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Release It! by Michael T. Nygard

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Antipattern9.5 Wasted Space in HTML

I’ve seen a lot of bad things justified with arguments that “bandwidth is cheap” and “CPU is cheap.” As you saw in Myths About Capacity, neither statement is true. You should not excuse inefficiency.

Web applications harbor a lot of inefficiency that makes users suffer every day. Suppose a page could be reduced from 200KB to 150KB—not an uncommon reduction, by the way. That’s 25% fewer bytes the user has to download. Those 50KB take ten seconds on an average dial-up connection. The extra bytes matter for broadband users, too. Here’s why.

The application server uses CPU cycles to generate those 50KB of wasted space. ...

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