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As part of our ongoing effort to bring you information you can use right now, Environments for Humans is proud to present the Web Optimization Summit.

Our online Summits bring the experts to your desktop! Forget about the hassle of travel or leaving family so you can focus on diving deeper into Web design and development topics.

About the Web Optimization Summit

High performance sites mean better experiences for visitors and fewer headaches for Designers and Developers. Sure, your style sheets are tidy and your code validates, but you know that your load times could be better, your files could be leaner, and that the whole site could be faster and more reliable.

Enter the experts! Discover the tools and techniques used every day to optimize some of the biggest, most high-traffic sites on the web. Learn solutions for everything from optimal scripts and loading patterns to caching and mobile platform considerations.

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

  1. The State of Web Optimization
    by Steve Souders Online

    Steve Souders gives a state of Web Optimization during his introduction of the Web Site Optimization Summit, kicking off a whole day dedicated to this new industry.

  2. No More <script> Tag Soup
    by Kyle Simpson Online

    Chances are, your site suffers from "<script> tag soup". No matter what amazing experience you can dream up to deliver on your web page, how you load the JavaScript makes a world of difference in the page-load performance. For well over a decade of web technology, the landscape of JavaScript loading has remained relatively unchanged. Practically every web site on the planet still loads their scripts exactly the same way -- the old, faithful <script> tag.

    Even though newer generation browsers are finally starting to address these issues, too little too late is being done to help the widespread page-load performance for the broader internet viewing audience. Why hang our hats only on new browser releases, passively waiting for old browsers to just phase out "some day", when we could start attacking poor performance patterns today!?

    I believe we need to rethink some of the most widely-held "truths" about the best ways to prepare and load JavaScript resources onto pages. In this talk, I will challenge your beliefs and approaches regarding:

    • How to integrate build-time processing into JavaScript resource preparation (file concat'ing, resource dependency management, etc)
    • How to profile sites and web applications for page-load and run-time performance
    • How to squeeze every last unnecessary byte out of your script resources
    • What you can and cannot do with the browser cache
    • How to optimize script loading to occur in parallel with other scripts and page resources (LABjs, etc)
    • Creative new ways to get script code onto the page, optimizing for both desktop and mobile devices
    • Bonus Coverage: (for improving loading efficiency of static assets like JavaScript) and Idleator (cross-browser plugin for improving web browsing performance of CDN loading and DNS latency).

    It's high time we start tackling one of the biggest hurdles to better web site loading performance -- the script load. This talk will take the <script> tag head on, and your site will never load the same (slow) way again!

  3. CSS and Image Optimization
    by Stoyan Stefanov Online

    This session is about speeding up your web site without sacrificing the looks of it. The aim is to produce the same design with less code. We'll explore:

    • Optimizing the CSS' size and robustness by focusing on reusability
    • Adopting CSS3's exciting features that allow us to build lighter sites with fewer images
    • Running the images through some easily automated tools that will losslessly strip 10-30% of the file sizes
  4. Coding for Performance
    by John Dalton Online

    During presenter's John Dalton's talk, he will cover the following topics:

    • Coding for performance by utilizing feature testing, method forking, lazy method defining, and avoiding unnecessary abstraction.
    • Optimizing CSS selectors and passing context parameters to CSS selector engines to optimize performance (can be applied to jQuery, Prototype, as well as vanilla JavaScript).
    • Program for better code minification, give a brief overview of some of the popular JS minifiers, and identify minification anti-patterns to avoid.
  5. Mobile Web Performance Sucks
    (and What You Can Do About It)

    by Brian LeRoux Online

    The future of the web is unquestionably going to be viewed on mobile devices and, to be very kind, lets just say these devices are nothing like their desktop counterparts. The mobile web will be viewed on smaller screens, by way of underpowered CPUs, with very little memory, weak to no local storage, at best sketchy connectivity, and not to mention the disparity of capabilities between the various device platforms. As if the device performance wasn't bad enough we are also faced with understanding developer performance with the very ppor world of tooling such as emulators, debuggers, profilers and general IDEs. Truly an entertaining mess!

    In this talk Brian will review the good, bad and outright ugly aspects of mobile web performance and outline the strategies to make use of what works and how to fix what does not.

  6. I Made a Map of the Internet
    by Tom Hughes-Croucher Online

    How do we choose which part of our system to optimize? Stanford algorithms legend Donald Knuth is famously quoted as saying "Premature Optimization is the root of all evil". And yet where is the research showing where we should optimize our sites? Steve Souders made a groundbreaking discovery at Yahoo! when he realized that the most critical, and under-examined, part of web site optimization was the front-end. However while there is lots of great performance research, we still make plenty of assumption about what to optimize.

    I have made a map of everything involved in getting from your computer, via your ISP, to a web site and back to your eye balls. It's exhaustive, but that's the point. Where the heck should we optimize?

    This talk will take the audience on a journey through the guts of the internet. They will learn:

    • Hidden dangers in wifi
    • How they really connect to their ISP
    • The mysteries of DNS
    • The hop-skip-and-jump of navigating the Internet to request a web page
    • Exactly how CDNs speed up getting images and other files
    • Some basics about page rendering and display

    After we've taken a good hard look how the internet really works we'll try to figure out what we can about where we should be focusing our attempts to improve performance. This will look at how we can test things like:

    • Remote Caches (ISP, etc)
    • DNS response times for users
    • Wifi reliability
    • Does latency matter?
    • Which parts of the browser do we really test?
    • Do different rendering engines matter?

    Finally we are going to examine some of the existing research, both practical and experimental, that targets specific areas of the map we've been exploring. This may include tools technologies that the participants can apply to their sites to improve performance from old favorites like YSlow and Page Speed to new techniques like:

    • MHTML and iframes
    • HTTP pipelining
    • JavaScript Loading patterns
    • DNS prefetching
    • The SPDY protocol
    • Multi-flushing
    • Optimizing CSS
    • Google Speed Tracer
  7. Implementing a Web Performance Program
    (Without Killing Yourself)

    by Billy Hoffman Online

    An enormous number of front-end web performance optimization techniques have been discovered in the last few years that can drastically reduce page load times and server load. Unfortunately all the techniques in the world won’t help you without a plan. Time and time again we have seen individuals or groups in a company start to optimize a website without any kind of plan. Suddenly the app stops working because IT implemented HTTP caching without having proper changing control or file versioning. Or all the JavaScript and CSS in the development branch has been minified. Or the design cannot be modified because all the original images have been crunched and indexed. Worse the optimizations are hap hazard and not repeatable so site performance whips violently from fast to slow with each new publish.

    This talk answers the simple question “I know 100 ways to optimize performance, how do I start?” Or, using fancy words: How do you add a performance program into your website development process that is beneficial ,painless, and repeatable? In this talk we will show how and where to phase in well known web performance techniques. We will use real life case studies from our clients to show what works and what doesn't work and leave attendees with the knowledge and tools to start improving the performance of their web applications regardless of their situation.

Still Need to Convince the Boss?

Our one-page PDF Executive Summary makes it easier to convince your boss, your colleagues, even yourself that the Web Optimization Summit is a great value! You get to spend time with some of the leading experts in site optimization and performance without the hassle and expense of travel or time away from home.

Testimonials from Previous Summits

“The Summit Series has allowed us to provide advanced, practical training by top-flight presenters in a cost-effective manner to the UF Web Community. The content is relevant, up-to-date and, most importantly, actionable. I've not found another web conference that even comes close.”

Bruce Floyd,
Web Manager, University of Florida Web Administration

“The Summit showed us how to make code execute faster, how to more efficiently write code, and what UI elements and effects can be created in jQuery to open up our graphic designers to create more complicated UIs. It was well worth sending my team to the summit for the day.”

Christopher Jones,
Web Development Manager at Dominion Enterprises

“I loved that I didn't have to travel for it, and the cost of a ticket made this a really good value.”

Mike Butler,

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