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Regarding Graphics During Heavy Free Republic Traffic

Posted on 03/17/2003 8:06:32 AM PST by I Am Not A Mod

Edited on 03/18/2003 2:47:22 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

Hi all.

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):

To: Vol2727

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)



TOPICS: Announcements; Free Republic; Front Page News; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: adminlectureseries; faq; graphics; htmlbootcamp; images; imagesize; photos
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1 posted on 03/17/2003 8:06:32 AM PST by I Am Not A Mod
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To: I Am Not A Mod
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 the information. If I can find the preferences I'll change it. :^p

Prairie

2 posted on 03/17/2003 8:10:42 AM PST by prairiebreeze (I'm wearing my full FReeper uniform 24/7 these days, and remain alert and ready with shields up!)
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Thank you for this.

I am new at posting graphics using HTML and all of the information that I get is helpful to me.
3 posted on 03/17/2003 8:10:46 AM PST by Radix
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Good advice.
4 posted on 03/17/2003 8:10:52 AM PST by Peach
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Timely. Good post.
5 posted on 03/17/2003 8:12:44 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: I Am Not A Mod
In general, I find 300 x 300 a good size for an image. Of course if it's smaller than that, it won't be a problem.
6 posted on 03/17/2003 8:13:20 AM PST by Brett66
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To: I Am Not A Mod
IMG HEIGHT="100" WIDTH="200"

I always wondered how to control graphic size, short of resizing and re-supporting.

Thanks!

7 posted on 03/17/2003 8:13:37 AM PST by humblegunner (Haze grey and Underway!)
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To: I Am Not A Mod

Is this correct?

NeverGore

8 posted on 03/17/2003 8:15:01 AM PST by nevergore (Stupid is as stupid does....)
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To: I Am Not A Mod
bttt
9 posted on 03/17/2003 8:16:35 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer (Let's Roll)
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To: Radix
HTML Bootcamp
10 posted on 03/17/2003 8:19:31 AM PST by FreedomPoster (This Space Intentionally Blank)
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To: nevergore
The image looks a little wide. The image size has to be the same proportion as the original image.
11 posted on 03/17/2003 8:19:44 AM PST by TaxRelief
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Okee Dokee.
12 posted on 03/17/2003 8:25:10 AM PST by b4its2late (Law not enforced is not law.)
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To: I Am Not A Mod; habs4ever; BigWaveBetty
Thank you for this post. I think photos and graphics are what really enhance FR and helps to tell a story.

Graphics makes FR fun and unique. For the Graphic Turds who declare that we can't use them, you have just proved them wrong.

We are winning the war against the Anti-Graphics Nazis.

13 posted on 03/17/2003 8:28:15 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (Happy Saint Patrick's Day. This year let's have fireworks!)
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To: I Am Not A Mod; MeeknMing
You mean I have to add the "width" and figure out the height/width ratio now to accurately change the pic size? I had no idea this slowed down FR. Thanks for the info.

Meekie, FYI. (^:

14 posted on 03/17/2003 8:29:11 AM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl (Act Now To Stop SADDAM and End TYRANNY!)
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To: I Am Not A Mod
You also just provide a link to the image. If the viewer wants to see it they can click on that link.
15 posted on 03/17/2003 8:29:31 AM PST by McGruff (It's time for all to lay their cards on the table.)
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To: humblegunner; I Am Not A Mod
Please resize the graphics. There are two reasons:

Another related misconception, however, is created by the person who originally posted the thread. It is true that the graphics do not burden Free Republic's server. However, they do burden the server that hosts the graphics. If you don't have access to a very high capacity server, you are likely to find that your graphics are still going to slow things down quite a bit during busy times. So if you're using your company's web server to host the images, you may well be hurting your company itself during peak times. Bear that in mind before putting images on threads likely to be extremely busy (i.e. with thousands of pageviews an hour).

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.

D

16 posted on 03/17/2003 8:31:08 AM PST by daviddennis (Visit amazing.com for protest accounts, video & more!)
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Somebody ping Mia T to this thread QUICK!!!!
17 posted on 03/17/2003 8:32:14 AM PST by The Lake City Gar
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To: I Am Not A Mod; John Robinson
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.

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.

18 posted on 03/17/2003 8:33:21 AM PST by Physicist
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To: I Am Not A Mod
There are several things I'd like to add.

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.

19 posted on 03/17/2003 8:35:04 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Don't just sit there, use the links on the Graphic Teaser.)
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Also, I would suggest if someone is linking to a thumbnail page or "index" of images, that you also use the "target=blank" so that it is easier to navigate back to FR. An example is:
My thumbnail page of images from Last Saturday
20 posted on 03/17/2003 8:36:34 AM PST by W04Man (Bush2004 Grassroots Campaign aka BushBot www.w-04.com)
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Thanks. Bumping for reference. (Didn't know about the image size addition)
21 posted on 03/17/2003 8:39:32 AM PST by FourtySeven
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To: nevergore
Is this correct?

No, for that graphic you should use WIDTH=331 HEIGHT=450. When you get the original image on your browser, do right click --> properties to see the original size. If you want to resize it, stick close to the same proportions (e.g. 110 x 150).

22 posted on 03/17/2003 8:39:33 AM PST by Physicist
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To: DoughtyOne
Good post. However, if one posts using the HEIGHT and WIDTH attribute, even if the server the image is on is totally overloaded, the thread will load normally, and as such it won't kill the thread.
23 posted on 03/17/2003 8:39:36 AM PST by I Am Not A Mod
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To: DoughtyOne
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.

Ah, but apparently if the WIDTH and HEIGHT modifiers are used, the slow graphics will not cause the thread to freeze on loading.

24 posted on 03/17/2003 8:41:43 AM PST by Physicist
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Oh my goodness, what a cute little one. Thank you for the great 'graphic' :)
25 posted on 03/17/2003 8:41:44 AM PST by Cate (LET FREEDOM RING!!!!)
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To: Physicist
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.

Indeed, it is nearly time for my yearly crucifixion.

I do plan on working out these image issues (there are others) in due time. On my list they're a mid-priority feature.

26 posted on 03/17/2003 8:48:23 AM PST by John Robinson
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To: Physicist
Thanks!!
NeverGore
27 posted on 03/17/2003 8:50:36 AM PST by nevergore (Stupid is as stupid does....)
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To: W04Man
Thanks for that tip, "target=blank". I didn't know how to do that.

Question, what do you use to format your thumbnail page? I could use that.

28 posted on 03/17/2003 8:53:38 AM PST by McGruff (It's time for all to lay their cards on the table.)
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To: Physicist
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?

That really would start taking bandwidth from FR - how does the server know what height and width to assign to an image without at least grabbing the image file headers? Before, when you were previewing for the first time, your browser only had to open a connection to the remote URL for the image file, and download it straight to you, without FR's server bandwidth being used at all (except for the IMG tag itself, of course), but now the server itself would also have to download the image in order to know what attributes to give it, in order to at least preserve the aspect ratio...

29 posted on 03/17/2003 8:57:18 AM PST by general_re (Non serviam.)
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Some browsers get easily pixelated.
30 posted on 03/17/2003 9:00:36 AM PST by Consort
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To: humblegunner
I always wondered how to control graphic size, short of resizing and re-supporting.

You are not limited to using the exact size of the original. You can make it appear smaller or larger to make the page layout look good.

31 posted on 03/17/2003 9:06:15 AM PST by js1138
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To: nevergore
Lets try
32 posted on 03/17/2003 9:07:34 AM PST by Mark Hamilton ("You can't reason somebody out of something they did'nt reason themselves into.")
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To: general_re
But it only has to grab each image headers once per image, at preview time. After that, it's hardwired into the HTML. The bandwidth overhead should be negligible.

If the image server doesn't respond in a timely manner (a few seconds, I'd say), the preview screen could just time out and give a warning message. In that case, it's probably not an image that should be posted right then anyway.

33 posted on 03/17/2003 9:12:46 AM PST by Physicist
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To: Physicist; I Am Not A Mod
Thanks guys. I'm suspecting some of the folks your addressing won't quite get there, but every one that does, it will help. It's a valient effort.
34 posted on 03/17/2003 9:29:06 AM PST by DoughtyOne (Don't just sit there, use the links on the Graphic Teaser.)
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To: general_re
That really would start taking bandwidth from FR - how does the server know what height and width to assign to an image without at least grabbing the image file headers? Before, when you were previewing for the first time, your browser only had to open a connection to the remote URL for the image file, and download it straight to you, without FR's server bandwidth being used at all (except for the IMG tag itself, of course), but now the server itself would also have to download the image in order to know what attributes to give it, in order to at least preserve the aspect ratio...

Actually, that's incorrect. The FR server doesn't download the images at all. The client browser (Netscape, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, et al) is the only thing downloading the remote images. The FR server never sees them.

The advice on including height and width attributes in the img src tags is both valid and good and should save lots of folks lots of headaches.

-Jay

35 posted on 03/17/2003 9:51:14 AM PST by Jay D. Dyson (Terrorists of the world, RISE UP! [So I may more easily gun you down.])
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To: I Am Not A Mod
Great post. (As an aside the image above is just 837 bytes in size, stored as a .png "Portable Network Graphic" format, which often does a better job than .gif's and .jpg's at reducing image file size.)
36 posted on 03/17/2003 9:55:36 AM PST by Fixit
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To: I Am Not A Mod
I wish the adminmods would suspend anyone from posting threads that signs up the same day or within the last couple of days, I have a feeling the trolls are ready to swamp this forum.
37 posted on 03/17/2003 9:56:21 AM PST by Brett66
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To: Jay D. Dyson
While it does not now, if you go back and read the original post, general_re was suggesting that the FR server COULD go out and determine the image size attributes, then automatically insert the image size attributes into the html for that user's post.

Such a system would (marginally) add some bandwidth to the FR server at the time of posting, but it could serve to increase everyone elses enjoyability by easing all future downloads.

38 posted on 03/17/2003 9:58:26 AM PST by Fixit
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To: Mark Hamilton
Lets try <img height=300 src="http://www.military.com/NewsContent?file=FL_inspect_031703" width=300>

Okay, first mistake. You're trying to turn an HTML page into an inline graphic. That will never work. You need to make a direct call to the remote graphic. Something like this:

<img src="http://www.9-11justice.org/images/is_it_any_wonder.jpg" height=400 width=600>

...which will give you this:

Make sense? (I mean the HTML code, not the Palestinian stupidity.)

-Jay

39 posted on 03/17/2003 10:00:04 AM PST by Jay D. Dyson (Terrorists of the world, RISE UP! [So I may more easily gun you down.])
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; I Am Not A Mod
Thanks for the heads up, RC ! And for the post, Not A Mod !

Not A Mod: I usually add the height size and often don't include the width size. From your post, then, am I to assume that having only ONE dimension slows the loading the same as NOT having ANY size specified in the graph template? . . .

In any case, my appreciation in advance for your feedback and for the opportunity to improve my posting of graphs!

40 posted on 03/17/2003 10:17:58 AM PST by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Saddam! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: Physicist
[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.]

Ah, but apparently if the WIDTH and HEIGHT modifiers are used, the slow graphics will not cause the thread to freeze on loading.

Note, by the way, that despite the fact everyone likes to flame Microsoft's Internet Explorer, it's one of the few browsers that does *not* halt loading of a thread while it waits for images to be retrieved. It's extremely fast and efficient displaying webpages with sluggish graphics -- it displays what it can immediately (i.e., all the text), and then later reformats "on the fly" as the images finally arrive.

The most notorious browser with the annoying "I'm not going to show you anything after the graphics until I *get* the graphics" behavior is Netscape/Mozilla. That's one of the reasons I dumped Netscape long ago -- there's no excuse for that sort of poorly designed behavior.

41 posted on 03/17/2003 11:43:54 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: I Am Not A Mod
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.

Close, but not quite. It doesn't need to "completely" download the image, it only needs to get the "header", which is in the first hundred or so bytes of the image.

The bad news is that on slow servers, you won't get *any* part of an image until after a considerable delay, so you still have to sit and wait.

The good news is that for very large or high-resolution images, you don't have to wait for *all* the image to be downloaded -- the web page can format itself after receiving just the first few percent of the image, then all you have to wait on is to see the rest of the big image.

42 posted on 03/17/2003 11:47:31 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: MeeknMing
Not A Mod: I usually add the height size and often don't include the width size. From your post, then, am I to assume that having only ONE dimension slows the loading the same as NOT having ANY size specified in the graph template? . . .

Correct, because then the browser still has to wait to receive the original image header itself in order to calculate the "missing" dimension, and you're right back to the original problem.

Supplying only one dimension works fine if your only concern is to grow/shrink the image while maintaining the original aspect ratio, but it unfortunately doesn't help the problem of some browsers (*cough*Netscape*cough*) not wanting to display the rest of the page until it can figure out the image size(s).

43 posted on 03/17/2003 11:49:50 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
With the possible exception of Good Friday, I want fireworks for ALL holidays. Weekends too.
44 posted on 03/17/2003 11:52:08 AM PST by Hegewisch Dupa (green beer all around)
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To: Fixit
While it does not now, if you go back and read the original post, general_re was suggesting that the FR server COULD go out and determine the image size attributes, then automatically insert the image size attributes into the html for that user's post.

Ah. Missed that.

Sadly, such a system would make FR an easy target for a denial-of-service attack. All that would be required would be a few morons from the DU crowd to post a buttload of bogus images on servers that respond only once every sixty or ninety seconds. That would cause the server connection from FR to hang and then timeout. Meanwhile, the process table on the FR system would fill up with all these hung outbound connections to the point that it would stop answering incoming web requests. Bang. Denial-of-service.

Sorry, I can't hop on board with that plan. It's ill-conceived and fraught with potential for abuse.

-Jay

45 posted on 03/17/2003 12:07:26 PM PST by Jay D. Dyson (Terrorists of the world, RISE UP! [So I may more easily gun you down.])
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To: Physicist
But it only has to grab each image headers once per image, at preview time. After that, it's hardwired into the HTML. The bandwidth overhead should be negligible

If we assume that an image on some remote server - that neither you nor I nor FR has any control over - remains static, that could work. IOW, if someone substitutes a new image in under the old file name, all bets are off. Most of the time that's probably a safe assumption, but not always, I think...

46 posted on 03/17/2003 12:41:20 PM PST by general_re (Non serviam.)
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To: Jay D. Dyson
Thanks I'll try again
47 posted on 03/17/2003 1:32:55 PM PST by Mark Hamilton ("You can't reason somebody out of something they did'nt reason themselves into.")
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To: Ichneumon
Okay. Thanks. I save a lot of my repeat graph posts in Word for an easy cut 'n paste method. I'll be updating them as I go along then.

Thanks for the help and information . . .

48 posted on 03/17/2003 1:33:23 PM PST by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Saddam! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: Jay D. Dyson
I'll try again www.bccls.org/images/ 0060393408.jpg
49 posted on 03/17/2003 1:49:05 PM PST by Mark Hamilton ("You can't reason somebody out of something they did'nt reason themselves into.")
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
Perhaps they simply did not understand the actual logistics and are NOT ......as you so eloquently put it......."graphic turds".

Goodness!
50 posted on 03/17/2003 1:53:15 PM PST by justshe (FREE MIGUEL !)
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