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While most webdevelopers focus on their webapplications to optimize things (speed, usability, etcetera), optimizing things specifically in or for the browser is often overlooked. What about the new possibilities of WebP? Or creating browser-extensions to aid development? Here is what we've been working on.

Google WebP - a replacement of PNG and JPEG

Already some time ago, Google introduced a new image-format called WebP ("weppie"), which aims to reduce the size of images dramatically. Using WebP causes the image-load to be at 60% of the original size in some cases, so there's a lot to gain here. Unfortunately, the trick only works in Chrome (or Firefox with a special WebP extension), but knowing that Chrome is one of the most popular browsers nowadays, it is still worth to give it a go.

We have developed two WebP extensions: One for Joomla! and one for Magento. Note that you will need to add the WebP binary on a system-level, so this solution is probably only best for webmasters who have root-access.

Chrome-extension Magento Autoform

Another example of working with the browser is creating browser-specific extensions. We all know tools like Firebug and the Web Developer Toolbar, but those are not really optimized for Magento or Joomla!. Creating extensions for Chrome boils down to working with HTML and JavaScript in a smart way (not too difficult).

As a first start we created an extension for autocompleting Magento forms. Chrome already ships with functionality of the kind, but does not know much about where to enter the right details in Magento forms: It enters a password in the checkout-form, but then also copies the username to the fax-number. Our extension does the job in the right way.


Another cool thing is pre-rendering: Basically it allows the browser to load the next page while the current page is being displayed. The main issue is here: What is the next page the visitor is going to visit? It seems some kind of fuzzy logic is needed here, to guess which page is loaded the most by visitors, after visiting the current page. We'll keep you updated on our findings.

Written on 19 April 2012 by Jisse Reitsma

About the author

Jisse Reitsma is the founder of Yireo, extension developer, developer trainer and two times Magento Master. His passion is for technology and open source. And he loves talking as well.

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