Measuring Site Speed localy

This is a cool utility that uses YSlow! and PhantomJS to measure your site’s speed across many pages. Should be good for identifying slow individual pages as well as practices that impact multiple pages.

This is how it works: You feed it with a start URL and how deep you want it to crawl. The pages are fetched and all links within the same domain from that page are analyzed, and a couple of HTML pages are created with the result. Sounds simple?

From: Performance Calendar ┬╗ Do you sitespeed?

Startups are getting smaller

Startups today are almost half the size than they were a decade ago. It seems that a lot of the collaborative tools that have emerged over the last year help productivity so you can do more work with less employees. And I don’t think its just true for startups, I know at work we’re doing a lot of work with just 3 people in the Digital Media department. Do you think this study accounts for the start ups and open source projects that pioneered the services that make this possible?

´╗┐Start-ups are now being launched with an average of 4.9 employees, down from 7.5 in the 1990s, according to a recent Kauffman Foundation study. In 2009, new independent businesses created a total of 2.3 million jobs, more than 700,000 fewer jobs than the annual average through 2008, the study found.

HT: With New Technology, Start-Ups Go Lean

Link: Nginx Hacking Tips

This is a good overview of common configurations comparing nginx's syntax to apache's.  Once you get used to it, I think nginx syntax is easier to understand, and it reads more like an actual script or program.  I've been using nginx to host SoccerBlogs.net for 3 months now and its been very solid.  In fact, it coupled with moving mysql to its own slice, forced me to focus some attention on SQL query bottlenecks.

Nginx has a major limitation in rewrite rules in that you cannot impose multiple conditions for a rewrite rule. Apache HTTPD on the other hand provides a good solution using multiple RewriteCond directives. Nginx on the other hand allows if statement. You can have rewrite rules within if blocks. However the if block themselves are limited. You do not have and or or to add multiple conditions to a single if block. Also you cannot nest if blocks. There are no else statement either. However you can use regular expressions so the following is possible:

Nginx Hacking Tips

Open source helps Nokia cut development costs

Nokia’s N770 and N800 tablet PCs were developed with a conscious decision to use as much open source software as feasible.  This decision had tremendous benefits in cost savings, code quality, flexibilty, and zero licensing costs.  You can read the white paper    HT: Stephesblog.

If we compare the code from open source to the code developed by us, our conclusion is that open source is of better quality. We have more bugs and problems in the Nokia developed code. This is only natural because the majority of the Nokia code is build from scratch and is thus very young. Open source code, on the other hand, has mostly been used by others already. They have fixed the most severe errors already before we started to use the code.

Open Sourced Soccer Gaming Engine

I’ve always had an itch to write a web-based soccer management game, even though there are a number of them already out there like Hattrick

There are a lot of intesting probabilistic problems in simulating a soccer match and league season such as:

  • How many, what kinds of attributes to you need to describe players?
  • How do you aggregate individual ratings into team stats to simulate results?
  • Can you produce believable match results using some common probability distributions like the Poisson?

Although it lacks an online component, the king of football simulations is Championship Manager. Its not sold in the States but it is one of the best selling computer games in the UK. Not bad for a giant spreadsheet on massive amounts of steroids!