Google released a new performance inspection tool for Chrome today called Speed Tracer and I am impressed. It is very similar to the Web Inspector profiling but with an additional slick timeline feature.
Googles description of the tool:
Speed Tracer is a tool to help you identify and fix performance problems in your web applications. It visualizes metrics that are taken from low level instrumentation points inside of the browser and analyzes them as your application runs. Speed Tracer is available as a Chrome extension and works on all platforms where extensions are currently supported (Windows and Linux).
**It is supported for OSX as well they need to update the description**
Using LEAP as an example again because it is a total pig of a site, we can see where Speed Tracer picks up the sluggishness.
Sluggishness is designated by events taking longer than 100ms which is generally when latency is noticed. Starting at 3.13s we had one of these events on the LEAP homepage.
Looking at the Network activity for that range you can see we have some calls to Facebook and Google Analytics which are slowing things down.
I love tools like this because they are great for answering the “Why is my blog so slow?” If the user is blaming the server (and you know it is not the server) and know it’s their shoddy web design send them some screen shots from Speed Tracer showing them their bottle necks.
Looks like the Semantic Web will be going primetime very soon. Google has announced they will be rolling out their next gen search features, many will be using semantic features captured via Microformats.
During the Searchology event at Google’s Mountain View headquarters, Marrissa Mayer and her team showcased four new products that she said would give users a “different way to look at the web”.
Rich Snippets are search results that return more information in every listing.
For example, users looking for reviews of a new restaurant might get a “rich snippet” of average review scores, number of reviews and the restaurant’s price range.
“This is a step toward making the whole internet smarter,” said Google product manager Kavi Goel.
Rich snippets use the metadata from web pages, such as address information, calendar information and semantic web mark-up specifications, called Resource Description Frameworks.
The use of these so-called microformats allows the search engine to better understand the meaning of data and to employ it more intelligently.
Google can understand the relationship between different sets of data, and so can pull the correct address listing of a shop without that information having to be specifically tied together.
This is something Yahoo! has been doing for quite some time and now it looks like Google is on board. If there was ever a time to incorporate semantic data into your websites/applications now is it or else you may just be pushed down the Google result ladder.
If Google is finally starting to incorporate Semantic data in their results this would rock for Open Education (and everything else). Yahoo! has been doing it for a while I am sure Google is experimenting heavily. According to RW the searches are looking very “semantic” . This would be great for “Open Courses” using blogs and wikis as a platform. There are many WordPress features(themes and built in functions) and Mediawiki extensions that are using Microformats now. This would make search results much more useful if Open Course Developers started using just a few features of Microformats such as the geo , hcard and rel-tag features. A search for “geography Canada” for example could razor in on a Geography Course developed in Canada vs a geography course on Canada, a big difference in search results. Tools like FreeLearning would be greatly improved.
On a related note after I implemented my contact info using the hCard format on this blog I noticed the query for “Scott McMillan UBC” blows past the former UBC directory search result so maybe they are using semantic data…