Rails 3: Even Faster By Default

Web Performance 209/210
Average rating: ***..
(3.62, 8 ratings)

Client-side performance is a complex but important topic. Well-designed applications, following the guidelines of the experts (especially the seminal YSlow guidelines) can load several times more quickly on the client side than poorly designed applications.

Unfortunately, effective web developers are focused on delivering a product to real customers quickly, and don’t always have the necessary expertise to get all the details of client-side performance right. More tragically, when they finally do learn the best practices, retooling applications to make use of them can be a grueling experience.

Ruby on Rails, by embracing conventions, has always provided excellent defaults around client-side performance, and the Ruby community’s hosting providers have taken it a step further with good default Apache and nginx configuration that leverage Rails’ defaults.

In this talk, Yehuda will demonstrate some of the Rails performance defaults, how you can use similar techniques in your own applications, and what Rails is doing in its most recent release and into the future to push the envelope even further.

Photo of Yehuda Katz

Yehuda Katz

Tilde Inc

Yehuda Katz is currently employed by Engine Yard, and works full time as a Core Team Member on the Rails and Merb projects. He is the co-author of jQuery in Action and the upcoming Merb in Action, and is a contributor to Ruby in Practice.

He spends most of his time hacking on Rails and Merb, but also on other Ruby community projects, like Rubinius and Datamapper. And when the solution doesn’t yet exist, he’ll try his hand at creating one – as such, he’s also created projects like Thor and DO.rb.

Comments on this page are now closed.


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Yehuda Katz
06/24/2010 11:54am PDT

@shanti sorry about that. The thing is that Ruby and Rails actually have proven this time and time again (google for Rails and PHP benchmarks), but the “Rails is so slow” meme has stuck.

The focus of my talk was mostly on how client-side performance matters, but yes, I was overly defensive about how people talk about Rails performance in general.

Thanks for the feedback!

Picture of Shanti Subramanyam
Shanti Subramanyam
06/24/2010 10:42am PDT

You were so defensive about Rails performance. Rails and ruby have been hyped so much that it is only fair that you guys need to prove that you can actually run as fast as PHP or whatever.

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Matthew Sacks
06/23/2010 8:09am PDT

Many useful examples on spriting and async. JavaScript loading in Rails and how those provide performance benefits were provided here by Yehuda Katz. Thank you.

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Steve Souders
05/18/2010 9:00am PDT

I’ve had lots of great conversations with Yehuda about web performance, especially around optimizing script loading in Rails. He’s extremely knowledgeable. I’m excited to have him talk about “fast by default” – the #1 theme of Velocity 2010. Adding performance optimizations to the development framework is a trend I expect to see happening more over the next year. It’s great to see Rails out in front. After he’s done, corner him and ask him to tell you about mobile.

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