Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Free Alternatives to Adobe Reader

As the years have gone by, Adobe Reader (formally Adobe Acrobat Reader) has got bigger (version 5.05 is 8.6MB and will probably still handle many PDF's OK, the latest, 8.1.1 is 22.3MB) and invariably slower with each release. Thankfully there are free alternatives, that are both a smaller download and much faster at opening PDF's.

  • SumatraPDF (< 1MB, still in beta, open source)
  • Foxit Reader (around 2MB download)
  • PDF XChange Viewer (13MB, but still smaller than Adobe Reader and supports comments/annotations, filling in forms and exporting text and images)

Alternatively, you could still have Adobe Reader, and use a tool that disables the plugins that slow the startup - e.g. Adobe Reader SpeedUp or PDF SpeedUp (although I haven't tested either of these).

Monday, December 03, 2007

Analyse performance of web pages with YSlow

YSlow is a plugin for Firefox developed by Yahoo that analyses your web pages and reports back on any performance issues (plus gives a grade). There is a performance report (which shows you areas which can be improved), stats (overview of what is loaded, cached/uncached, cookies and number of HTTP requests), components (page, CSS/JS,JPG etc - expiry, if gzip used, response time, ETag and file sizes) and various tools (view all CSS/JavaScript and a JSLint report).

This plugin depends on Firebug.