Category Archives: Internet

All blogposts on about Internet (browsers, web development and mobile web).

No Google fonts with NoScript

I’m not only into optimizing the speed of sites with for the benefit of their visitors, but also into speeding up all sites in my browser, to satisfy my own impatience. I already blocked Facebook, Twitter and Google+ widgets using NoScript’s ABE and now added this little snippet in ABE’s user ruleset to stop Google Fonts from being loaded;

# no google fonts

Result: less requests, less to download and faster rendering without that ugly FOUT. Because let’s face it, your fancy fonts slow down the web and they are of no interest to me.

Why Autoptimize doesn’t touch non-local CSS/JS

Earlier today I got this question on the support forum for Autoptimize;

Will there be Google fonts support in the future? I now include the google font’s like this:

wp_enqueue_style( 'google-fonts', '//,600italic,400,700,600|Varela+Round' );

Is it possible to add this css to the combined and minified by this plugin file?

The basic question if Autoptimize can aggregate external resources has been asked before and I felt it was time to dig in.

I did a little test, requesting the same Google Font CSS, changing browser user agents. For my good ole Firefox on Ubuntu Linux I got (snippet);
@font-face {
font-family: 'Open Sans';
font-style: normal;
font-weight: 400;
src: local('Open Sans'), local('OpenSans'), url( format('woff2'), url( format('woff');

Whereas the exact same request with an MSIE7 useragent gives (again, extract);
@font-face {
font-family: 'Open Sans';
font-style: normal;
font-weight: 400;
src: url(;

It’s not surprising Google has specific CSS based on browser useragent (probably browser-version), but this is a simple example of how dynamic remote CSS or JS can be (the scala of variables that could lead to 3rd parties serving up different CSS/JS is huge, really).

So although theoretically it would be possible to have AO cache remote JS/CSS (such as Google Font’s) and include it in the aggregated CSS- or JS-file (and that way removing render blocking resources), the problem is that AO will never be able to apply whatever logic the 3rd party applies when getting requests. Hence the design decision (made by the original developer, Turl, a long long time ago) not to aggregate & minify external resources. This is how it should be.

Want to beta-test Autoptimize power-ups?

So I’m currently working on “power-ups” for Autoptimize, which I might commercialize later this year. Some examples of functionality I’m developing;

  • Excluding specific parts of your site from optimization (JS+CSS+HTML, JS-only or CSS-only), all from a simple configuration-screen
  • A settings-page to configure “above-the-fold”-CSS for specific pages
  • A power-up to speed up optimization itself (especially interesting if you don’t have a page caching plugin)

Drop me a line If you’re interested in beta-testing these power-ups, with a small description of where you would run this beta.

Mobile web vs. Native apps; Forrester’s take

So web is going away, being replaced by apps? Forrester researched and does not agree;

Based on this data and other findings in the new report, Forrester advises businesses to design their apps only for their best and most loyal or frequent customers – because those are the only one who will bother to download, configure and use the application regularly. For instance, most retailers say their mobile web sales outweigh their app sales, the report says. Meanwhile, outside of these larger players, many customers will use mobile websites instead of a business’ native app.

My biased interpretation; unless you think can compete with Facebook for mobile users’ attention, mobile apps should maybe not be your most important investment. Maybe PPK conceeded victory too soon after all?

HTML/ Javascript/ multimedia-extranvanganza essay about code

Paul Ford’s “What is Code” on Bloomberg Business is a comprehensive and utterly superb essay/ course/ HTML-javascript-multimedia-extravaganza about IT, computer history, programming languages, development, frameworks, version control, testing, shipping projects and much, much more. The entire text is licenced under Creative Commons (by-nc-nd) and all is up on GitHub to fork or simply admire.

Thanks for sharing Nicolas :-)