Performance Calendar 2011: Advice on Trusting Advice
It’s that time of year again for Stoyan’s excellent Performance advent calendar. I wrote a post for it which was published today entitled: Advice on Trusting Advice. Mathias Bynens summed up the post as “Always examine a third party code snippet before including it in your site, regardless of who wrote it” but it’s bigger than that. It’s not just snippets from competent people can be slow, or that Google can give you bad advice, or even that Zoompf can give you bad advice for that matter. The broader theme is that all aspects of performance must be transparent so they can be discussed, examined, independently verified, and improved. The reason I could write that post about a problem a customer found with a Google+ snippet is that Google was open and transparent about what their snippet did and provided guidance, though incorrect, on how to use the snippet. This allowed me to discuss what it did, show the problems, make recommendations, hopefully change Google’s advice, and improve things for everyone. But only because of transparency.
Sadly I’m seeing some trends where people and companies are making web performance opaque. I began talking about transparency and performance responsibility in my Amazon Silk and Performance Responsibility post. These are topics I plan to speak of a lot in the new year.