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Democratic Convention Web Site Supposedly Outperforms Republicans'

Earlier this month, we pointed out that the Republican National Convention was running its Web Site on Apache in spite of the fact that it received $1 million in donations from Microsoft.

Now, Computerworld is reporting that the Democratic Convention Web Site outperformed the Republican Web Site. This could be one of the more subtle examples of spin to be foisted on the IT community in recent history.

As advocates of static redering techniques to improve site performance, we are torn when we read descriptions of the Democratic Convention Web Site like, "the Web staff designed the site with static pages instead
of dynamic pages, because the static pages take up less space and
take less time to download."

However, a more telling example of the fact that the Democrats, Microsoft, and Keynote Systems got their agendas out in print is evidenced by the paragraph that follows immediately after the previous quote:

He also said they used content management and had about 30 cache
servers spread throughout the country. This way, the content was in
close proximity to the users.

Well, if we built a Web Site using a service like Akamai and compare it to one that doesn't use caching, we could blow away the competition also, regardless of which HTTP server either site uses. They are probably comparing apples and oranges.

Then, if you consider the fact that everyone who analyzed the conventions agreed that nobody was looking at the Web for convention information anyway, shouldn't everyone be asking themselves why Computerworld thought this story was newsworthy in the first place?

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