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HTTP's Best-Kept Secret: Caching

About the Talk

May 7, 2009 5:25 AM

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, NV

Did you know that nearly one-third of the HTTP specification, RFC 2616, is dedicated to caching? Or that the Cache constraint is so fundamental to the REST architectural style that it’s fully defined before “Resources”, “Hypertext”, or “The Uniform Interface” are even mentioned? This talk will show how you can start taking advantage of HTTP’s best-kept secret: caching.

We’ll start by tearing down all of the worst practices that have accumulated over the years and caused caching in HTTP to be perceived as a form of Voodoo. Once deprogrammed, you’ll learn how HTTP’s basic caching mechanisms really work, see how to take advantage of them in Rails, and learn about advanced techniques like “efficient validation”. From there, we’ll talk a bit about the different types of caches (client, shared, gateway) as well as specific cache implementations, like Varnish, Squid, and Rack::Cache. Finally, we’ll show how to think about cacheability as a fundamental aspect of resource design and why it’s beneficial to do so.

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