Bad design


#1

OK, let’s face it. Software is not the strongest part of PS Audio… For some reason, if bad software exists, I’m sorry to say that, even the worse one will be chosen and weirdly configured.

This forum is yet another example. Sorry guys, but someone has to say that - the design is a catastrophy. I’m not talking about the layout, external design, the logic of controls, jumping out pop-ups, etc. They are awful, but tastes differ, so I will concentrate on the internals and the performance.

Look at the source of, for example, this page: http://www.psaudio.com/forum/directstream-all-about-it/directstream-dac-first-impressions/page-48/

Just to start with. There are only several small avatars, but the total pagesize is 2+MB with no compression allowed! 52 stylesheets! 72 JavaScripts! Plus 8 external fonts…

Guys, please… This is ridiculous…


#2

Yeah, that is a little crazy. I’ll have someone look at it.


#3

Next. 2MB sounds not that bad, since we have broadband connection at home. But… There is no proper caching, what leads to frequent reload all this static stuff from the site (and not from the browser cache). Think of extended caching headers (163!!! external components with no extended expiration date), resources with question marks (for example, jscript/sp-watches.js?ver=3.9.1) prevent caching.

1MB of ~70 external JavaScript files. Not necesssary downloaded in parallel. Executed one by one. Spme of them are not used on particular pages, some should not be used at all, because they are generating distracting design elements or creating annoying features.

800kB of style rules in 50 external files should be looked through by the browser and then applied to the generated text. And some elements have 5-6 classes (e.g. class=“menu-item menu-item-type-post_type menu-item-object-page menu-item-14347 menu-item-control last-menu-item”)

Guess how long it will take to fully render the pages. First page - 55! seconds (almost a minute on a 80Mbit link!) and 3 MB. Subsequent pages - 8-22 sec and 2MB. 2mb and 10 sec every click. When pages are being loaded, rendered and rerendered, you may click on something wrong (thinking that the page is loaded, but no, it moves back and forward while adding something, changing fonts, font sizes, layout). That means at least 4MB and 25sec to get to where you want to be (first back, then the correct link).

It also creates additional load on your web-server, slowing everything down even more.

Result? Losing readers, contributors and potential customers.


#4
Alekz said Guess how long it will take to fully render the pages. First page - 55(almost a minute!) seconds and 3 MB. Subsequent pages - 8-22 sec and 2MB. 2mb and 10 sec every click. When pages are being loaded, rendered and rerendered, you may click on something wrong (thinking that the page is loaded, but no, it moves back and forward while adding something, changing fonts, font sizes, layout). That means at least 4MB and 25sec to get to where you want to be (first back, then the correct link).
Not that I'm defending the current BBS software but perhaps I lost the gist of your thread.

I cleared all of browser caches and the first page takes 4 seconds and the DS thread you gave takes 3 seconds to load from a clear cache.

I WAS having problems with long render times (bigger part of a minute or two) on many sites till I nuked the latest version of Adobe Shockwave.


#5

It is always interesting what pushes some people’s buttons and what does not.

There are probably others who are frustrated. I care not a whit.

Losing readers, etc.? Perhaps, but I doubt it.


#6
Ted Smith said
Alekz said Guess how long it will take to fully render the pages. First page - 55(almost a minute!) seconds and 3 MB. Subsequent pages - 8-22 sec and 2MB. 2mb and 10 sec every click. When pages are being loaded, rendered and rerendered, you may click on something wrong (thinking that the page is loaded, but no, it moves back and forward while adding something, changing fonts, font sizes, layout). That means at least 4MB and 25sec to get to where you want to be (first back, then the correct link).

Not that I’m defending the current BBS software but perhaps I lost the gist of your thread.

I cleared all of browser caches and the first page takes 4 seconds and the DS thread you gave takes 3 seconds to load from a clear cache.

I WAS having problems with long render times (bigger part of a minute or two) on many sites till I nuked the latest version of Adobe Shockwave.

Did you check in Tools -> Web Developer -> Network ?

You may not notice that (it depends on the page, position in the page and chosen function), but the page may be still being rendered.

Also, you can have a look here as well: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/140525_HX_P2P/

You can play with location, link speed and browser

Flash is disabled in my browser, so I have no idea what this is supposed to do:

<script type="text/javascript">AudioPlayer.setup("http://www.psaudio.com/wp-content/plugins/audio-player/assets/player.swf?ver=2.0.4.6", {width:"290",animation:"yes",encode:"yes",initialvolume:"60",remaining:"no",noinfo:"no",buffer:"5",checkpolicy:"no",rtl:"no",bg:"E5E5E5",text:"333333",leftbg:"CCCCCC",lefticon:"333333",volslider:"666666",voltrack:"FFFFFF",rightbg:"B4B4B4",rightbghover:"999999",righticon:"333333",righticonhover:"FFFFFF",track:"FFFFFF",loader:"009900",border:"CCCCCC",tracker:"DDDDDD",skip:"666666",pagebg:"FFFFFF",transparentpagebg:"yes"});</script>


Audio Player??? Add more to the load...

#7
Elk said It is always interesting what pushes some people's buttons and what does not.

There are probably others who are frustrated. I care not a whit.

Losing readers, etc.? Perhaps, but I doubt it.

Some people do not notice advertisements, moving strings, jumping frames. I can't live without AdBlock...

And some do not care if the text is red on a green background :D


#8

Nope, no analysis nor further inquiry made.

The forum software works sufficiently fast for me to be a non-issue. Everything shows up within seconds.


#9
Elk said Nope, no analysis nor further inquiry made.

The forum software works sufficiently fast for me to be a non-issue. Everything shows up within seconds.

And this is exactly what I meant about distracting non-intuitive design and slow jerky rendering - I pressed the "Quote" button beneath the post, not above. I meant to quote Ted's post, not yours ;) Corrected.

#10
Alekz said Did you check in Tools -> Web Developer -> Network ? You may not notice that (it depends on the page, position in the page and chosen function), but the page may be still being rendered.
I don't know why I would: I don't give a rip about whether it's done rendering if I can read the page, scroll by keyboard or mouse and get a quick response to anything I click on.

As I said I’m probably missing your point: Tho there many things I don’t like about this particular BBS software, performance is perfectly fine here.


#11
Ted Smith said
Alekz said Did you check in Tools -> Web Developer -> Network ? You may not notice that (it depends on the page, position in the page and chosen function), but the page may be still being rendered.

I don’t know why I would: I don’t give a rip about whether it’s done rendering if I can read the page, scroll by keyboard or mouse and get a quick response to anything I click on.

As I said I’m probably missing your point: Tho there many things I don’t like about this particular BBS software, performance is perfectly fine here.


C’mon, Alekz.

You have proven your point that this is your homegrown, so let’s move on devil_gif

No need to overreact.


#12
Ted Smith said performance is perfectly fine here.
OK, probably it's only me. But the source looks awful anyway. And web-page measuring tools agree with me. YMMV as always.

#13
Ted Smith said I don't give a rip about whether it's done rendering if I can read the page, scroll by keyboard or mouse and get a quick response to anything I click on.
Me, too. Everything works fine for sharing info with other enthusiasts.

What the source looks like is irrelevant to me.

I have much better things to worry about, such as sanitizing my toothbrushes and sorting them by color.


#14
Alekz said
Ted Smith said performance is perfectly fine here.

OK, probably it’s only me. But the source looks awful anyway. And web-page measuring tools agree with me. YMMV as always.


If I wasn’t clear I do agree with you about everything but the actual speed I experience.

#15

Just in case to prove my experience.

1- This is how the site looks in my browser. 2.8MB, 29 seconds load time (see bottom right corner of the screenshot)

2- Performance tool. Cable modem in Amsterdam: page loaded in 14seconds. Repeated view 12.5 sec.

web-site-performance-02-1.pngweb-site-performance-02.png

web-site-performance-01.png


#16

No one is arguing with your experience.

Mine, and apparently Ted’s, is different. I find the forum adequately zippy. Wait times are short.

Even if it were a tad slow, it would not interfere with sorting my toothbrushes by color.

If you have specific suggestions on how to improve the implementation of the software which can be effectuated by an end user, I am certain PS Audio would like to hear them.


#17
Alekz said I can't live without AdBlock...
I am also a long time user of AdBlock, including using custom strings. Great add-on.

#18

I would start with looking at the page source, removing frills, whistles and pop-ups. For example:

o- Fonts are discussed in another thread. The font chooser is useless and I’m not sure if external fonts are needed.

o- Autolinks are also discussed in another thread and also should be removed. (done)

o- Disable most pop-ups on mouse hover (topic content, open forum toolset, last message excerpt, etc)

o- Avatars must not be expanded beyond their real dimensions

o- Is “Thumbs Up/Down” system needed? There is the “Thanks” one already, which is more useful

o- Is “Print this post” needed?

o- Does “Mark as answer” change anything or give useful (and reliable) information? What if there are more suitable answers? But only one can be marked as “Answer”.

o- Is AudioPlayer needed (on each and every page)?

o- “New/Edited post saved” messages with slow fading effects are useless.

o- Do you know that the element has 11 classes assigned to it? Isn’t it a bit an overkill?

o- Define an extended cache validity time for static resources

o- Allow compression

o- It’s not just about the forum, but also about the rest of the site (e.g. WordPress plugins)

Just like in audio, all these small things, while looking small and unimportant have a substantial cumulative effect.

Web-performance sites, like http://gtmetrix.com, http://webpagetest.org/ and Google page tests give very good advices where to look at.

And, finally, ModPagespeed. https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/ with at least the following filters: rewrite_css,combine_css, move_css_to_head,move_css_above_scripts, combine_javascript,inline_javascript, inline_css, rewrite_javascript, defer_javascript, extend_cache, lazyload_images.


#19

Those sound like good changes to me.

Perhaps they can either be implemented or someone can provide you with access to make them.

The more interesting issue is why the response time is so slow for you. The forum happily moves along for me and I have a slow 1.5Mbps DSL.


#20
Elk said

The more interesting issue is why the response time is so slow for you. The forum happily moves along for me and I have a slow 1.5Mbps DSL.


I can think about several reasons:

o- bigger round trip time multiplied by 160+ external files per page . 200ms (from home) vs 90ms (from Newark)

o- huge amount of CSS and JS (and I have a busy Firefox running on a server with shared resources)