Arguments You’ll Almost Never Hear

Here’s a bit of a cheeky question…

You know all those "conversations" us nerds have about scalability and performance where we endlessly debate about where to put business logic and whether scaling the database is easier than scaling the application servers? Well, how come we never end up talking about how to make arguably the most costly (in terms of both time and $$$) operation of our applications perform better?

The costly operation I’m talking about is the journey our markup makes from the web server to the browser. It’s funny, because we’ll architect fantastic applications, and then shove absolutely bloated junk markup across the vast, unreliable Internet without a second thought. That shit costs money too… (I’m talking about bandwidth). And it’s code that’s visible to the world.

8 thoughts on “Arguments You’ll Almost Never Hear

  1. Mo

    I couldn’t agree more! Not only that but do we really need to always use dynamic controls to render static content?
    For instance when ASP.NET churns out our in to tags. What’s the point if it’s static?

    Don’t get me started on the over use of tables!

  2. Nathan

    Wow. Jeff. Your thoughts show amazing insight. It’s really cool to see you talking your craft.

  3. Daren

    Interesting point Jeff.

    It seems these days that markup optimization is often an afterthought. It always striked me a bit odd that people could push out these bloated websites totally ignoring tableless design, CSS Control adapters, output caching etc.

    I think it’s a bit risky considering the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the web. I mean a website could be attracting 500 visitors one week, and then 500,000 the week after (ok this doesn’t happen all the time but it does happen). So I am not sure how a owner would feel if he/she is all of a sudden paying for excess bandwidth.

    I came across an interesting a couple of years ago that looked at Microsoft’s website and really puts things into perspective regarding excess bandwidth consumption etc.

    http://www.stopdesign.com/articles/throwing_tables/

  4. foobar

    You actually think this is a problem? Why aren’t you using HTTP compression then?

    This problem was solved in the 90s. Sorry.

  5. Jeff Perrin

    All the HTTP compression in the world isn’t going to squish a GIF or JPEG down any significant amount. Sure, text can be compressed, but that ain’t the whole picture.