Mailing List Archive

Usability: page weight
Forwarded.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Yann Forget <yannfo@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 6:57 AM
Subject: Usability: page weight
To: foundation-l-owner@lists.wikimedia.org


Hello,

While we are talking about usability issues, I would like to mention
an issue which was not mentioned up to now : page weight.

I am now surfing most of time with a 3G key with a bandwidth of 16
KB/s maximum, and often less.
My experience of Wikimedia sites compared with the other websites I am
using regularly, GMail and Facebook,
shows that these load much faster than Wikimedia pages, even if the
page is mostly empty.
It seems that these sites use some fancy caching for that.

Page weight is a major hurdle for working on any Wikimedia sites
affecting users who do not enjoy a broadband connection.
And I believe that small wikis with non-European languages are more
affected than others (a study would be interesting here).
For improving outreach of Wikimedia outside of the Western world,
improving the page weight should be a priority.

What can be done?

Regards,

Yann
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Re: Usability: page weight [ In reply to ]
On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 2:19 PM, Ryan Lomonaco <wiki.ral315@gmail.com> wrote:
> Forwarded.
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Yann Forget <yannfo@gmail.com>
> Date: Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 6:57 AM
> Subject: Usability: page weight
> To: foundation-l-owner@lists.wikimedia.org
>
>
> Hello,
>
> While we are talking about usability issues, I would like to mention
> an issue which was not mentioned up to now : page weight.
>
> I am now surfing most of time with a 3G key with a bandwidth of 16
> KB/s maximum, and often less.
> My experience of Wikimedia sites compared with the other websites I am
> using regularly, GMail and Facebook,
> shows that these load much faster than Wikimedia pages, even if the
> page is mostly empty.
> It seems that these sites use some fancy caching for that.
>
> Page weight is a major hurdle for working on any Wikimedia sites
> affecting users who do not enjoy a broadband connection.
> And I believe that small wikis with non-European languages are more
> affected than others (a study would be interesting here).
> For improving outreach of Wikimedia outside of the Western world,
> improving the page weight should be a priority.
>
> What can be done?

I notice that, when comparing logged-in to logged-out page loading
times, the former is almost twice the latter. This appears to be true
whether I refresh the browser cache or not (tested on Main Page).

A light, JavaScript-free skin for low-bandwidth use might be an
intermediate measure.

Magnus

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Re: Usability: page weight [ In reply to ]
Hello,

2010/6/15 Magnus Manske <magnusmanske@googlemail.com>:
>>
>> I am now surfing most of time with a 3G key with a bandwidth of 16
>> KB/s maximum, and often less.
>> My experience of Wikimedia sites compared with the other websites I am
>> using regularly, GMail and Facebook,
>> shows that these load much faster than Wikimedia pages, even if the
>> page is mostly empty.
>> It seems that these sites use some fancy caching for that.
>>
>> Page weight is a major hurdle for working on any Wikimedia sites
>> affecting users who do not enjoy a broadband connection.
>> And I believe that small wikis with non-European languages are more
>> affected than others (a study would be interesting here).
>> For improving outreach of Wikimedia outside of the Western world,
>> improving the page weight should be a priority.
>>
>> What can be done?
>
> I notice that, when comparing logged-in to logged-out page loading
> times, the former is almost twice the latter. This appears to be true
> whether I refresh the browser cache or not (tested on Main Page).
>
> A light, JavaScript-free skin for low-bandwidth use might be an
> intermediate measure.
>
> Magnus

It seems Gmail and Facebook use a lot of Javascript, isn't it?

Yann

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Re: Usability: page weight [ In reply to ]
Ryan Lomonaco <wiki.ral315@...> writes:
> Page weight is a major hurdle for working on any Wikimedia sites
> affecting users who do not enjoy a broadband connection.
> And I believe that small wikis with non-European languages are more
> affected than others (a study would be interesting here).
> For improving outreach of Wikimedia outside of the Western world,
> improving the page weight should be a priority.
>
> What can be done?
>
Next week, work will start on a project called the "Resource Loader" (formerly
known as script loader or maybe as part of JS2) that will optimize loading of
resources like CSS and JavaScript. In particular, that means we'll no longer
throw more than 100 KB of JS+CSS in your face then decide you're on an old
unsupported browser and not use any of it.

As I said, work on this resource loader has yet to get started, so it'll take
some time to be finished and used in production; I can't really say when that
will be, but rest assured that an elegant permanent solution is in the works. As
for permanent solutions: I've delayed loading the JS for jQuery UI with a dirty
hack; this saves a good 10% off of the initial JS load, IIRC. This was done to
stop old versions of Netscape from crashing, but it helps reduce the initial
page load JS size as well.

Roan Kattouw (Catrope)


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