Like the tales of King Arthur, the history, mythology, and lore of script loaders is teeming with both fact and fiction. If we’re going to achieve the destiny of true web performance optimization in our page loads, we’re going to have to separate the myths from the truths.
We’ll first survey the history of script loading techniques, looking at what survived and what didn’t, and why.
Then we’re going to jump into a broad review of current script loading techniques, including both general and task-specific loaders. Our goal will be to identify the characteristics of each loader and loading technique, to find solid information for choosing the right script loader for your sites.
We’ll also discuss the current state of browser technology and the HTML specification standards for these loading techniques, and talk briefly about where those things are headed in the future. Most importantly, the community will be challenged to get involved in defining the next generation of loading technology.
The rich history, diverse current state, and bright future for script loaders is both technically challenging and highly rewarding in performance gains, if you accept the quest.
by Danno Ferrin
Stage magicians have been astonishing and delighting their audiences for years. But there is a surprising amount of repeatable principles behind the art of illusion. The bulk of the actual work in a practiced stage act is more about directing the audience’s attention and expectations. Your application can also benefit from the principled application of practices such as direction/misdirection and not letting your users see your secret preparations and many others. By consistent application of these rules you can help fulfill Arthur C. Clarke’s vision that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
18th–20th September 2011