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Google Pitches Faster Web

The search giant has launched a developer Web site that offers advice on optimizing CSS, gzip compression, and HTTP caching so that Web pages load faster.

Thomas Claburn

June 24, 2009

2 Min Read

Google VP of engineering Vic Gundotra said last month that "the Web has won," a declaration meant to convey that emerging open Web standards such as HTML 5 represent the preferred development platform going forward.

But the race isn't over yet. Companies such as Adobe and Microsoft that have investments in competing technologies don't accept Google's contention that open source standards and non-proprietary tools represent the future.

So Google wants to make the Web faster: On Tuesday, it launched a new developer Web site that aims to accelerate the Web. The race really is just getting started.

"Over the years, through continuous experimentation, we've identified some performance best practices that we'd like to share with the Web community on code.google.com/speed, a new site for Web developers, with tutorials, tips and performance tools," explained Google engineering SVPs Urs Hoelzle and Bill Coughran in a blog post.

The site includes advice on optimizing CSS, gzip compression, HTTP caching, and a variety of other ways to make Web pages load faster.

Hoelzle and Coughran observe that many Web protocols evolved before graphically intense rich Internet applications were common. They point to HTML 5 as an example of a protocol that is helping to improve the Web experience. "With HTML5 features such as AppCache, developers are now able to write JavaScript-heavy Web apps that run instantly and work and feel like desktop applications," the pair said.

When online applications work and feel like desktop applications, the Web, and perhaps Google, can truly be said to have won. The fact that Google is trying to make the Web faster suggests that hasn't happened yet.

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About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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