Well I feel I must respond to this and the other comments presented on
this mailing list today. First, I wish Mr. Komen had taken the time to
write to me personally, as we do implement suggestions made by our
Second, when the design of the IDN web site was done, it was with the
intention of minimizing download time. There are further things that
can and will be done once we generate revenue from sponsorships and
memberships (which will allow us to hire staff to work on these areas).
If it took six minutes to download, I apologize, but I really do not
have much sympathy for users of 9600 baud or 14.4 K modems who surf the
web with images turned on. With Images off you have your text only
version. And unless an animated GIF adds value, it will absolutely not
be used. Those are 'Bandwidth Hogs'.
this would have cut out a large percentage of users who do not have Java
Compatible Browsers. Again, this was an intentional decision.
Mr. Harris of USAID (or should I say a USAID Contractor?) suggests that
the site should have been tested with slower modems. The reality is
that it is. And his statement about Tables loading is incorrect.
Dr. Lisse, Believe me when we say we use an NT Server over Apache or
other UNIX servers because of cost and implementation decisions.
Unfortunately, I do not speak CGI or PERL and we cannot yet afford to
hire someone on staff who does.
It is always very easy for web 'gurus' to be critical of others work
(and I freely admit that I do the same), but I think we have a case here
where people are failing to see the trees in the forest. If it took Mr.
Komen 6 minutes to download the main page, how much longer in time and
money would it have taken him to find the same information and links
himself on the web. That is why the site was launched: to provide a
place where people could go for the information.
Mr. Komen, I thank you for the alter-benchmark test. We can now look at
reengineering issues down the road. And please, if anyone has any
comments or suggestions, please let us know. And feel free to submit
Thank you all for letting me have my piece.
Joris Komen wrote:
> Having just spent nearly six minutes waiting for the http://www.idn.org/
> page to download, I wonder how many others could have been *genuinely*
> counted by this server, if they hadn't left the flat speckled blue image in
> despair (unless of course this is a newly developed virtual paregoric - an
> animated gif would work far better, me thinks:-)).
> I'm presently browsing over a fast-ish 64k leased line to some verrrrry
> decent bandwidth in Namibia:-); I suspect that the response time over a grotty 9600bps copper wire with a regular dial-up connection will be even > worse!
> Although I could have mailed the webmaster of this informative site
> directly, I am very concerned about the increasingly irresponsible
> oversight of so many webmasters of supposedly informative web-sites.
> all very well producing stunning Microsoft Exploder and Netscape charged
> pages at home for your local 2 Mbit traffic, but please bear with us out
> here in the sticks! At very least consider plugging a text-only link into
> the welcome page (at the top, please:-)), or ask someone on a grotty copper
> wire in a developing country to run an "alter"-benchmark test on your
> Joris Komen
> African Museum Internet Project