIs Rapidly Become W3C Candidate Recommendations

“We’re pleased to share that three new W3C Web Performance Working Group specifications moved to W3C Candidate Recommendations. Accurately measuring the performance characteristics of Web applications is critical to making the Web faster. In addition, developers need the ability to effectively use the underlying hardware to improve the performance of their applications. Over the last two years, companies including Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Intel, and Facebook have been working toward these goals through the working group. This is a great example of what’s possible when the industry and community come together through the W3C.”

Boosting your website with Varnish

“Varnish is designed to run on modern hardware under real workloads and to solve real problems while delivering top web site performance. Varnish is a reverse HTTP proxy, sometimes referred to as a HTTP accelerator or a web accelerator. What differentiates Varnish from other web accelerators is its outstanding flexibility that allows you to adopt the software to your needs.”

And don’t miss our recent study of how popular Varnish really is, including an interview with the guy who developed it.

Keeping score at the London 2012 Olympics

“The Press Association and BBC websites are likely to be the first port of call for many sport fans in search of up to the minute information about the London 2012 Olympics. Both sites will need to keep track of around 10,500 athletes, representing more than 200 countries, who will be participating in 302 events over the course of the next fortnight.”

Akamai State of the Internet Report Q1 2012

“Akamai observed a 6.0% increase globally from the fourth quarter of 2011 in the number of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai, growing to over 666 million. Looking at connection speeds, the global average connection speed was 2.6 Mbps, and the global average peak connection speed increased to 13.5 Mbps.”

SPDY on Rails

“At Bugsnag we use SPDY on our production rails application. For our users who run modern browsers, this can make the site feel much faster and more responsive. Want to get SPDY working on your production rails app? Read on.”

And finally, read all about the hardware and software that’s in NASA’s Curiosity, as its roving around on Mars. Perhaps there are some performance lessons to be learned from there.

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Image (top) via Shutterstock.