Safety of WebSockets and other advanced parts of HTML5

Is it OK to use WebSockets? Absolutely. Why, then, reader Klaas Hemstra wonders, did I write in “The Dangers of HTML5: WebSockets and Stable Standards” that the WebSocket protocol is an “unstable spec”? The short answer is that this was the best I know in March 2011 when I wrote these words; the preceding hyperlink to the protocol definition was only finalized eight months later, in December of that year, for instance. Several of the other facts about WebSockets are different now. It’s worth taking a few minutes to get those facts right. HTML5 complications...

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Error-handling: a fable in code

One of my favorite domains to review in existing applications, because it tends to be so error-ridden, is … error-handling. Too many programmers regard a language’s exception-handling syntax as a solution rather than just a mechanism, so error-handling tends to be misguided or at least neglected. A little more attention in this area often pays off with far greater end-user satisfaction. Perhaps the hardest part of handling errors is simply to remember that it is programming. I encounter many coders who appear to believe that it’s someone else’s job. In fact handling...

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Enterprise IT Industry Trends 2013-2014

IT industry trends this year are all aiming towards one goal – accessibility. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘cloud’ tossed around a few hundred times this year, and the phrase ‘private cloud’ has just recently stepped on the scene. However, the newer trends surrounding these phrases are anything but dull or regurgitated. 2013 is proving to be one of the biggest and most exciting years in IT innovation and here we discuss some of the most prominent topics. Without further delay, here are a few of the biggest trends to hit the IT scene this year. The Ever-Changing Cloud 2013 is all about cloud...

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Server-sent events a good choice for datacenter monitors

“Three main choices for advanced communications in HTML5“, which I posted two months ago, excluded one obvious candidate for “advanced communications”: HTML5‘s server-sent events (SSE). To my surprise, no reader asked me why. Despite this, it’s time to explain SSEs, why I didn’t mention them earlier, and why they are particularly interesting for real-user monitors and related datacenter “dashboards”. Simple demonstration Start with a peek at this example. Most will see a little digital clock which reports the time on one of our servers,...

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Three performance tips: measurements and techniques to pay off for the long haul

“Real User Monitoring” has probably convinced you by now that application performance is both important and inadequate; so what do you do about it? Accurate measurement and identification of a problem is the first step, of course. When you’re ready for the second step, here are three quite different approaches you can apply with proven records for delivering both quick results, and enough depth to reward you for months to come: Low-hanging fruit: HTTP payload basics I like the folks at Radware for bringing together two values in their public writings: they base their...

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True scientific revolution: radical sharing

Ready for the future? “Warming Ocean Threatens Sea Life” is it. It’s not the climate change content of the article on which I’m focused at the moment; that’s a topic for another day. More singular, and worthy of our attention now, is that this article is the first in Scientific American to be accompanied by its own IPython notebook. ‘Have a question about how the author performed his statistical reductions, or exactly what was in his datasets? It’s all there. You can review or extend the calculations yourself. So can the five, or fifty thousand,...

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