Computers - Software Hardware : Firebug: A Top-Notch Tool for Web Related Work/Development

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Gorilla, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Firebug is a pretty amazing tool that has numerous uses when it comes to debugging web content, applications, and more. It's even useful when doing scripting for automated testing with tools like Selenium or Watir. Want to fiddle with the layout or tag attributes and get real time feedback? Firebug can do that too. It's probably one of the best Javascript debuggers available. One can even look at requests/network track to diagnose issues or get an idea of just how heavy a web-page or application is.

    The functionality of Firebug is also heavily extended by extensions that are developed for it as well.

    More Information about Firebug for Firefox:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firebug_(web_development)

    Firebug Wiki: http://getfirebug.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

    This is a really fun tool even if you don't do any development and you've just been curious about the web.
     
  2. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    One of my favorite extensions for Firebug is YSlow. It's a tool developed by Yahoo based on the criteria they've developed over the years to improve the performance of websites and web applications.

    I guess the only way to show why it's one of my favorites is to demonstrate why using Destee.com as an example:
    • YSlow pointed out that there are about ~66 objects that do not have Expire Headers that are set to a far future date for some content that doesn't appear to be dynamically generated.
    • YSlow showed that all of the Javascript and CSS files have been minified, but it looks like there's some script files that do not have gzip compression enabled.
    • It looks like the forum platform maybe scaling image sizes down with HTML. This means that images that are larger than needed are being downloaded instead of being already scaled on the backend and transferred over to save bandwidth. They appear to mostly be avatars.

    YSlow also shows a lot of things that the platform on Destee.com gets right:
    • No references to content/objects that don't exist
    • AJAX is cachable and used to avoid requesting entire pages when just some content is needed.
    • CSS expressions are used sparingly to dynamically change properties
    • There doesn't appear to be any duplicate JavaScript and CSS.

    The following are some more generalized statistics from YSlow:

    Statistics for a visitor with Empty Cache:
    HTTP Requests - 102
    Total Weight - 1119.5K


    1 HTML/Text 26.8K
    16 JavaScript File 574.6K
    5 Stylesheet File 86.1K
    5 IFrame 78.2K
    2 Flash Object 211.1K
    20 CSS Image 47.7K
    52 Image 91.1K
    1 Favicon 3.6K

    Returning Visitor:

    Primed Cache
    HTTP Requests - 72
    Total Weight - 216.1K


    1 HTML/Text 26.8K
    11 JavaScript File 92.4K
    5 IFrame 70.4K
    12 CSS Image 0.0K
    42 Image 26.3K
    1 Favicon 0.0K

    When the YSlow Test is ran against a website, it will offer numerous areas for potential performance gains. It will probably offer more than anyone in their right mind would be willing to chase down, so the ruleset is adjustable and people are free to just leave somethings be if it's just not worth it to optimize. Overall, I would say pretty decent job and that YSlow shows some relatively easy wins for Destee.com that may help reduce costs.

    More Information on YSlow:
    http://developer.yahoo.com/yslow/

    YSlow is also available for other browsers as well.
     
  3. Shikamaru

    Shikamaru Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Do you do any development with respect to cloud computing or software as a service (SaaS)?
     
  4. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    All my experience has been with software services oriented companies. I was assigned to contracts/projects that did some of that stuff, but nothing really that impressive. I have a little experience with AWS and Rackspace, but I haven't done much cloud stuff. There was one project that did some work with federated services, but it didn't fall under cloud stuff. It was all pretty much private infrastructure compared to AWS, etc.
     
  5. Each1teach1

    Each1teach1 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you I will check that out and its free, i love free
     
  6. Shikamaru

    Shikamaru Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm looking to standup a private cloud in my home complete with VDI and other services including software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
    I use my tablets and smartphone a lot, therefore virtual desktops will be a boon.
    I'm still working on the abstraction of the storage. I want to do something akin to a SAN, but will more than likely go with direct attached storage.

    Going open source all the way :).
    I wouldn't mind using VMware, but that gets expensive.
     
  7. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    People seem to be doing this now with VPS Hosts like Linode and the iPad and syncing their configurations with free services like github (example of a person who decided to shif this development to an iPad http://yieldthought.com/post/12239282034/swapped-my-macbook-for-an-ipad). I'm assuming you need something more than SSH + GNU Screen + Text Editor, but it sounds like what you're looking for is something like Xen (http://xen.org/). You can get access to the desktop you'd like probably running something like VNC (this should have plenty of flexibility depending on your guest operating system).

    NAS seems like it would be good enough for general shared storage and you could probably get something hacked together with chron jobs to take care of backing up guest OS images with a physical drive on the host machine.

    You'll just need to secure your remote connection (tunnel VNC through VPN or SSH) and set up some monitoring (and be able to recover guests that have crashed) and you should be set.
     
  8. Shikamaru

    Shikamaru Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I use Citrix XenServer currently. VMware is really picky about what hardware its runs on.
    I wouldn't mind experimenting with other hypervisors.
    I might rig some of the equipment at work for this.

    For cloud computing, I'm going Ubuntu Cloud using Eucalyptus (an open source variant of Amazon EC2). Other open source cloud solutions include OpenStack.

    I use any and all protocols to connect i.e. SSL, SSH, RDP, ICA, VNC, etc. Depends on the hardware platform.
    I use any and all applications to connect i.e. VNC, Microsoft RDC, Wyse, Citrix, etc.

    The VDI will be cool. I'll have Windows and Linux desktops. Given the capacity of space and processing power, I'll have different desktops for different purposes.

    I have a NAS now. It is a bit slow. I use NAS for file storage.
    I'll go with DAS for the storage nodes of the cloud. I'll need speed for the VMs.
    I can't wait till they have 10G for the home :D.

    The monitoring should be taken care of the by the controller.
    Crashed guests should always be accessible by software console of the virtualization solution.
    If you can remote to the controlling node, you should be set.

    Many cloud solutions use a web GUI interface for administration of the server farm. I'm certain SSH can be used for console administration if desired.
     
  9. Gorilla

    Gorilla Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It could potentially save you some money. It supports all the guest OSes you'd like to run given your list of protocols and apps below.

    The protocols aren't really dependent on your hardware platform selections here, especially if you move off vmware or decide to purchase from their compatibility guide/partners up front (in terms of the host machine at least). For the guests, it will matter even less since they're pretty well supported by different hypervisors.

    The main appeal to me would be saving money by running everything on one box of bare metal. Right now though, it's pretty overkill for me. Test VMs get me by when I need them and a lot of times I don't have to worry about other platforms these days.

    If your intention is to only have one host machine and not easily share across multiple guests, that should be fine. I would separate out your non-content back ups (guest OS images, configuration management etc) to another DAS to avoid a single point of failure. This shouldn't be too much more expensive.

    NAS has the advantage of sharing much more easily across multiple guests and whatever you use as a client will have direct access to NAS. It definitely shouldn't be that slow either. The last time I had a personal NAS performance was pretty good and I was moving around a lot of data locally. It shouldn't be too bad if you're doing this with a cloud provider either. They usually have plenty of capacity available.

    The key advantage here is automation and knowing if your guests are actually running instead of just appearing to be running to the controller and actually dead. Sure, you could do all of these by SSHing into the machine, but why not automate this chore? More time using your system and less time fixing things. Once you start doing non-trivial setups for everyday life, automation becomes a big headache reliever.

    Either way good luck and have fun.
     
  10. Shikamaru

    Shikamaru Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That's why I went with Citrix XenServer. It is free :).
    Open source Xen is a bit pokey running Windows. I'm sure it can be tuned for better performance.

    XenServer runs Windows like a champ right out of the box.

    I use whatever works on a specific platform.
    There are so many different applications for the protocols, it is almost universal for whatever platform you decide to use.
    I'm doing much on my tablets. Both of them support RDP. My Xoom can do SSH.

    I'm essentially setting up a farm with a minimum two node cluster and a controlling node.
    The controller can be a simple 1U server.
    The nodes will be dual quad-cores that can support a goat-load of RAM.
    That should make for a nice compact private cloud.

    Actually with a cloud, I'd have a two node cluster. The cluster would have direct access to the storage array. I would consider a NAS for near-line backup.

    My intention is VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). I can setup virtual servers and virtual networks in my cloud anytime, anywhere, through any platform. It will meet all my needs.

    From experience, NAS is slow particularly for speed of VMs. NAS is fine for data storage and file access. I need the I/O of DAS.
    Go either DAS or SAN if you need performance and speed.

    NAS would work with iSCSI. iSCSI is not quite there yet for performance.

    I'm certain the cloud software will take care of the bulk of administration.
    What is left over, I'll have the world of Linux and open source command-line, scripting, and programming tools.
     
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