FIT 14.6.1 – Improved image optimization

FIT 14.6.1 is the first release for 2017. And, while being packed with lots of bug fixes and improvements for existing features, it even brings a few new features for both, development and administration.

First off, we added the function ends-with to our stack of XPath functions. starts-with was already accessible everywhere in FIT where an XPath expression is supported, adding ends-with rounds off the set of string checks available.

For operation and administration we also have 2 new features. We now officially support systemd, so you can use the native init management tools in state of the art Linux systems. And to prevent huge content from being processed and overly stressing your CPU resources we added the fit.ini setting FIT_MAX_CONTENT_SIZE. With that you can specify a maximum size (in MiB) for content processing. When a resource exceeds that size, it will not be processed, but passed through unoptimized.

On the improvement front, we worked a lot on our image optimization.

The image compression engine, that was introduced in FIT 14.6.0, will now perform the optimization experiments after the actual requests have been handled. So when an image is requested, FIT will respond with either the original or the best experiment result so far. After the response is sent to the client, FIT will run its experiments, so the next request can be responded with an optimized version of the image, while neither user had to wait for an experiment to finish. This only works for images that are cacheable by FIT. Images that may not be cached are still processed live.

To reflect the new compression options in our JavaScript APIs, we added new functions that let you either explicitly generate image compression (composeImageCompressionUrl) or image scaling (composeImageScalingUrl) URLs. And the already established function composeImageUrl will now create URLs according to your config settings.

Image delaying received some updates, too. While we now opt-out of delaying for img tags within, for example, noscript or template tags, FIT is now able to delay images that use the srcset attribute.

On a side note, we tweaked the performance of many features, from analytics over image processing up to resource loading.

The SDK for 14.6.1 is available from Github.

Refer to the full changelog for a more detailed list of changes.

New Web Accelerator Tutorials Published

We have just published some new tutorials to get you up and running with the latest features of the Sevenval Web Accelerator (WA). The tutorials look at how to use WA for image optimization, content optimization, and request reduction. If you are new to WA, or if you simply want a general, hands-on overview of its most common features, then these tutorials are for you!

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Progressive Web App Dev Summit 2016 in Amsterdam

I had the privilege to attend the Progressive Web App Dev Summit 2016 in Amsterdam. Google invited developers to learn and share experiences about Progressive Web Apps: web sites that comprise a combination of HTTPS, Service Workers, application manifest for features like add to home screen or push notifications and – maybe more as a result from making great web apps rather than being a PWA feature itself – reliable performance.

Google did a great job in choosing top-of-the-line speakers. Continue reading