Skip to comments.Regarding Graphics During Heavy Free Republic Traffic
Posted on 03/17/2003 8:06:32 AM PST by I Am Not A ModEdited on 03/18/2003 2:47:22 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
Pretty much everyone knows that things are about to get quite busy. Whenever this happens, people make suggestions such as "don't post graphics, so as to help Free Republic handle the traffic".
I wanted to be proactive and explain some misconceptions with this. For images which are not hosted by Free Republic, they do not impact on the response time for Free Republic. All our server has to produce, for a page to have a graphic on it, is a handful of characters in the form of an image tag:
<IMG SRC="http://some.url.for.the.graphic">As such, NOT posting graphics helps Free Republic handle the load not at all. It does not take much bandwidth, at all, for the server to spit out that small amount of text.
HOWEVER, that is not all that should be said about the matter. First off, people who do post graphics should use the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes when posting their images. The format of the IMG tag with these is as follows:
<IMG HEIGHT="100" WIDTH="200" SRC="http://some.url.for.the.graphic">Where the 100 and 200 are replaced with the correct height and width (in pixels) of the image being posted. This is because many browsers, if these attributes are not included, will not load the rest of the thread until it can completely download the image, since the browser does not know how much space to leave for the image. This can cause it to appear as if Free Republic has stalled, if the server providing the image is overloaded or responding slowly. If you do use the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes, the page will load normally even if the image takes a while.
Further, if you are finding that your browser is responding slowly because of images, the answer is for you to turn off the automatic loading of images within your browser preferences.
Thanks for your time.
[Adding a few new thoughts]
1) If you find that because of whatever reason, images are slowing down your Freeping to an unacceptable level, you should turn off the loading of graphics within your own web browser. If you don't know how, post a question here and someone will undoubtably answer (a how-to for two common browsers is listed below). Don't let the lack of a fast internet connection cause you to want to deny images to everyone else, especially when you can totally control it within your own browser.
2) That said, those who post graphics should understand that it is unrealistic to think that everyone will get the word, so overdoing the graphics is simply an invitation to tick some people off. Further, even for those who have broadband connections, and even if the HEIGHT and WIDTH tags are specified on all images, a ton of graphics can cause some users' computers to slow to a crawl by using up all the available memory. Be considerate.
3) Here are instructions for how to disable the automatic loading of images (From NonValueAdded, who added value here):
In Netscape 7.0 From menu bar choose "Edit" --> "preferences", window pops up. Click on "privacy & security" then "images" choose "Do not load any images"
In Internet Explorer 6.0 From menu bar choose "Tools" --> "Internet Options", window pops up. Choose "Advanced" tab and scroll down to "Multimedia" section. Find the "Show Images" box and uncheck it.
Voila (sorry, I spoke French), enjoy your image free browsing experience while the rest of us groove on the nifty graphics.
Other browsers have similar settings.
201 posted on 03/17/2003 8:00 PM EST by NonValueAdded ("Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." GWB 9/20/01)
Thanks for the information. If I can find the preferences I'll change it. :^p
I always wondered how to control graphic size, short of resizing and re-supporting.
Is this correct?
Graphics makes FR fun and unique. For the Graphic Turds who declare that we can't use them, you have just proved them wrong.
Meekie, FYI. (^:
Remember that somewhere between 1% and 5% of total page views provoke a response from members. So for every 1000 responses, you could be talking about as much as 100,000 reads. This means that posting images is not at all inconsequential a load to put on your server.
Hope that helps.
I Did Not Know That. Thank you! I have seen the light, and am reformed.
John: This really is a common problem. Can a method be devised for FR to give size modifiers to image tags automatically, if a user doesn't provide them? Of course, you wouldn't want to hardwire them, since you don't want to screw up the aspect ratios, but could the FR software someday attempt to "discover" the resource sizes at posting time?
As a stopgap, the software could simply reject IMG tags without height and width modifiers, warning the user at preview time, and providing a message telling him what to do.
First of all, if you resize a graphic, please keep the same aspect ratio. If it was initially 800x600, don't turn it into a 400x100 photo. Everything will look skewed. If you're going to reduce the width by 75%, reduce the heighth by 75% also.
When increasing the size of the photo, please don't do it until the thing gets super fuzzy. Most of us would rather see a small clear picture than a huge blurred monstrosity.
Now the last and most important thing in my opinion. Folks, please do not post photos from servers that are very very very slow. Threads simply will not load if your graphic freezes on loading. When you post a grahic that doesn't work, it can practicly kill a thread.