The talk today went very well (aside from some humorous technical glitches). Attendance was good and there were a lot of good, insightful questions both during the presentation and afterwards. My slides are available now and there will be a video coming out possibly next week. Topics include how to optimize:
- Scope management
- Data access
After the talk, I went to lunch with Steve and Doug Crockford (who attended the talk as well) for a little more discussion about the state of web technology. Overall, a very fun experience.
One of the biggest points I want to make about this talk, both for those who were there and those who were not, is that I’m not saying to do things all the time. The techniques presented in the talk are intended as a guide for those who have noticed performance bottlenecks and need to know how to fix them. Optimization without measurement is fruitless, and I’d be doing everyone a great disservice by presenting these techniques as “must follow” under any and all circumstances. Always measure the performance of your code using a profiler (shameless plug: YUI Profiler is pretty sweet) and then determine what you should do to speed things up.
Doug pointed out to me afterwards that he thought a lot of the early topics in the talk generally don’t provide a big performance gain. I think his statement has some validity, as everything is related to the code base in which you’re developing. When I worked on My Yahoo!, we had a lot of trouble with loop performance and did a lot of optimizations for it. Others might not have bottlenecks around their loops. All of the information in my talk is based on performance issues I’ve faced in my career, and though some may be obscure, I believe it’s important to talk about those issues so they can be a guide for others who find bottlenecks in these areas. The worst thing we can do is avoid coming up with solutions for rare problems, because rare problems need solving too.
The experiments I ran for the talk (and mentioned in the video) are here:
Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.
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