April 23, 2002
Get the Best Possible Performance from the Web: "Web Performance Tuning, 2nd Edition" Released by O'Reilly
Sebastopol, CA--Unlike the speed of light, which is constant in all
frames of reference (remember Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity),
the speed with which your browser loads a web page can vary
dramatically owing to a number of performance issues. Any reduction in
speed can be further aggravated by your own perception of speed: as
most of us know, a red light in heavy traffic is perhaps the only thing
slower than a slowly loading web page. In the second edition of "Web
Performance Tuning" (O'Reilly, US $44.95), author Patrick Killelea
tackles performance issues on the web, focusing on the end user's
perception of speed, or how quickly the Web satisfies a user's
In the four years since Killelea wrote the first edition of "Web
Performance Tuning," sweeping changes have taken place on the Web.
Killelea points out that the most significant change is that the Web
has moved from novelty to an essential utility for the distribution of
information. With the Web now taken for granted, making it easier,
faster, and cheaper to communicate than ever, web performance has
become a bigger problem than it was four years ago.
"The Web continues to grow quickly," says Killelea, "and now billing is
moving to the Web. Web performance will only continue to become more
important in the future as new applications are released, such as
web-based voting in elections. One of the most important things a
business can keep in mind is that people don't buy what you're selling
if your site is too slow." Fortunately, Killelea assures us, we know
much more about web performance, what works and what does not, how to
watch for problems, and how to fix them.
Written for anyone responsible for a web site, from an individual
running a personal site on a Linux PC at home to large corporate sites,
Web Performance Tuning,
2nd Edition offers practical advice on
getting the best possible performance from the Web. It covers more than
just tuning web server software; it is also about streamlining web
content, getting optimal performance from a browser, tuning both client
and server hardware, and maximizing the capacity of the network
The book begins with concrete advice for quick results. Killelea then
shifts gears to provide a conceptual background of the principles in
computing performance. The latter half of "Web Performance Tuning"
examines each element of a web transaction--from client to network to
server--to find the weak links in the chain and how to strengthen
This new edition has been significantly expanded to include new
chapters on web site architecture, security, and reliability, and their
impact on performance. Killelea includes detailed discussion of the
scalability of Java on microprocessor servers, Perl scripts for writing
web performance spiders, instructions on how to use the Perl DBI and
the open source program gnuplot to generate performance graphs. He also
covers the use of rstat, a Unix-based open source utility for gathering
performance statistics remotely. Essential subject matter for anyone
involved in web performance, "Web Performance Tuning, Second Edition"
is about making the Web more usable for everyone.
What the critics said about the first edition:
"'Web Performance Tuning' doesn't make the reader wait until the middle
of the book before it starts providing real world solutions. As with
most O'Reilly books, 'Web Performance Tuning' is a book that all
conscientious developers should read."
--David Fiedler, webdeveloper.com
"...a handy book for the web professional."
"It seems that the longer we remain in the web development business the
more we are required to read and know. If you value your visitors, it's
your job to make their visit as enjoyable, or at least as memorable, as
possible. By tuning the performance of your web pages, web server, and
if possible, the client's web browser, you ensure that you've done
everything possible to make their visit a good one."
--Scott Clark, webdeveloper.com
Web Performance Tuning, 2nd
By Patrick Killelea
ISBN 0-596-00172-X, 456 pages, $44.95 (US), $69.95 (CAN)
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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