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This Week in JavaScript Performance

This Week in JavaScript Performance summarizes recent web postings related to JavaScript performance. Watch for it at the beginning of each week.

Comparative Evaluation of JavaScript Frameworks

Authors: Andreas B. Gizas, Sotiris P. Christodoulou and Theodore S. Papatheodorou.   Publisher: World-Wide Web 2012.

This concise, but revealing, paper evaluates ExtJS, Dojo, jQuery, MooTools, Prototype, and YUI on the bases of size, complexity, maintainability, validity, and performance. Tests are conducted, metrics calculated, and issues lightly explored. The number of critical and severe errors in these frameworks startled me.

Third-Party Front-end Performance: Part 1

Author: Alex Sexton.   Publisher: Bazaar Voice.

This article summarizes the lessons learned when trying to improve Bazaar Voice’s performance. This is the first of three articles. It deals with network issues. Parts two and three, when published, will deal with parsing/evaluating and application responsiveness. These experiences stem from writing third party applications that will be used by other developers on other servers, which means not being able to control the environment as well as we might like.

Page Rendering & Reflow Performance

Author: Warren Gaebel, B.A., B.C.S.   Publisher: Monitor.Us.

This article very briefly describes page rendering, reflows, and repaints, then points the reader to four exceptional articles that discuss the subject in detail. Tips from the linked articles are summarized at the bottom of this article.

Unsuitable Image Formats for Websites

Author: Billy Hoffman.   Publisher: Zoompf, Inc.

This article explains why certain image formats are not suitable for the Internet. Remember: The image format may be different from what the file name’s extension leads us to believe (e.g., a .jpg file may contain an xbm image).

Simple music player

Author: Stoyan Stefanov.   Publisher: Stoyan Stefanov.

Stoyan wanted a simple music player that would play the .mp3 when you click on a link of some kind, but without loading a new page and without using Flash. All he wanted was a simple play button beside the link. Now that we have HTML5, it should be an easy thing to do, right? After checking out a couple of prepackaged options, he decided to write the code himself. This article presents and explains his code.

How to write a simple interpreter in JavaScript

Author: Peter Olson.   Publisher: The Code Project.

This article demonstrates the lexing, parsing, and evaluating steps of compiler building by creating a tiny text-based calculator in JavaScript. The calculator evaluates basic arithmetic, stores values in variables, and allows function creation/invocation. This project can help the reader gain some insight into the behind-the-scenes activities in JavaScript and most other programming languages. A good introduction to the topic. Lots of code.

Can HTML5 and JavaScript Really Replace Flash? (JSJ 011)

Panelists: Tom Beatty, A.J. O’Neal, Jamison Dance, Charles Max Wood.   Publisher: JavaScript Jabber.

As the title says, this 53 minute podcast discusses HTML5’s impending displacement of Flash. Is it going to happen? The panel is not one-sided, so it may be worth a listen.

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About Warren Gaebel

Warren wrote his first computer program in 1970 (yes, it was Fortran).  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo and his Bachelor of Computer Science degree at the University of Windsor.  After a few years at IBM, he worked on a Master of Mathematics (Computer Science) degree at the University of Waterloo.  He decided to stay home to take care of his newborn son rather than complete that degree.  That decision cost him his career, but he would gladly make the same decision again. Warren is now retired, but he finds it hard to do nothing, so he writes web performance articles for the Monitor.Us blog.  Life is good!