Wired Minds is very slow

After being unable to access my blog for a few days, I checked it again today… and noticed that the page was taking a long time to load. This was strange, as I could go into HTML source view and see that everything appeared to be there. I quickly discovered the answer: wiredminds.com. The bottom of all blogs on the blogspirit network, including mine, now include code of the following sort:

<!– WiredMinds Web eMetrics V2.14 START –> <script type=”text/javascript”> <!– var pgname=”www.tdaxp.com”; var grname=”blogspirit_BLOGS”; var version=”2.14″; var resolution=””; var color_depth=””; var plugin_list=””; var jv=0; var ref=document.referrer; if(typeof(top.document)==”object”) ref=top.document.referrer; resolution=screen.width+”x”+screen.height; color_depth=navigator.appName!=’Netscape’? screen.colorDepth : screen.pixelDepth; for (var i=0; i<navigator.plugins.length; i++) { plugin_list += navigator.plugins[i].name + ‘;’; } if (navigator.javaEnabled()) { jv=1; } document.write(‘<div><a target=”_blank” href=”http://www.wiredminds.com”><img src=”http://demo.wiredminds.com/click_track/ctin.php?custnum=15&sname=www.tdaxp.com&pagename=’+escape(pgname)+’&group=’+escape(grname)+’&version=’+version+’&js=1&jv=’+jv+’&resolution=’+resolution+’&color_depth=’+ color_depth+’&plugins=’+escape(plugin_list)+’&referrer=’+escape(ref)+'” alt=”WiredMinds eMetrics tracking with Click Track” border=”0″></a></div>’); //–> </script> <noscript> <div><a target=”_blank” HREF=”http://www.wiredminds.com”><img src=”http://demo.wiredminds.com/click_track/ctin.php?custnum=15&sname=www.tdaxp.com&pagename=www.tdaxp.com&group=blogspirit_BLOGS&version=2.14″ alt=”WiredMinds eMetrics tracking with Click Track” border=”0″></a></div> </noscript> <!– WiredMinds Web eMetrics V2.14 END –>

Because the browser waits for this user-tracking javascript program to load before displaying the page, blogspirit‘s foolish use of wiredminds hurts bloggers and users. Wired Minds: a bad move.

An update is available below the fold

All emails used with permission: Reply from Phillippe PINAULT

As you can imagine, our customers are the most important consideration in our business and we take their concerns and issues very seriously. Therefore having read your recent blog we took the opportunity to investigate the impact of our solution specifically upon the performance of your website. Firstly, we’d like to mention that we have never experienced to this day any negative impacts or performance issues resulting from WiredMinds’ tracking code on the Websites our customers, either in tests or in our customers’ live production sites. Nevertheless we’re open to the possibility that there are situations we haven’t yet tested where the tracking code might produce conflicts. For this reason it is really important to us that we treat this issue as a very high priority and that we try to establish out the reasons behind the slow-down on your blog. Firstly we tested your blog in Mozilla and IE (6 and 7), and Opera without experiencing any speed problems or delays. 1. The first thing we checked was the position of the tracking code in the HTML source. The tracking code is located at the end of the document, right before the closing tag. This follows the WiredMinds technical guidelines of installing the code to the letter and is exactly the same as for our other customers. Why is this important? Because every browser loads the content of the Web page in a top-to-bottom sequential order, with the last thing displayed being the tracking code, since this is placed at the end of the document. Therefore, even if the tracking server is not available for any reason the content of the Web page is displayed without hindrance (in all known browsers). We would like to add, however, that our tracking servers are extremely high-performance machines, and that we guarantee an availability in excess of 99.95%. Just to make sure this wasn’t slowing things up we simulated a server response time delay (just for our IP Adresses) and then tried to access an example Weblog with the following browsers: IE6, IE7, Moz, Opera 9.10. The result of the simulation? All browsers loaded the Webpage without any delay, despite the fact that the tracking server didn’t send its reply for a further 15 seconds (this is the aforementioned simulated delay). This confirmed that the availability of the tracking server cannot influence the loading of the website, particulalry in the specific case of BlogSpirit Weblogs. 2. Secondly, we checked the JavaScript in the tracking code for errors. There was no error found in the JavaScript part of the document. Even if there were a JavaScript error, the content of the Web page would still be displayed by all browsers. The tracking code with the javascript is located at the end of the document, so again, the execution of this code is triggered after the page is displayed. A scenario where the browser waits for the javascript execution to complete before displaying the page is not known to us, if it does exist. 3. Other tracking code on your Webpage Having analysed your Blog page more carefully, we’ve discovered that there are a few additional tracking codes installed on the Webpage: Here are the ones I’ve found: a)Site Meter This code is located right at the beginning of the document body, so the browser first executes this code before displaying the rest of the content. This could lead to a delay in displaying the Website and therefore is more a likely cause of the problem then the WiredMinds tracking code. Here is the code (line 18):

Site Meter

b) Google Analytics This tracking code from Google is located at line 114, right before the WiredMinds tracking code It is possible we’ve missed some but we’ve found a total of 3 tracking codes on one single webpage. Now the question is, which one is more likely to cause a performance problem to the Webpage? We considered the following facts in our investigation: 1. The WiredMinds tracking code is executed last of all (after all the content has been displayed and all other scripts are executed) 2. The WiredMinds javascript is located within the content of the page, rather than the other 3 tracking codes which first must be downloaded from 3 different servers (causing a lot more traffic and delay) on every load of the Webpage. That means: – first, each javascript include (Site Meter, Google) download the tracking codes from a corresponding server (3 requests per page view in this case) – second, each of those tracking codes have to send the tracking information to it’s corresponding server (another 3 requests here) 3. In the case of WiredMinds, the tracking code is embedded directly in the html code of the Website, as you can see, so only one request is made to the server: sending the tracking information. This reduces traffic and speeds up the tracking procedure. As far as we know the WiredMinds tracking code cannot influence, under any circumstances (even if it contained scripting errors, or if the server were unavailable), the loading or displaying of a Website page in any modern browser. Nevertheless, we are most interested in assisting you in resolving this problem and in establishing the root cause of this problem. Therefore, we would like to ask you to provide us with further details about the problems you experienced (browser version, operating system, date and time of the incident, javascript version, etc.) and we shall endeavour to rectify any problems that may have resulted from the inclusion of WiredMinds in your blog.

My response:

Thank you for your concern. The slowness no longer occurs. The slowness was not the result of the HTML itself downloading slowly. A “view source” would show the entire page, down to the tag. However, Firefox’s status bar read “Waiting for WiredMinds,” or else a similar message. The google analytics tracking code also appears to come from blogspirit, as I do not have it in any of my templates but other blogspirit pages observe it. I have removed the sitemeter tracking code for its own slowness. Thank you again for your response,

The Destruction of Iraq’s Educational System

Over at Mountainrunner, I note that the destruction of the infrastructure that allowed a 15% minority to terrorize Iraqis is not a bad thing.

Nykrindc (a great blogger in his own right) disagrees, noting that the educated class was composed for “those Iraqi professionals who were stifled for so long under Hussein’s dictatorship… These people were essential to the future viability of any Iraqi state

I respond:

Saddamism without Saddam would have been a disasterous end to the Iraq War. Since 1945, the “educated class” of Iraq had run that state into the ground, as they similarly ran nearly every Arab state into the ground. The Iraq War is not about maintaing the status quo but destroying it forever.

MR agrees with the criticism, writing “Iraq, a country very much connected (pre-sanctions) with the west, highly educated, a middle class, a real sense of national (Iraqi) identity

I respond:

Saying that the former overclass of Iraq had an “Iraqi identity” is like saying that the Afrinaers had an “African” identity. It’s easy to identify with your victims when it gives you legitimacy to victimize them.

The best possible outcome out of the Iraq War would have been the spontaneous emergence of a western style democracy. This was never likely, however.

Instead, we have a partial victory of an Iraqi government that reflects the wills of the peoples of Iraq, and no longer pays rents to the Sunni Arab popuilation for the pleasure of not being killed or maimed. This is what we have achieved.

Canton, a tdaxp Travelogue

Our engagement called for celebration, and what better way to celebrate that visiting Canton — no, not Canton, South Dakota (which we visited just prior to this year’s China trip), but the Eastern Vastness of the People’s Republic of China.

Canton was previously in the French sphere of influence, and is the richest province in the country. While immigration is a political question — other Chinese keep trying to move here — the country has long been open to the outside world. The two most recent revolutionary movements with strong Western influence — the Taiping and the KMT — both got their start here.

Fff to another adventure involving train travel, so I am not sure how often new material will be posted. Until then… enjoy!

Canton, a tdaxp travelogue
1. Peking to Chungshan
2. Yatsen City
3. Chunshan to Chuhai
4. Pearl Ocean
5. Chuhai to Peking