26 Dec 2013, 09:30

2013 Advent calendars, my best of

I spoke last year about Advent Calendars ; this year, i'll give you my best of.

Sysadvent (System administration) :

  • Making the web secure, one unit test at a time : apply unit test to your infrastructure : check that only expected ports are opened, your SSL setup is correctly deployed, etc. Brilliant !
  • Ansible: Infrastructure Management Made Easy! : An overview of Ansible, a lightweight configuration management tools in python to manage your infrastructure (installation, deployment, configuration, update/upgrade, etc). Seems Ansible is getting more and more attention and users over the last year.
  • Yum and repository tools : if you use Red Hat/CentOS/Fedora systems, you already may know some yum commands but I discovered a few ones within this article.

Performance Calendar (Web performance) :

  • Measure web performance with Jenkins : a Jenkins plugin which will evaluate webperf rules againt each build of your site. If it fails some rules, you'll be warned. It's based on sidespeed.io I talked about last year. Maybe not exhaustive but a first step into automatic webperf measurement !
  • Slow pages damage how users perceive your content, design and navigation : by introducting a 500ms slow down, sites moved from "easy to use" to a lot of negative words (slow, frustrating, etc). When you consider that you start to feel someting slow when it comes around 1s, you are significantly damaged at half of it.
  • The Runtime performance checklist: 7 common issues you should have a look at and how to solve them.
  • Browser Wishlist 2013 : 10 points that Browser should implement to make the web faster at a developper and user point of view.
  • Differents aspects of performance : Performance is a global issue and it would require to performance specialists in each area (hardware, backend, frontend, etc) to speak together to adress well this issue. How do we achieve that ? DevOps can lower the barrier and also Application Performance Management (APM) tools once they will be more mature and with skilled people to get a meaning from these data. Long will be the road... This belief is reinforced in the Holistic performance article which show that performance matters all of us from design to code to project management, content, etc and at the end, the rise/need of a performance culture. With the mantra "make it work, make it pretty, make it fast" in the "Thoughts on performance culture", this is a tempative to introduce performance the right way at the right level.
  • Reducing domain sharding : A webperformance rule mentionned to split images & other media files on several host/urls. Indeed a browser can download several files in parallel per domain. But using too much hosts/urls is not effective. Recommended value seems to be 2. On sharding, there is another blog post about "Mixing SPDY and domain sharding", which will enforce this conclusion : with SPDY (improved HTTP protocol), it would be less productive to do sharding than to use the same SPDY connection (especially with wildcard SSLcertificates and using the same IP for all your hosts)
  • Boosting UX via Delayed, Non-Blocking, enhancements : Ajax/Xhr is not always the panace for asynchronous call. Did you ever think that you could never have an answer for your request ? The article will show how to use delayed tasks and will make you think about when it is the right time to compute. Indeed you can also give some delay to your user ;-)

24 Ways (Web design & development) :

24 jours de web (French clone of 24 ways, resource in French !) :

If you enjoyed as I did these articles, you can give some money to fund a charity association name "Handiparentalité"; you will have all the 24 articles with 4 bonus in epub format and some ebooks you may be interested in (ebooks value is 69€). To be made before 31/12/13.

UXMas ; about User Experience

See you next year !