After I presented ShowSlow at Velocity Online Conference two weeks ago, I got a lot of suggestions regarding the software or a public instance and one of them was from Steve Souders who recommended creating a comparison page where people can see rankings for different sites compared over time.
It immediately resonated with me (G vs. Y! spirit) as I always try to create thought provoking features within ShowSlow that can help business people and developers ask new kinds of questions about their systems. In this case, the question is obvious – “Am I better then my competitors?“.
I gave extended presentation about ShowSlow at New York Web Performance Meetup yesterday and I hope I was able to inspire people to start tracking their web site’s performance over time and thinking about your metrics that they want to collect for their business.
You might also want to look at about:config preferences for Firefox to see if any of them affect you, e.g. forcing Firebug to open and grade each page, cache storage, automatic updates of extensions and stuff like that. I hope to have it documented better in near future.
I’d like to also thank our host Logicworks and Stephanie personally for hospitality – it’s great to be welcome!
At our next session, on April 15th, Nicholas Tang is going to demo WebPageTest.org – free, web based performance analysis site that uses AOL Pagetest open source tool developed by Patrick Meenan. This will be first in a series of “Tools” sessions where I hope we’ll cover many useful details of them all.
I added a few features to ShowSlow in a past couple weeks, but being also busy with HowDoable, I didn’t have time to write about them so here you go – a short digest:
Limit URLs using PCRE regexes
You can now limit URLs to be accepted by ShowSlow using PCRE regular expressions (thanks for initial patch from Aaron). All you need to do is to use a regex instead of just prefix in $limitURLs array – ShowSlow will automatically detect that it’s not a URL prefix and match against it using preg_match.
DBUpgrade for easy data schema upgrades
I’ve started to use another open source project of mine called DBUpgrade to help you with database schema upgrades going from version to version. Going forward, if you’ll need to upgrade the schema, all you’ll have to do is run php dbupgrade.php or just make (which is going to run svn update too). tables.sql will still contain latest schema so feel free to update manually.
DBUpgrade requires MySQLi module to be configured with your PHP, it is also recommended if you’re using MySQL 4.1.3 and later (and you should be).
By default, beacons are sent to http://www.showslow.com/beacon/har/ but you can reconfigure it to point to your own instance using extensions.firebug.netexport.beaconServerURL Firefox config variable (at about:config).
That was a lot of stuff – I should be reporting about developments more often.
Go ahead and try it all, let me know how it works and if you have any troubles using these features. If you feel you need more features in ShowSlow, go ahead, submit them to our UserVoice forum and email the mailing list to discuss and gain supporters: http://groups.google.com/group/showslow.