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slimed down option?

Travel Forums System Talk slimed down option?

1. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 7y

Something i've been meaning to ask for a while, and as its taken me an hour to read a single thread, its time!

Any chance of a slimmed down version of TP for people on slow connections, kind of like gmail? I dont care if it is just plain text, but anything to speed up the site on slow connection would be great. As it is, i've barely checked the forums this year as it just takes too long to do anything, and uploading photos/blog can be a 5-6hour job which isnt exactly ideal...

2. Posted by WebGuy (Full Member 106 posts) 7y

What browser are you using? Some browsers have built in WAP functions where you can view the site in it's "Mobile" format. This site does have a CSS file targeting hand-held devices so it should help load the page faster but not sure if all the tools would work.

If you've got a slow connection, I would imagine uploading photos to any site would take time, especially depending on how large the originals are. Try to process your photos and make them web-ready so when uploading, it doesn't spend a lot of time resizing and re-sampling.

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 7y

I'm still on dialup, but get rather good connection speed. I use the latest Firefox with a brand new computer under WinXP Pro, but even on my old WinME system the thing got pretty good connections to TP. When's the last time you've cleaned out your hard drive/registry (Easycleaner), run the defrag or tweaked your connection?

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jun-2009, at 12:54 by Daawgon ]

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 7y

Daawgon: Gelli is traipsing around in the middle of Africa. I don't remember if he's using the computers he encounters there, or has a netbook with him, but either way, those kinds of suggestions won't help him very much. It's things like the DNS requests for all the domains from which travellerspoint loads external scripts and css which are likely killing him.

Gelli: that is one suggestion you could try: turn off JavaScript and CSS (and maybe images?) completely so you won't have those extra requests eating up your bandwidth and causing slowdowns. Travellerspoint uses quite reasonably semantic HTML, and although there's some weird JavaScript dependencies in places, it all should just work, and save you a _whole_ lot of processing and unnecessary connections being made.

In Firefox, you can do this by deselecting "options -> content -> enable JavaScript" and "options -> content -> load images automatically". (You can turn off the appearance of CSS with view -> page style -> no style, but I realize that CSS files will still be loaded, so that won't do you much actual good. :/ The only way I know of to turn off CSS completely used to be with hostperm.1, but Firefox has migrated that to permissions.sqlite, and that's not human-editable. :/)
Ooh, maybe throw static.travellerspoint.com, partner.googleadservices.com, edge.quantserve.com and www.google-analytics.com into your hosts file to point to 127.0.0.1 (e.g. your local machine) and thus block all requests for external resources that way? Won't help you much on other sites, but at least here it should lead to you only loading the HTML, and thus a much faster experience.

Or yeah, maybe go with WebGuy's suggestion and try Opera, as that has an option to route content through their servers, which compresses all content and strips out a lot of superfluous stuff.

There's nothing which can be done about photo upload, though, other than wait for getting to a location with faster internet access.

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jun-2009, at 13:31 by Sander ]

5. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 7y

Quoting Sander

There's nothing which can be done about photo upload, though, other than wait for getting to a location with faster internet access.

Actually, I think emailing in your blog entries would probably make this about a 100 times faster at minimum. Have you tried that yet Rich? You don't actually even have to include photos as attachments with the email. If you're loading them from somewhere else, just including the img code where you want the pics to show should work...

Sander's ideas are about as far as we can go right now, although we've toyed with different mobile versions at times. But switching off javascript and images should really help a lot. Axe the CSS (or run the mobile one) and that will basically only leave you with the text version. You probably haven't noticed this yet, but the site got a pretty serious speed bump last month, so it's quite fast in these parts at the moment. That doesn't help you much I realize, but just wanting to point out that the site itself isn't really seeing any real slowdowns at the moment (unlike when you headed off on the trip!).

6. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 7y

You probably haven't noticed this yet, but the site got a pretty serious speed bump last month, so it's quite fast in these parts at the moment.

Ah-ha! You admit that its your fault. TP has actually got MUCH slower for me in the past 3weeks or so - even from decent connections - though I doubt thats the serious speed bump you were aiming for.

I am (mostly) using an Ubuntu based eee, and Firefox 2.0.0.11 - not the newest version as it dont have 3days spare to download the upgrade...

Sander - thanks. I've now turned off Java, Javascript and images and it loads much, much, much faster. Its still not quick, but its liveable. Can't believe that never occurred to me. Just have to remember to turn it all back on before i start uploading photos the bulk way again...

I also resize all photos before uploading them, so that isn't a huge issue especially in Nairobi (where i'm still having to go back through regularly) where I have found one place with a decent connection. Its doing anything anywhere else that is problematic, and TP has long been much slower than any other website that i look at with any regularity which is a tad frustrating.

7. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 7y

Quoting Gelli

You probably haven't noticed this yet, but the site got a pretty serious speed bump last month, so it's quite fast in these parts at the moment.

Ah-ha! You admit that its your fault. TP has actually got MUCH slower for me in the past 3weeks or so - even from decent connections - though I doubt thats the serious speed bump you were aiming for.

Hmm, it's a good couple of seconds faster per page on this end. Maybe we took the speed from poor African countries... nothing else has really changed, it was just a database server swap, so I'm not sure how things could have gotten slower. Sorry :(

Quoting Gelli

I also resize all photos before uploading them, so that isn't a huge issue especially in Nairobi (where i'm still having to go back through regularly) where I have found one place with a decent connection. Its doing anything anywhere else that is problematic, and TP has long been much slower than any other website that i look at with any regularity which is a tad frustrating.

I'll be the first to agree that TP has had it's speed issues in the not so far past, but now it typically loads no slower than any other similar sized site out there. Most pages are fully rendered in under 2 seconds for me at the moment. There's a lot of factors in play here that could slow that down, and the Google javascript especially might be a hindrance as it's loaded from every page. But that kind of jscript loads on 95% of other sites too these days ...

Hope Sander's suggestion speeds things up for you. My only other suggestion is the emailing in of those blog entries...

8. Posted by Peter (Admin 5812 posts) 7y

You really piqued my interest with the title "Slimed down option" :)

I think the others have answered the question enough by now. Crazy that it took you an hour to read a thread mind you - not sure how much we can do about that!

Oh, here's one idea -- how about more email functionality. So say a daily / weekly "digest" email that just gives you a snapshot of topics going on. That would be relatively light I'd think. Not saying this will happen soon, but I'm curious to know if that would be a reasonable thing to help in this situation.