Web performance book could use examples of slowwwwww Ajax

Andy Oram writes on the O’Reilly editors’ list: “Steve Souders at Yahoo! is writing a book for us on Web performance. The focus of the book is on speeding up downloads and browser behavior. He doesn’t concentrate on Ajax, but some of what he writes is definitely relevant, and he is asking us for get examples of sites where Ajax updates seem to be slow.” That seemed like a good job for Radar readers! Please nominate your candidates, your exercises in frustration, in the comments.

  • The Internet’s finest example of Ajax bloat: http://ecirkit.com/

  • Zimbra could take a lesson from Google Calendar. The latter loads up about 1 second. The Zimbra suite takes 6-10 seconds to initialize, plus 1-2 more to get into the calendar.

  • What about blog widgets? Cocomment and Technorati View Blog Reactions are painfully slow.

    No more widgets that download icons remotely from another server.

    We need a standardized reporting framework: I’m healthy, feeling sick, DOA, here’s how to fix me. Make it an RSS feed.

    Fail gracefully: I hate Javascripts that freeze pages for 10 seconds while trying to retrieve a 2k logo. Where did the “asynchronous” go in AJAX?

    Unoptimized Blog plugins. Someone create a web service that parses widgets and ajax and identifies the parts that slow down the download, like an HTML/CSS/RSS validator. How difficult can this be?

    Centralization: Services like Feeburner offer many of the services you used to have to go to a handful of sites for, alleviating multiple Javascript downloads.

  • I love Google Reader (reader.google.com), but it’s excruciatingly slow. Particularly when categorizing feeds, it will simply freeze the browser for ten seconds or so after each new category is selected.

    Note, I have ~300 feeds subscribed; I don’t know if the slowdown is a function of number of subscriptions.

  • Google spreadsheets are cool, but really slow and lock up the browser (ie7) until they load.

  • Nathan

    Sorry…but the O’Reilly Safari ajax reader is reaaaaly slow.

  • Jake

    Hate to say it, but Yahoo Mail Beta is very slow as well. Most people I know still use the old version.

  • TG

    The WeightWatchers online points tracker (beta version) is painful to use. There are some cool features, but it is hard to put up with the pokiness.

    I believe it is actually Flash, but there is a lot communication between it and the server, effectively working like an AJAX app.

  • Joe


    As you scroll down the list of shows they load one section at a time…the loading seems slow! They should always load the next section before you decide to view it…that way it will make the user experience faster.

  • Anonymous
  • Ted

    Yahoo! Mail Beta is like chilled molasses, slow to load, ponderous on every mouse event and keystroke.

  • Ciaran

    Pretty much anything in (Apple’s) Safari, unfortunately.

  • I suggest the “new” yahoo mail beta client – mail.yahoo.com I assume it’s still going.

    I would see my CPU expand, memory use jump, and eventual browser meltdown if it stayed open too long. It was so bad I switched back to plain old Yahoo mail.