AuthorTopic: Data Transfer Speeds and Graphics Embedding on the Diner: Protocols  (Read 1743 times)

Offline RE

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The issue has been raised here on the Diner about embedding graphics in your posting and how this affects the ability of users with different types of internet access to download the pages your post is contained on.  The job of downloading this stuff is done automatically by your browser.  Pages with a lot of embedded graphics can load slowly if your internet connection has a slow rate of data transfer.

I come from the day when data transfer rates were measured in kilobytes, not megabytes over land line phones that I paid for by the minute.  That is a 1000X difference in speed, now measured in megabytes.  Back in those days, anything but plain text was pretty impractical to embed on a page, even static pictures.  If you had a pic to include, you put in a separate link for that.  It didn't appear with the text, and there was no formatting possible.

As things progressed and speeds got faster, embedding pics became possible, then audio and now video too.  In fact now you can "stream" this stuff, it downloads so fast you can watch/listen as it downloads.  At least you can if you have a high speed connection anyhow.  Currently, typical High Speed connections are in the 75mbs range. Very Fast!

What about people in communities without such fast connections though?  How should you format your post and what should you embed to consider their needs as you post up on the Diner?

A "standard" these days for almost all areas with internet access is the 4G Wireless standard.  That's the one most cell phones use.  Speeds here vary depending on the network, but are generally between 2mbs and 8mbs.  My cable home system works most of the month until I run out of bandwidth at 75mbs, then the ISP slows it down to 1mbs for the rest of the month automatically, unless I pay them Xtra money, which I never do.  I try to budget so I don't run out of high speed until near the end of the month.

I look at how fast the Diner pages will download when I am operating at the slow speed of 1mbs.  Generally speaking, unless it is a page REALLY loaded up with graphics, it will download in anywhere from 2-5 seconds at this data transfer rate.  That is quite tolerable, and the addition of graphics can really enhance a post and so is worth it, IMHO.

On the Diner Forum, you have to remember that each Page contains 15 separate posts, so ALL the pictures from all those posts have to download before the page is completely readable, scrollable, etc.  So if you have been including numerous posts on that page with numerous large pics, you're gonna end up with a slow loading page, relatively speaking of course.

For myself, on most of the Newz Link posts I make, I just use one or two pics from the original article in the Diner version, to give context and provide a visual attractor for the reader.  But I also do periodically include Photo Essay articles, which can have sometimes 10 or more pics in them.  A picture speaks 1000 word as the saying goes, and if you restrict yourself to just text, you can't really use this stuff, at least not directly on the Diner.  You can of course provide a link to the website, but mostly the readers don't follow the links unless there is a good Teaser.

If you are maintaining your own Newz Channel, the best thing to do is to see how long it takes a full page to load from your channel.  If it takes more than about 3 seconds at a data transfer rate of 10mbs, there's too much stuff embedded on the page.  Below that, most people in most places these days will be able to download it in a reasonable period of time.

Don't throw the Baby out with the Bathwater. 👶 🛁  You don't have to eliminate graphics to keep your page load times reasonable.  Just use CFS and keep an eye on how BIG the pics are that you are using.  A pic with 2000 pixel size consumes 4X as many bytes as one with 1000 pixels, because this operates as a square law.  Small pics in the 500 pixel range take almost no time at all for the browser to download, and they are plenty big enough for an internet post.

Hopefully, these guidelines will allow you to use graphics judiciously, in consideration for both people who have slow internet connections as well as those who like to have graphics included to give context to the articles you post.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 12:07:22 AM by RE »
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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Data Transfer Speeds and Graphics Embedding on the Diner: Protocols
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 03:16:25 PM »
Streaming TV needs a minimum of 1.1 Mbps.

Some pictures are vital - maps and diagrams usually. Images with writing on them are much sharper saved as .PNG .
.JPG files can be saved with different levels of compression, 40/100 cuts the size of the image file by about 90% and doesn't harm the photo's representation.

It isn't just bandwidth (flow rate) that matters. Latency is the time it takes for a packet to get to the other end. A latency of 250 ms is felt at the start of every downloaded file. You can test this with the "ping" command:
1012 ms
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