On Speed

In the release notes of FLOW3 1.0.0 alpha 8 I wrote that we'd care more about development speed than execution speed. During a discussion in the typo3-dev list someone pointed out that he's not comfortable with that – so maybe this needs some further explanation.

In my opinion, the most important aspect of an application is a positive user experience. And as simple as that is said, many aspects play into that experience:

  1. functionality and intuitivity (usability)
  2. speed, interaction, "joy of use" (feel)
  3. consistent design conveying reliability, trust and sexyness (look)

As I mentioned before, I think that a positive UX for the developer is equally important as a positive experience for the user - only motivated programmers will create high-grade code. So we have two of the aspects challenging with each other: joy of use / speed for the developer and speed for the user. Because many automatisms and supporting mechanisms which simplify a developer's life eventually slow down the overall application. Do they?

The experience of speed is not the equivalent of speed of the framework. If you build a superhighway, it's not important how fast the pave-laying machines can go - they are just building the roadbed. What's important is the speed experience while driving on the Autobahn. On the same note it's only of secondary importance how fast FLOW3 can render your AOP proxy classes or builds a Fluid template. What counts is how fast the user of your application or the visitor of your TYPO3 website gets a response, it's important that the app feels snappy.

In that regard we value speed even higher than speed of development, because if the user experience is bad, the overall product is no good. My point is: a benchmark comparing the rendering time of different frameworks doesn't tell much about the speed a user will experience.

Photo: RICarr / Flickr

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