Making Head-Fi more mobile-device and dial-up friendly
Mar 14, 2005 at 5:10 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

donovansmith

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I've tried viewing Head-Fi a few times on my recently acquired Windows Mobile smartphone and have found a few things that might not only make Head-Fi more mobile-device friendly, but also more friendly to dial-up users.

Probably the biggest annoyance is that long list at the top and bottom of every forum of every single page that is in that forum. I used Mozilla's save page feature to save the first page of the Member's Lounge and found that not only does the page by itself weigh in at 286KB or so, but that the page list takes nearly 188KB by itself. That's 2/3 of the total page size devoted to an inane and useless purpose! That's a lot of extra loading time on dial-up speeds and not only that, but mobile browsers have limited memory and also have to reformat the page and it makes viewing Head-Fi and other forums which stick with the default vBulletin 3 theme a frustrating experience. And having to render that ridiculously-long page list causes the reformatting of forum pages to be messed up to the point where thread titles are compressed into a column a mere 2 characters wide by Opera and that annoying page list literally takes half the entire page length when it is reformatted into a vertical format. Whoever at the makers of vBulletin decided that'd be a bright idea for their default theme needs to be demoted or canned just for this alone considering that vBulletin is used on some of the largest forums on the web.

Another thing is that each HTML page here has the stylesheet embedded in the page itself, not in a separate file. For Head-Fi that means an extra 5KB that could be in a separate, cacheable file gets loaded each time. Embedding stylesheets in HTML is just an outdated practice.

I don't know if I'm the only one who noticed this stuff. Maybe I'm the only one who has tried to use Head-Fi on a mobile device. But I know there are dial-up users here and there are ways to make this place easier on them. Even on 128Kbps DSL at work this place is very slow, I would simply not even come here on 56K dial-up since it wouldn't be worth the long load times. No, I don't use dial-up myself since if I did this place would be too frustrating to browse and I wouldn't be posting this in the first place, but it'd be nice to be able to use this place on dial-up speed connections (my phone's GPRS connection gets about 40Kbps on a good day) and to just be able to browse faster.
 
Mar 14, 2005 at 5:24 AM Post #2 of 7

Stephonovich

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I posted with dial-up many a time. I don't recall it being all that horrible. Although that was before the last revision, when they changed the design. Could have bloated some, as well.

I also recall posting with my PocketPC one time. It was a pain in the butt, horrible to navigate, but I did it
biggrin.gif
 
Mar 14, 2005 at 5:48 AM Post #3 of 7

Wodgy

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Head-Fi is perfectly fine on a dial-up connection. I use it all the time on dial-up, from home, and I used to have a very, very slow computer. It was fine. (It is true that dial-up Internet access really benefits from using a browser that supports tabbed browsing.)

If you want to improve Head-Fi's rendering speed on your mobile devices, turn off CSS in your browser. It'll solve most of your problems.

That said, web browsing on smartphones and handhelds is always going to be pretty gimmicky anyway.
 
Mar 14, 2005 at 6:00 AM Post #6 of 7

Stephonovich

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Wodgy
Head-Fi is perfectly fine on a dial-up connection. I use it all the time on dial-up, from home, and I used to have a very, very slow computer. It was fine. (It is true that dial-up Internet access really benefits from using a browser that supports tabbed browsing.)


Indeed. I remember loading up Phoenix/Firebird/Fox with 10 or so tabs and reading the first few while the rest loaded. Or, before that, loading up 10 IE windows, and causing my poor PIII with a measly 64MB of RAM to thrash it's HD.
 
Mar 14, 2005 at 6:37 AM Post #7 of 7

donovansmith

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bg4533
Head-Fi could be a bit more effecient, but for now...

The stripped down version of Head-Fi: http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/archive/index.php/



Thanks for the link. Pocket IE and Opera both work fine with that version.
 

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