178: Rapidfire 49

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We’ve got another RAPIDFIRE for you this week! Pew Pew Pew, Kaboom!

Q & A:

  • 2:30 At least twice a week, someone other than me will drop in a few lines of SCSS, compile it and we’ll end up merge-conflict town, adding a painful step in our branching process. How would you handle this? To date, my strategy has been to leave the room when anyone looks like they’re doing a merge conflict.
  • 7:40 I have a website with HUNDREDS of raster images of around 15KB each. During interaction with a single page, it’s very likely that a user will need to see every one of those images. Is there a nice way of speeding up “above-the-fold” image loading other than this iterative AJAX call per page thing I’m doing? I’ve tried using compass’s sprite sheets, but the sprite file size is double that of all the images combined (maybe large color index table from disparate images?).
  • 13:52 I have a brochure style site for my own business and I’ve been working on performance lately. I hooked up with grunt, started concatenating, moved my JS down and used uglification, and was ready to start separating out my above-the-fold css. It’s fun, but the optimization never ends… Then I ran into an article about mod_pagespeed. My hosting provider offers it and Google’s info basically says “hey optimization is tough, so let us take care of it.” So.. is mod_pagespeed a good idea?
  • 21:20 Hey guys, I am an email developer and had a question about automation. Here is the situation, we send out several emails a week with each email containing anywhere from 25 to 70 links. We use a third party company to provide updated links to allow us to track which link is clicked. The problem is, they provide the links in an excel document, different from the brief where the original content came from. This forces me to replace each link manually, opening up large room for error and adding time to each project. Is this something Grunt or Gulp could help with?
  • 27:10 A couple of factors to this question – 1) my company is moving to a new platform, so our URL structure is going to be changing once that goes live, and 2) we recently purchased a new (shorter, better) domain for our website. We are aware of the fact that you take an SEO hit when you do either of these things – so what do you think, is it better to make both of these changes at once and take one big hit, or change the domain now and update the URL structure later? We are going to be putting in 301 redirects regardless.
  • 30:30 I was poking around Sara Soueidan’s code on her website and saw a bunch of stuff about DNS Prefetching. What the what?
  • 37:55 I’ve been messing around with critical path CSS and getting content to my users as fast possible, which seems to mean accepting FOUT and other visual jankiness before all styles, scripts and images have loaded. It got me wondering, do I now have to choose between a site that loads super fast and a site that loads with fancy transitions and animations? Surely optimizing the critical path is all about removing anything that delays the arrival of content on the page.
  • 44:30 Recently co presented on a talk about Front End Architecture at a good sized event, from the comments we DID get people wanted something much more direct, more answers. The talk was about what are the options available, and what guidelines we use to choose from them. I feel like that “well, it depends” is a recurring theme in a lot of the answers to the questions you get, because that’s the nature of the beast. Given that, and that you guys also have a lot of speaking experience… I’m curious what you guys think. Is that kind of ‘nuanced’ topic not good for ‘talks’ at events? Is that feedback from an audience inevitable and I should keep submitting talks until a cane pulls me off stage?
  • 52:52 Should I get a mac?? I’ve been a windows user for 12+ years now and I just feel more comfortable using windows but I see all developer are using mac, all screencasts are on mac and a lot of the new apps are only available for mac 🙁 should I give up and switch to OS X?

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  • Regarding the question at 27:20 about moving to a new domain. You loose about 10-15% of the PageRank in a redirect, so minimize the SEO hit, you should do both at the same time – in the same redirect – not in redirect chain. That way you only get hit by one redirect, instead of multiple redirects with PageRank loss in each redirect. Be sure to do 301 redirects, as 302 redirects will not pass PageRank. Also be sure to redirect every page to the most relevant page on the new site, not just to the home page.

    Best regards
    Jacob Worsøe