The Ashes

Technology, Science and other news
April 17, 2009

Speeding Up Urchin with Dojo, Part 2

Posted by : admin
Filed under : General

Last year, we covered Pete Higgin’s blog talking about how to load Google Analytics in a more responsive manner. Google may not have improved the situation since then (really?), but the Dojo folks have packaged up Pete’s script into the recently released Dojo 1.3 and Alex Russell recently posted a great summary of issues with Google Analytics and an example of the new code:

[Google Analytics] but it tends to load slowly. There are several reasons for this:

  • Another DNS lookup to resolve This DNS entry is likely to be “warm” given how frequently ga.js is used on the web, but as Jim Roskind explained on the Chromium blog, it’s the outliers that kill you.
  • It’s kinda big. At 9K on the wire (22K unzipped), ga.js is kinda chunky for what it does most of the time, namely tracking a single page load.
  • The default instructions are bone-headed. They direct you to do a document.write() which is a blocking, synchronous operation WRT page loading. This is tres dumb. Reasonable people should just include ga.js with a <script> tag, but nearly nobody does. Turns out that sane defaults still matter.
  • Load times seem totally random. As with DNS lookup, ga.js’s latency varies wildly. This isn’t backed up by anything empirical, but many pages feel blocked by ga.js for a near eternity.

The code is now simplified into this:


  1. <script type=“text/javascript”
  2.   src=“”>
  3. </script>
  4. <script type=“text/javascript”>
  5.   dojo.addOnLoad(function(){
  6.     setTimeout(function(){
  7.       dojo.require("")
  8.       dojo.addOnLoad(function(){
  9.         var tracker = new{
  10.           acct: "UA-XXXXXX-X" // your tracking # here
  11.         })
  12.       })
  13.     }, 100)
  14.   })
  15. </script>

Check out Alex’s blog entry for more details.

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