Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Edge80 vs CDNs vs Performance

There is an interesting article over there ( at MaxCDN about, you guessed it, CDNs. It's an interesting compilation of opinions on CDNs from people who are certainly qualified to have opinions on CDNs. You might think of it as a bit a CDN State of the Union. Where they are now, what their strengths and deficiencies are, and what we hope they may be in the future.

I invite you to go read it, and I will meet you back here to talk about it further.

You're back? Great!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Edge80 Automated Scaling

A central feature of Edge80 is its ability to scale rapidly to meet demand.

Edge80 servers run in data centers around the world. Traffic to Edge80 proxied websites is directed by latency-based routing to the nearest regional data center.

What happens when a website experiences rapidly rising demand, perhaps due to an advertising campaign reaching many people in a short time-frame, special events, or just the start of peak periods in that region? Edge80 protects the original website and reduces latency at the same time by caching popular resources at the edge.

How do we prevent our own servers from becoming overloaded?

Basically, we must detect rising demand and launch more servers to handle it.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Roll Your Own Short Links

I decided the other day that I wanted a better way to share content with people. Whether it be a PDF or a youtube URL, or something out of my dropbox. Now, none of that is difficult, I will grant you. It's pretty easy to email or SMS someone a link, even a longer dropbox content link or one of those expansively long blog links generated from the title. Sure, great for SEO, a real pain to dictate to someone over the phone. And you always take the chance their email app or server or whatever will crush the link into a ball of twisted metal.

So, it seemed to me there must be a way to do this better and in a reusable way. And would it hurt if I enhanced my own branding a little (eg huff.po,,,, ? Maybe, but let's assume not.

Better yet, if I set this up in a way that I can easily configure and maintain the redirections from anywhere, that's a bonus.

It occurs to me that I can do all this with Edge80 without having to worry about development tools or deployment or servers or whatever. And not having to worry about commissioning or deployment is one of my favourite things. Better than raindrops on roses.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Edge80 and Adaptive Delivery

Early January, and I’ve been seeing some 2014 year-end stats that started me thinking about shifts in website development trends.

Looking Around

Lately, webdev articles fall into a few overriding trends:
  1. ‘Mobile first’ planning with a responsive flexible layout.  In 2014 over 33% of all web activity was mobile.
  2. Increased consideration for performance of RWD by tech leaders

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Developer Conferences for 2015

It's a great time of year to start planning your 2015 travel for events and workshops. By no means complete, here is a quick round-up of upcoming events and conferences for everyone: front-end, mobile applications, software engineering and more.

UPDATE:  I got some great suggestions from HN and added to the list.

Upcoming Events at Dev:Network

Dev Conferences, Hackathons, Dev News and Dev Education events

O'Reilly Conferences

Strata+Hadoop, Software Architecture, Fluent Platform, Velocity, Solid, and more

An Event Apart

The design conferences for people who make websites

Monday, December 22, 2014

Microdata Christmas Cookies

When writing my previous post on transforming a Wikibook textbook, I discovered the Cookbook.  I use an iPad app called Paprika to collect recipes from the web but the Wikibook pages did not import very well. Unfortunately I discovered that the recipes do not include microdata.  In the holiday spirit of sharing cookies, let’s share some recipes. 

To share recipes (or other structured content) with Google, Bing, and Yahoo, microdata adds robot-friendly SEO goodness. Cooking sites like All Recipes, Epicurious, etc. include microdata which gives app designers a predictable data format.  

Here is a taste of what you can do with Edge80 and the MediaWiki publisher to create your own sharable cookbook collection. If you are just getting started, have a look at the High School Earth Science post. I may skip over some of the details found there in this post to avoid too much repetition. 

Original Wikibook Category and Recipe
Visit the original Wikibook
New Custom Home Page and Recipe
Visit the adapted cookbook

What we did:

  • Converted to Zurb Foundation 5 Responsive Layout
  • Added a new custom home page
  • Inserted microdata attributes 
  • Added Disqus comments
  • Customised some specific pages 
  • CSS styling

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Prettier Wikibooks Design That Could Work

If you have not yet seen the Edge80 MediaWiki Publishing solution, have a look at the landing page. That will give you the right context for what this post is all about. I’m going to highlight the steps it took to adapt a set of standard MediaWiki pages into a modern responsive public site. 

To keep the demo fairly straightforward, I chose a Wikibook as the source content - essentially a smaller subset of standard Wikipedia pages. Our Wikibook textbook is High School Earth Science with a predictable content structure the very thoughtful authors stuck to. Compare the before and after versions. 

Original Wikibook Source
Desktop and Tablet views

Visit the Original Site
Adapted Wikibook
Desktop and Tablet views

Visit the Published Site

What was changed:
  • Converted to Bootstrap 3 Grid
  • Customised Adapted Pages 
  • Transformed Tables
  • CSS Style Changes