Performance & Design

We're doing it wrong...we know
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trilobyte
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Posts: 16128
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:54 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: Eridu Society
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Performance & Design

Postby trilobyte » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:57 pm

Some of the biggest changes and improvements that we've gotten in the big upgrade are under the hood. A lot of the code has been completely rewritten using modern technology and technique, resulting in a lot more efficient use of resources and a lot faster performance.

In the past, almost everything you did required the site to either load a new page or re-load the entire current page, which meant more work for the server as well as more data and bandwidth being used to send that info to you. We already had plenty of server power backing the site on our end (as well as the ability to scale up quickly to meet high demand when things get busy), and if you're sitting at home on a computer with a fast internet connection you may not notice that much of a difference. The big performance improvement comes for those who aren't on the fastest connections. If you're on the go and accessing the site from a cafe or public wifi network, or you're using a cell phone... not only are those networks a lot slower, but sometimes you're paying for your data usage. In my tests using a smartphone in the bay area, the new site is up to 10x faster than the old site and uses a lot less data.

Aside from being a lot more zippy, we have a whole new custom style, or layout to the site. It not only better fits the look and feel of other Burning Man sites, but like those sites is what's called a responsive design. Instead of just serving up the same outdated layout and leaving you to pinch and zoom and try and make things work on different devices, the site detects the size of the browser or device and responds by serving up a page designed for it. And if you rotate the screen on your smartphone or tablet, it responds to that too.

As someone who accesses the site using a variety of devices, I'm really excited about those improvements.

User avatar
trilobyte
Site Admin
Posts: 16128
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:54 pm
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: Eridu Society
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Performance & Design

Postby trilobyte » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:02 pm

Here's a nice new feature that we picked up along the way... a Max Width Switch. By default, the site will use a maximum width on a screen, and then display a solid color background, like this...
Image

If you have a larger screen display and would like to use all that real estate, you can now choose to do just that. Go to the Display Preferences in your User Control Panel, and change the setting for "Use maximum width" to Yes, then click on Submit.
Image

Once you've done that, ePlaya should fill up your display or browser window, like this...
Image

Enjoy!


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