This morning as I perused my rss aggregator, I came upon an article over at Ajaxian about a cool new tool for auto-generating CSS Sprites. This seemed like a cool idea, but I didn't think much of it. After all, I've heard of hundreds of projects that try to do something I think would be really useful, and when I go to try it myself I find it's such a pain to get working it's not worth the effort and I may as well accomplish the original task manually.
So how much did SpriteMe help my homepage? See the screenshot below to find out:
I don't know if that's readable or not, but what it says is this "21 requests eliminated". That's 21 fewer http calls that my server has to handle for every visit to the homepage, and 21 fewer requests the user has to wait through on load.
More importantly, how much work did it save me? Well, being no graphics expert, I predict I would have spend 4-5 hours trying to get the sprites right for my homepage. Doing all that in 5 minutes is impressive. Most impressive.
Steve Souders, you've made my day.