Bandwidth miserliness

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

It was pointed out a couple of days ago that we might be somewhat over-doing it with the amount of comments in our code, especially in our CSS files. I didn't realise just how much until I ran a little test using our new-fangled dynamic CSS thingy; comments make up around 16Kb in the 65Kb of css sent down for the homepage alone.

For a broadband user, that's a whole... one-third of a second to download. Ahh well, at least we're heading in the right direction ;o)

Because of this, we're trialling not sending any comments down, but this means if in
the future we decide to use CSS hacks which make use of comment tags to
hide code from non-compliant browsers, we're going to run into a whole
world of CSS validation fun...

Another trick we're trying is sending the .css files in a compressed format - it's (supposed to be) completely transparent to the person browsing the website; our server asks your browser if it can handle compressed information, and either your browser can or can't - if it can't, the stylesheet is simply sent uncompressed, but if it can then the server packages the css file up on-the-fly and sends it down the wires to your browser, where it's decoded.

Despite the minimal benefit, it's still good that we're paying attention to these things, although I'm fairly certain there are many much more important things to be getting on with. Like answering the support emails I've been hoarding for far too long - oops!

/al - off to do some proper work now

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