Wikipedia’s pages too big for Africa?
Posted May 10, 2009on:
The three largest files to download resulted to be index.php, which took about 32 KB, followed by 30 KB large wikibits.js and 27 KB of main.css. There were still more files of each type though. The HTML file with the actual page text was 17 KB. The Wikipedia logo did not download (I have no clue why).
The total download consisted of 19 files. The file type sizes summarize approximatelly as following:
- CSS: 77 KB
- PHP: 47 KB
- HTML: 17 KB
- images: 4 KB
This is an appeal to a current usability project that is under way over at usability.wikimedia.org. I was really surprised by the bloat that web code brings to the user, while there is close to no AJAX on Wikipedia as far as I know which usually brings lots of size. The usability team should think of this rather “technical” optimization too.
Of course there are all those “mobile” versions of Wikipedia, which draw far less bandwidth and might be very close to the actual information size with their code sizes. However, I would deprecate the use of these versions for ICT4D in developing world, because of two reasons – Wikipedia is not critical application for expensive mobile data there and finally, as far as I know, none of these versions offer editorial access to the site.
Do we really want to neglect the technical aspect of Wikipedia’s great mission while it might cost only a few hours of optimization? Let us think about it!