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DPChallenge Forums >> Web Site Suggestions >> Performance Boost Idea
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07/17/2002 11:41:06 AM · #1
As I surf this site, I notice that the header information is the same on each page. Could this segment be broken off into a separate frame where it does not have to reload for each page switch?

Also, on the voting page, It may be useful to hide the images that have already been voted on. Have a link at the bottom or top of the page to take the voter to those images for review on a separate page.

Just some thoughts...
07/17/2002 11:45:18 AM · #2
Always thinking! Good ideas.
07/17/2002 11:46:36 AM · #3
I dunno anything about web design, but I like the idea about the already voted on thumbnails being hidden. At home on my dialup, that voting page takes a good couple of minutes to load...

Also, I think it's been mentioned before, but if the whole thing didn't need to reload when you change one vote, it would encourage me to go back more...
07/17/2002 12:09:56 PM · #4
I like the hidden thumbnail idea, but you'll never get me to use frames :)

Drew
07/17/2002 12:21:39 PM · #5
Originally posted by drewmedia:
I like the hidden thumbnail idea, but you'll never get me to use frames :)

Drew


O yea? A frame at the top would make the site more user friendly as well. We would not have to scroll back to the top of the page to get to our navigation bar. The navigation menu would always be right where it needs to be :)
07/17/2002 12:31:11 PM · #6
Frames are evil!

Besides, the non-image portions of the header are so small as hardly not to be of any significance in speed performance... and the image portions should be cached by your browser-- meaning that once you visit the site (and visit it fairly regularly) you won''t even be downloading the images again.

All in all, there is little performance to be gained by using frames.

As far as hiding thumbmails-- if your browser is caching properly, you should only have to load all of the thumbnails once. Once loaded, anytime you are sent back to main voting page it should pull the thumbnails from your cache instead of downloading them again.

* This message has been edited by the author on 7/17/2002 12:34:14 PM.
07/17/2002 12:34:21 PM · #7
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
Originally posted by drewmedia:
[i]I like the hidden thumbnail idea, but you'll never get me to use frames :)

Drew


O yea? A frame at the top would make the site more user friendly as well. We would not have to scroll back to the top of the page to get to our navigation bar. The navigation menu would always be right where it needs to be :)
[/i]

I think drew is right, frames are no good. Number 1, navigation does not work with frames because the unit of navigation is different from the unit of view. If users create a bookmark in their browser, they may not get the same view back when they follow the bookmark at a later date. Number 2, URLs stop working. If a user copies the URL in order to include it as a hypertext anchor at another page, it will not lead the viewers to the same place.
07/17/2002 12:39:01 PM · #8
What would be my optimum cache settings in IE for best performance on this site?
07/17/2002 12:44:41 PM · #9
The hidden thumbnail is a good one, but assumes that one views/loads
the voting page only once. I imagine some (many?) people cast their
votes across several sessions, so loading the voting page is still a
time consuming process for these people (when the number of images
without votes remains large).

Would it be possible to have a user-defined preference as to how they
like to vote? Presumably, you want to keep the main page simple, so there
is just the one "vote now" link. In this case, the voting preference could
be "all", "grouped", or "single". "All" and "single" are probably
obvious, and "grouped" would be similar to "all", except that only
groups of N are shown on the voting page, where N is either constant
and small (5, 10, 20) or also user-definable. The same (or another)
preference could be used when displaying the additional page that
John suggests (showing the images with votes).


In any case, ideas like these will only allow you to scale up to a point.
If you envision having thousands (or even just imagine 1000) of images
submitted each week, the process of voting on them is certainly going
to be tedious (or infeasible) for many people. You might have to put
limits on challenges (this challenge ends once N submissions have been
received) or have multiple simultaneous challenges (probably with
different timelines...7-day challenge, 14-day, 30-day, et cetera).

When the number of submissions is considerably large, you may have to
have each person vote on a small percentage (or large if user-defined)
of images. This will require much more work on the back-end, as the
selection of a (not-really-)random set of images for each person must
be done so each image receives a statistically significant (or at
least equivalent) number of votes.
07/17/2002 01:11:08 PM · #10
I'm not sure if the browser really caches the images. The HTML code has the meta tag
<meta content="no-cache" http-equiv="pragma">
which means "don't cache me". I think could be done some optimization, especially by the "Cache-Control" and "Expires" meta information.
I found //www.web-caching.com/ to be a good resource on this topic.
07/17/2002 02:36:51 PM · #11
Originally posted by jmsetzler:

O yea? A frame at the top would make the site more user friendly as well. We would not have to scroll back to the top of the page to get to our navigation bar. The navigation menu would always be right where it needs to be :)


That would be horrible for people who already can't view the entirety of a 480x640 sized pictures in a browser window.




07/17/2002 03:23:21 PM · #12
Originally posted by Reuben:
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
[i]
O yea? A frame at the top would make the site more user friendly as well. We would not have to scroll back to the top of the page to get to our navigation bar. The navigation menu would always be right where it needs to be :)


That would be horrible for people who already can't view the entirety of a 480x640 sized pictures in a browser window.

[/i]

I would have to agree on that one :)
07/17/2002 04:37:14 PM · #13
The limits introduced by designing for 640x480 aren't worth the percentage of users who use that resolution. DPChallenge is designed for 800x600+.

Drew
07/17/2002 05:43:25 PM · #14
Originally posted by drewmedia:
The limits introduced by designing for 640x480 aren't worth the percentage of users who use that resolution. DPChallenge is designed for 800x600+.

Drew


I was talking about the vertical 480x640 images, which don't completely fit inside of the 800x600 resolution. They don't even fit inside normal browser windows at 1024x768, you've got to make it fullscreen or get rid of the buttons with the pictures.
07/18/2002 08:46:38 AM · #15
Hey Drew, did you ever try putting into place the cached forums idea?
07/18/2002 12:50:01 PM · #16
Something that would make the voting page load much faster would be WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes on the IMG tags. That way the browser wouldn't have to keep shuffling the page about while the images load.
07/18/2002 01:30:36 PM · #17
Originally posted by drewmedia:
The limits introduced by designing for 640x480 aren't worth the percentage of users who use that resolution. DPChallenge is designed for 800x600+.

Drew


Unfortunatly, it isn't really designed for 800x600+ but really just
800x600

At modestly high resolutions it looks terrible too. As i normally look
at it, the page uses up about 1/3rd to 1/2 of my screen. That's a
whole lot of white space and lots of very small fonts :)
07/19/2002 12:58:20 AM · #18
What great customer service orientation!

Originally posted by drewmedia:
I like the hidden thumbnail idea, but you'll never get me to use frames :)

Drew


07/20/2002 12:44:37 PM · #19
Originally posted by Zeissman:
What great customer service orientation!

No need to be cynic. There are good reasons against frames. rdesai listed the most important ones. And it wouldn't be such a big performance boost.

But Dez' idea was a very good one. Width and height information to the IMG tags would help browsers to render the page faster.

I also hope my suggestions above to allow browsers and proxies do better caching are considered.

07/20/2002 03:33:26 PM · #20
There are plenty of reasons to be a cynic.

Overall, think this is a very good site, but the new rule about voting will probably limit my ability to participate, and I like the frames idea. It may not boost performance, but it would make the forums easier to navigate for me.
07/20/2002 03:39:42 PM · #21
The frames concept works for me, but the comment about linking to specific places on the site is a problem. When you start hyperlinking to a photo, you would lose the frame and have to come back to it through the main page...
07/20/2002 05:33:20 PM · #22
Originally posted by jmsetzler:
The frames concept works for me, but the comment about linking to specific places on the site is a problem. When you start hyperlinking to a photo, you would lose the frame and have to come back to it through the main page...

It also would be more complicated to create the hyperlink, e.g. in the forum. At the moment you just copy&paste the link from the input bar on the top of your browser. But with frames there would be the link to the frameset not to the specific photo you want.
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