[Seaside] [ANN] new Seaside homepage

Stuart Herring st-lists at stuartherring.com
Wed Jul 18 14:04:48 UTC 2007

Slogans aside, the biggest issue for me with the new site - and one
that could give quite a bad first impression - is something that can
be seen here: http://stuartherring.net/seaside-profile.png

16.5 seconds to load - and that's with ADSL2+

That wouldn't be so bad if it were just images loading - but the
images only take a couple of seconds and happen pretty much all at
once after the page has finally displayed.  The biggest killer is all
the header objects - the page will not render at all until those are
loaded, and the browser serializes the requests.
That would be bad enough, but is compounded by the fact that because
I'm in Australia, _every_ request  has a 200 - 400ms roundtrip (a
direct round trip to the other side of the world and back will take
133ms at the speed of light , not counting the overhead of the network
equipment at each hop)
There are 11 javascript and css objects in the header, so that means a
_minimum_ of 2.2 seconds to have anything at all display, assuming
perfect conditions and objects less than 4k each (so they'll fit in a
single packet).  The worst thing about that is it doesn't matter how
fast my internet connection is, 56k or 100Mb, I'll still have to stare
at a blank page for at least 2.2 seconds.

Compare with the Rails page: http://stuartherring.net/ror-profile.png
- still far from instant, but much better, and due to the fact that
there's only one object included from the <head> section, actually has
something on the screen in less than a second.

Some things that could be done to improve it:
* Merge all the CSS into a single file.
* Merge all the javascript into a single file.
* Maybe load the javascript from the <body>?  I don't know whether or
not that's a good idea, but the RoR site does it, and it certainly
improves the time between blank page and first rendered content.
* Enable mod_gzip on Apache - that should take care of the huge size
of the javascript.

I believe that if those can be done, I should be able to go to
seaside.st with an empty cache and see something in no more than half
a second, with page completely loading in around 5 seconds.

Another comparison -
seaside.st: http://www.websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/wso.php?url=http://www.seaside.st/

These issues will also largely affect any out-of-the-box Seaside and
Scriptaculous deployments , so if you do manage to improve it, it
would probably be worthwhile adding a FAQ on how to fly to the
Seaside, rather than walking ;)


On 7/11/07, Philippe Marschall <philippe.marschall at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi
> After too many delays the new Seaside homepage [1] has finally gone
> online. Since we switched hosts it might take a moment until the DNS
> update propagates to you. The first thing you'll notice is the updated
> look for which we no longer have to excuse. We cleaned up the content
> and added a lot of new stuff. Among others you'll find interactive
> examples, feed aggregation Monticello commit logs and the answers to
> often asked questions like 'What is the best Swiss cheese?'. Under the
> hood we made a lot of technology upgrades. We finally run on Seaside
> (2.8) and the Pier CMS with several plug-ins, we are also hosted at
> Seaside-Hosting [2]. The only way to eat more dog food would be
> running on SqueakNOS.
> The page is not yet fully finished (and probably never will be) but we
> feel we're at the point where it's significantly better than the old
> one. So if you have suggestions for improvements or want to help get
> in contact with us.
> Cheers
> Lukas
> Philippe
> [1] http://www.seaside.st
> [2] http://www.seasidehosting.st/
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> Seaside mailing list
> Seaside at lists.squeakfoundation.org
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