Previous Next

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

IT’S HARD TO find anyone who’d argue that websites load too quickly. Mobile pages constantly creak under the weight of complex visual elements and ad networks. It’s led to an ad-blocking boom, boutique speed-boost solutions from Google and Facebook, and now, a system from MIT that its creators claim trims page-load times by up to 34 percent.

Polaris, as its creators call it, is a product of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). And while its benefits vary based on the site deploying it, there’s maybe no comparable technology that’s as effective as it is universal. The only catch? Figuring out how to deploy it to the websites and browsers you use every day.

Putting It Together
The idea for Polaris was first hatched about a year ago, says lead author and MIT CSAIL PhD Ravi Netravali. The breakthrough, after years of thinking through the page load problem, came after he started focusing primarily on mobile.

“Because on mobile networks these delays are much higher than they are on wired networks, that’s where we focused our energy,” says Netravali. Previous high-profile efforts to speed mobile pages, like the SPDY protocol, or Google’s open-source Brotli algorithm, have focused on data compression. That’s helpful when bandwidth is scarce, but in many markets that’s not the most serious impediment to speed. The key isn’t how much comes through the transom, but how many trips it takes to get it there.

The creators of the new Polaris system claim that it trims page-load times by up to 34 percent. To understand how and why Polaris works, it’s important to remember that a web page doesn’t spring forth wholly formed. Every time you type in a URL, the site that eventually materializes comprises a mishmash of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and more. More over, many of these items are interdependent, and your browser can waste precious seconds deciding in which order it should load which parts, and why. When downloading one object requires fetching even more objects, that’s known as a a dependency.
“If you load a page today, there are hundreds of objects that you have to load. There are shared states between them, they all interact; one object can write for something while the other object reads,” says Netravali. “That dictates the order that a page loads these objects.”

As you might imagine, it’s an inefficient process; the MIT team compares it to figuring out a business travel itinerary on the fly, versus having a list of cities ahead of time to help you plan the most practical route. Polaris provides that list, and acts as a travel agent. It maps all of these dependencies, enabling objects to download in a streamlined fashion, and cutting back on the number of times a browser has to cross a mobile network to fetch more data.

It’s not a cure-all for the entire web. For a relatively austere site like homepage, made up primarily of images that don’t depend on one another, Polaris doesn’t show substantive gains next to using plain vanilla Firefox. Then again, sites like that tend to load quickly to begin with. It’s when web destinations get more feature-filled that Polaris really kicks in.

“For the New York Times homepage,, these types of sites where there’s a lot of stuff going on, that’s where you see gains,” says Netravali. “When there’s a lot of objects on the page, that’s where Polaris can really help, because it’s important to prioritize some over the others.”

Those objects also extend to advertising network intrusions, which are responsible for much of the bloat that weighs down the web. Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s AMP have also tried to speed up pages by mitigating the ad problem, but Polaris acts as a complement to those efforts, without requiring any front-facing changes to the content of either the page itself, or the ads that run on it.

“If it turns out that the ads are very slow, because right now they’re coming super late in the page—which actually happens often, because if I’m CNN and I have an ad, I want it to come later because I don’t care if you see it right away or not—that leads to higher page load times,” says Netravali. “With Polaris, if there are resources available earlier in the page load, and it doesn’t actually interact with other parts of the page, Polaris will say [to the browser] OK, why don’t you get it right now?”

One last Polaris benefit? While it’s not the first dependency-tracker, it’s the first one to be browser agnostic. That means it could hypothetically work on any site, in any browser, through however many software updates. The question now is, will it?

Need for Speed
Polaris works, but not to your benefit. Not yet, anyway. Before it’s deployed in a broader sense, a few things need to happen.

First, websites have to sign on to run the software on their servers to generate the “dependency graphs” that give the JavaScript, HTML, images, and other elements their marching orders. Then, they’d like to convince web clients—the Chromes and Firefoxes and Safaris and Edges of the world—to incorporate Polaris as well.

“We didn’t modify the browser, and the reason for this was we wanted to be browser agnostic,” says Netravali. “In the future, things would be faster than they are today if this were integrated on the browser side.”

The MIT team will find out what kind of appetite their is on the browser end next week, when it officially presents its Polaris paper. The possibilities are intriguing, particularly because it’s the kind of technology that could represent a formidable competitive advantage to one company over another. Being able to promise up to a third increase in speed may be enough to prompt more than a few converts. On the other hand, the more ubiquitous Polaris is on the browser side, the more likely websites will be to go through the trouble of integrating it.

That’s a balance they’ll have to negotiate eventually, but for now Netravali is just focused on getting the word out.

“At the end of the day, our main goal is as many people using this as possible,” he says. With those kinds of performance improvements, let’s hope they achieve it.


Add a comment
Previous Next

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

I really hate slow machines. I hate being angry. I hate missing targets. Especially when there isn't much to aim at. Once upon a time my boss told us something about time. The was a shipping(not sure) company, or freight and dealt with cargo. From see to land and such stuff. Clearing and forwarding is freight-related...right? Guess that's it. Depending on how many containers were to be ofloaded, time was important. A little history before I finish...

At my employers place, there's something called KPIs. Once wrote an article about it can search for it. Key Perfomance Indicators, in full. He gave narrated to us a story of how one staff handling the cargo from the ship to land was to reduce the handling time by 3 seconds. I mean 3 seconds. That was all. For any cargo, all cargo, reduce handling time by 3 seconds each time. Seems little right? Multiply that by the number of packages let down. Many. Made sense. Alot of it.

You may not value time but it always takes a toll on you. The second a machine hangs, the more you lose track of what you thought of by going ahead to start the freaking task manager that also hangs. This is where feelings get in. I hate that. I broke my monitor back in the day on a pentium R. Got bored of it. You click buttons and it's like your efforts are going nowhere!!

Let's put business aspect into the discussion.

How long are you supposed to take to do some simple task? How about image editing? Some programs must stay on like the whole na tab zake kama kawa. Firefox is a no no on a windows one for me. It's bae in Linux though. Chrome and Chromium crash my Linux. So far I guess it's v8 engine. Back to kills me to be slow. I'm supposed to be fast. My speed and machine's speed translate to faster success.

As a developer, never compromise. Pay good for good service.



Add a comment
Previous Next

User Rating: 3 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


Reports to: Technical Manager

Company: Greenbell Communications Limited

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Closing date:


The Web Developer performs all aspects of the development tasks, including front-end, back-end, and database

development and is to be responsible for production, modification and maintenance of websites and web application’s

user interfaces.

Duties and Responsibilities:

● Managing contract design and development resources to timely and successful deliveries.

● Working with clients and review panels to identify recommendations for the appropriate technical, business

and human factors solutions.

● Developing and maintaining web-enabled capabilities and custom applications.

● Advances our growing CMS practice. Turns design and user interface mockups into functional websites

powered by CMS.

● Ensures HTML/CSS is cross-browser and standards compliant and meets


● Must have deep expertise in various web and mobile web applications development using HTML, CSS,

JavaScript and Popular Javascript libraries, SQL, PHP and MySQL

● Excellent understanding of database modeling and information architecture, with web application integration,

excellent Software Development Lifecycle and Cross-browser/platform

● Experience working with, designing and developing Content Management Systems

● Graphic Design capabilities.

● Excellent problem solving abilities.

● Should be able to work under pressure with tight deadlines.

● SEO skills.

● Keep up to date with latest web technologies.

● Performs other duties as assigned.

Skills and Qualifications

● Proficient in the maintenance and administration of CMS modules and sites and in HTML/CSS, and client-

side scripting libraries.

● Familiar with each layer in the LAMP/WAMP/MAMP stack from application architecture and system

infrastructure points of view; knowledgeable and experienced in PHP and MySQL programming.

● Experience developing and implementing open source software projects.

● Ability to organize and manage multiple priorities

● Creative, resourceful, and innovative with strong attention to detail

Education and Experience

● Degree/Diploma in IT related field and two years general experience with CSS3, HTML5 and Javascript

● Experience working in a front end development team coding HTML/CSS websites.

● Knowledge of using Adobe Creative Suite(Photoshop, Fireworks, Dreamweaver) and willing to improve

knowledge of CSS, HTML and other web languages.

● Knowledge of SEO tool and implementation.


Add a comment

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

What is ecommerce? I like going to wikipedia to look up meanings of stuff but let me try something different today. 

noun: ecommerce
  1. commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet.
Now, Putting Kenya, Unemployment, Developers and money in the conversation is important. In Kenya, ecommerce alone is a rising culture. This is where developers come in. If you are a developer and jobless, this is an end to all that. A simple way of ending unemployment is via ecommerce. It's an ultimate razor. I spoke a developer about he got a job and what he did to get a job and how he survived before then. Unfortunately for him, he didn't have all the necessary knowledge at the time regarding ecommerce and online marketing. He used to fix machines and develop systems for clients got as referrals. Hard but worked. Provided more than USD 2 (200/-) per day on average. Just enough to make a simple life. 
That was in upcountry. The guy came to the city. City life is diferent. You have to stand out [if at all you can stand]. That amount can't help out past lunch and breakfast, in good amounts. We are not in the habit of skipping meals here. We are looking towards healthy lifestyles. An Ecommerce sollution came in handy. Selling stuff online, delivering, getting money...all that makes up the big word, ecommerce. Before you do all that, you need a domain. I mean a site after all. If you have to sell anything online, customers have to see it too. Online Marketing kicks in. 
This guy, together with another lady[friend in the city] came up with an idea. An idea to change their world. Making a site, a simple cms solution, even though both of them happened to be developers, that would be their shop. They set it up as a sub-domain and then uploaded products to their site. Set up payment options and everything relevent. 
The products were to be delivered to the customers' doorstep. This was unthinkable. Two youngstars. Big dreams. Let's make Mullah. Traffic was low at first. Nothing much was done on the site, so, bounce rate was high too. Online snobs. 
This would later change. Enquiry after enquiry. Click after click, untill the general public started liking it. General online public is a genuine community. Unforgiving at times, not forgetting, some of the people online are jobless and unemployed too. If you have to sell stuff online, target even the ones not fdoing so well financially. The products on the ecommerce site in discussion were clothes. Hence it's name, Tux Fashions. Cheap clothes are liked. mtush as it's usually referred to, but now online. It's convincing. Good shirts at about 500 is good. Google adsense integrated helped make more money too. 
This was an ultimate solution to ending the whole job-hunting cycle. You just happen to employ yourself online and have thee time to do some other entertaining and beneficial stuff as you look for a job[if you so wish] in a company of your dreams or just for fun and satisfaction. 
Always remeber, you have talents and capabilities. You are not containable. Employment is not the best place place on earth. Focus on employing people and you'll be a better person than the one you saw in the mirror. 
Add a comment

About Me

Oops...Almost forgot to say something about me. But anyway, I'm that guy, yule Msee, who'll sort out your techie issue and hails from the land of milk and honey. Not forgetting the bitter herbs too.

This is what am best at. Feel free to ask something. 

Latest News

10 October 2018
08 May 2018

Latest Tweets