Friday, September 19, 2008

Speed up your page load times with a simple trick

Here I have for you a simple image trick to make your pages load faster. This might sound simple but it is something that i notice allot of web developers overlook when adding images to pages, whether it is because they are lazy or just didn't think about it, this is a fact. Every time you web page loads the browser looks for the width and height of an image. This is specified through the attributes width="236" & height="657" which allows your browser to instantly know, through your HTML / XHTML code, how big the image is and where to place it. What happens behind the scenes now is that you browser will load your page text before the graphics. If your graphics do not have width and height attributes set then as the browser reads the HTML / XHTML and gets to one of the images with no attributes, it causes the browser to have to perform a function to work out the actual size of the image, which hence slows down the load time a little bit. So the trick to making you pages load quicker is to make sure that all of your graphics, even the small transparent gifs and bullets have a width and height set. After some testing that I have done on a dial up connection you can really notice the difference. Give it a try.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Change file types in Vista - Using Types

Have you noticed that the functionality to associate file types with a program has been dropped in Vista from the explorer menu "Tools" > "File Types". Well there is a way to give you back the control that you are used to with a program called Types. It is a is a free and lightweight configuration utility for Windows Vista and XP that allows you to edit program associations, icons, context menus and other properties of various file types displayed in Windows Explorer programs in Vista. You can still use Vista to change what programs open which file extensions. For example by clicking on "Start" > "Default Programs", or by right clicking on a file and clicking "Properties" and on then by clicking on "Change" on the "General" tab. Types however allows you to full control of editing file types and context menus and many other properties. It is definitely worth a look at and is in my mind ones of the most powerful freeware file extension managers out there as changes are made instantly with a quick refresh click. It is definitely an improvement on the inbuilt Windows file extension management options.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Google Chrome - New Google Browser

Google have released a new browser called Google Chrome. The best description I have found of the new browser in in Wikipedia. At the same time Mozilla have released Firefox 3.1 Alpha 2 and Microsoft have released IE 8 Beta. I have been on a bit of a downloading spree lately getting the latest versions of the browsers and and testing each of them. As always my favorite if Firefox simply because of the extensions that it offers and as a web developer I cannot live without the Web Developer toolbar and Firebug. But let me not get led astray. Google have a browser now and although it is in beta stage is is very quick when loading pages that rely on JavaScript and AJAX. I have tested it on a number of websites that use allot of AJAX and the browser works very nicely as it has been designed to. I have read a number of reviews that back this up for one and . Google Chrome is defiantly a browser that will in the future go head to head with IE, FireFox , Safari and Opera however at the moment it is only early days so it is way to early to tell the extent that this browser will take a share of the market. For the moment I will be sticking to FireFox however I have noticed that it does perform better with allot of the Google apps that I use so I may find myself switching between the two when preforming different types of browsing. Interesting features that it offers is that you can browse incognito. This means that pages you view in this window won't appear in your browser history or search history, and they won't leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be preserved. Another feature that it offers is that if a tab crashes then the whole browser does not crash only the tab with the problem will close. Other new features include a new JavaScript Engine called V8 is in use, better performance through compiled JavaScript as it is compiled into machine code and not necessarily always interpreted. New JavaScript VM which has a better garbage collection included to preserve memory and browser tabs or new browser windows run in dedicated threads. I am still finding out more information about the browser as it is only new so if anyone has any interesting points to raise about the browser please post your findings and opinions of Chrome.