Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.

Weblog entry:

Performance + validation = hotness

At the moment, I’m sitting in the basement of a Harvard library for a presentation on building cross-platform web applicatons, given by Mark Malone, Safari’s product manager. Surprisingly, it’s not too much of a “rah-rah Safari” session: Mark’s covering a lot of web standards 101 material here, and it’s damned critical for developers at Harvard to hear about it (from someone other than my lame self).

So while there’s nothing super-new in his slides, there was an interesting point in Mark’s presentation (emphasis mine):

  • Make sure your HTML is well-formed
    • Browser doesn’t need to perform code completion
    • Faster and less fragile code

That strikes me as a pretty kickass talking point: that standards-compliance equals performance boost. Mark’s in the process of hammering home the well-known point that every browser’s fault recovery logic is created inequal. If your code’s malformed, your browser has to parse through your markup, and try to clean it up. Therefore, one quick way to speed up your pages’ download times is to sidestep that recovery process entirely: build valid code, and make your users’ experience better.

Makes perfect sense, I know—and yes, I realize there’s a fair bit of market-speak wrapped in here, all three of you heard about this six years ago, I’m the last kid to show up at the party, and these pants make me look fat. Still, I’d never thought of standards in quite those terms before. At the very least, it was an interesting pitch for standards-compliant code: that well-formed and valid markup is inherently faster.



Hooray, technical difficulties.

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