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CSS3 PIE Forums - View topic - Why a CDN?
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View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:24 am



Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
 Why a CDN? 
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 1:35 pm
Posts: 27
Post Why a CDN?
Hi Jason & company,
I have noticed that upon reading the various threads, that you all are looking at putting PIE on a CDN. My question is: why? I understand about content availability, etc, etc., but, why would I want to reference PIE on a CDN instead of hosting it on my own server? Making another 'network' call has got to be more expensive (time wise) than fetching from my own server. I can't imagine the reason would be to always have the latest version since that would mean possibly running an untested version in a live environment. I must be missing something. I can't see the benefits of not hosting PIE locally. Could you or someone enlighten me?

Keep up the excellent work...
Dick


Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:45 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:46 am
Posts: 1452
Post Re: Why a CDN?
First of all: using a CDN-hosted version of the JS files is completely optional and up to the individual -- by default it loads from the main domain.

Now... using a CDN can have several benefits, including:
- They can serve the content from the server closest geographically to each site visitor
- Avoids using up one of the concurrent connections that IE allows to your main domain, so other resources can download from your server in parallel
- CDNs generally have proper Gzipping enabled, which many users might not have the knowledge or ability to configure on their own server

These are all really standard reasons for using CDNs, nothing specific to PIE. And of course the usual tradeoffs apply too -- like you mentioned the possibly extra DNS lookup, plus the dependency on a third party's service. But I think it's still a valuable option to provide, especially since it sort of comes "for free" as a nice bonus from the new loading system.


Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:58 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:18 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: Why a CDN?
I must say I’ve grown tired of the annoying trend to increasinly outsource even simplest scripts to CDNs. This requires connection to third party servers to execute these scripts which some people – like me – have deliberately disabled. And more and more sites become completely unusable because some lazy developer or ignorant n00b just puts a link to an external CDN in their websites without even thinking of a local fallback solution (despite the fact that they write crappy code so that the working of their website relies on JavaScript). I’ve seen someone in a comment to the 2.0 announcement asking about a CDN and this alone shows how lazy and ignorant people have become. They don’t even want to think about how to implement a script, they just wanna put a link to somewhere. In my opinion those people don’t deserve to use it if they don’t care about anything.

I see no advantage whatsoever to serve CSS3PIE from a CDN. I can understand that for large applications like video streaming servers or whatever but not for a comparably small script like CSS3PIE.
Sorry for the rant but I had to get that out of my system.


Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:44 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:46 am
Posts: 1452
Post Re: Why a CDN?
While I agree with you that blindly using CDNs without properly considering the tradeoffs is naive (this is why PIE does not use a CDN by default), I also think that the "CDNs have no benefit, never use them" attitude is similarly naive. As I mentioned above, there are some real benefits to using CDNs, as well as some real downsides, and calling those who make that choice responsibly "ignorant" or "lazy" is unfair.

You bring up some good points, so let's discuss these:

- You say you disable scripts from other domains. I'm unfamiliar, is this an option in IE? How do you set it? Is there a way to detect in code when a user has that setting enabled, so that PIE can automatically fall back to local loading? I'll gladly implement that if possible.

- I sympathize with your concern about reliance on third-party servers. That becomes a real problem if the scripts are loaded synchronously, or if the site can't function without the scripts. With PIE, however, neither of these is an issue in my opinion -- if it's configured to load from an external domain it will do so asynchronously so the page is not blocked from rendering, and PIE only provides visual effects which shouldn't ever prevent site functionality anyway.

Also, let's not fall into the trap of assuming that "separate domain" equals "third-party server". It's quite possible (and I think somewhat common) to use several domains that resolve to the same physical server or cluster, to enable the technique known as "domain sharding" to get around concurrent connection limits imposed by browsers -- I've done this in the past and it can improve site performance significantly, especially in old IE where the connection limit is low.

All good discussion. :) If anyone wants to take a whack at drafting some guidelines on the pros/cons of loading from external domains, I think that would be a valuable resource for PIE users and I'd gladly include it in our docs.


Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:25 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:18 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: Why a CDN?


Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:41 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:46 am
Posts: 1452
Post Re: Why a CDN?


Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:30 am
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:02 am
Posts: 1
Post Re: Why a CDN?
Very refreshing to see people actually discussing CDNs rationally rather than blindly using them without any real consideration of their apparent benefit.

This article might make an interesting read for some here http://zoompf.com/2010/01/should-you-us ... brary-cdns - lots of good counter-points in the comments underdneath too.


Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:09 am
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