JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2007/08/question.html (39 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1188532289-579271  jed at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 03:51:29 +0000

Oh, I don't have any speed problems.

But the width of the images makes your layout exceed the width of my browser window.

In general, thumbnail images linking to the big picture are a good thing.

There's also a way to specify, using CSS, that the your text content will wrap according to browser width, even if images, or ridiculously long URLs even, exceed that dimension. Don't know what that is, off the top of my head though.

jsid-1188533431-579274  Kevin Baker at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 04:10:31 +0000

What are you running, Jed, 640x480?

jsid-1188536706-579289  Morenuancedthanyou at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 05:05:06 +0000

I'm running Firefox and your layout exceeds the width of my 1152 x 864 window too.
I'd have no problem if you switch to thumbnails for the images to benefit readers on dialup. I was on dialup until 2 years ago -- Rodger's and SondraK's sites were totally out of reach.

jsid-1188539694-579298  gattsuru at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 05:54:54 +0000

Jed, the easy way for images is to specify max-width a la {img src="x.jpg" style="max-width:x%"} values, but this isn't supported by Internet Explorer. There are workarounds, but they're pretty ugly for the average writer, and I'm not sure Blogger can deal with them.

Mr. Baker, could you please pick up GIMP or Irfanview, though? The default settings on whatever software or camera you are using is not pretty. The first Kimber picture currently, for example, runs more than 121 kilobytes (or ~20 seconds for a dial-up user). With GIMP and jpeg compression in the ~30-45 range, that can shrink down to 28 kilobytes (or 5 seconds for a dial-up user).

jsid-1188544642-579302  Dan at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 07:17:22 +0000

I've got no objection to high resolutions. The modern internet is a the broadband internet.

On the other hand, your website is way too wide at the moment. It does theoretically fit on my 1280x1024 screen, but in practice, I never have Seamonkey open that wide. I just scroll your page over so I can't see the sidebar. Never really noticed it until jed mentioned it.

jsid-1188545391-579303  Michael A. Litscher at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 07:29:51 +0000

I've got broadband here at home. However, I do quite a bit of surfing on my Sprint Treo 650, which is about dial-up speed, with severe ram limits.

So yes, use thumbnails which link to full-rez images.

Likewise, provide a link to your best posts, a link to your blogroll, and perhaps a link to your archives.

jsid-1188550170-579305  Francis W. Porretto at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 08:49:30 +0000

I've been on broadband for several years, but there appears to be a "yar's revenge" effect on the Web: the faster our access technology gets, the more severely popular websites try to stress it. In particular, what's with all the flash videos, animations, and automatically queued music people have been wedging into their blogs? Can't the visitor be trusted to start these things for himself -- or not, if he's uninterested, or can't afford the time or bandwidth?

"Is the Web so dear, or the eye candy so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of browser congestion and connection failure? Forbid it, almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me text, or give me a good book!" -- Your Curmudgeon

jsid-1188569182-579316  SayUncle at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 14:06:22 +0000

And would it kill you to put a link to your main page at the top so I can click that from a post to get to the front page?

And, while you're at, drop your sitemeter code into your comment template so you can see how many visitors you get.

And fix your RSS feed so that titles show up in my feed reader. Makes them easier to click on.

I guess what I'm saying is change the template ;)

jsid-1188571701-579321  Kevin Baker at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 14:48:21 +0000

Guys, if I knew how to do all of that, I wouldn't have started out on Blogsnot.

I'll see what changes I can implement, though.

jsid-1188571877-579323  homebru at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 14:51:17 +0000

Late to the party as always.

I am on dial-up about 25% of the time and slow DSL the rest.

Thumbnails are good.

jsid-1188574374-579335  1894C at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 15:32:54 +0000


I never wanted to complain about the free ice cream but since you asked...

Yes is takes a bit to load even on highspeed, faster would be better.

And yes as it currently exists it is too wide to view without scrolling.

But the content is perfect, and isn't that what really matters?

Keep up the good work.

jsid-1188574904-579338  Robin S. at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 15:41:44 +0000

Some of the larger images do make the screen too wide for my browser. Admittedly, I'm running an odd resolution -- 1024x1280 (That's not a typo, the screen is taller than it is wide) -- but the 1024 width is usually wide enough for most websites I visit normally.

Like 1894C, I think the content's perfect, so I'm more than willing to live with the side scrolling as it is, but you did ask for feedback.

jsid-1188575640-579342  bud at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 15:54:00 +0000

I can handle the bandwidth fine, but we (by which I mean the 2A rights community) need all the readers we can get as an antidote to the constant mistaken, misleading and downright dishonest reporting by the MSN.

To that extent, accomodations for the bandwidth limited are a good idea.

jsid-1188576075-579343  Bob at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 16:01:15 +0000

The only problem I've had with your page is the width issue mentioned in the above posts. From my point of view it is a minor problem, and I just scroll across to read.

But I can understand the problem with dial-up connections. I've been fortunate to have broadband for a couple of years now, but I remember just how slow dial-up was. Thumbnails might not be a bad way to go!

Love your blog... Keep up the good work!

jsid-1188576363-579344  Joe Huffman at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 16:06:03 +0000

Bandwidth? Snort! Except for when browsing via my cellphone/Pocket-PC (and sometimes even then) I have > 1 MBit/second pipes.

I'm with Uncle on the home link at the top and fixing the titles for the RSS feed. It used to work just fine but broke about August 27th.

Another thing broken with the RSS feed (or else Microsoft's reading of it in Outlook) is that the dates all come out as 12/31/2006. I can investigate where the actual error exists if you are inclined to spend any time fixing it.

jsid-1188576713-579345  Kevin Baker at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 16:11:53 +0000

Joe, I think that RSS feed and other related problems are not necessarily in my template. They may be Blogsnot. I didn't set up the RSS feed and haven't touched any of the settings since I started the blog, to my knowledge.

To all: I've tried to keep the images to a maximum width of 800, but it looks like I'll need to reduce that. From now on, all images will be thumbnails with links to the full size, in deference to my dial-up readers.

Thanks for the feedback. Any other suggestions will be gratefully accepted. (But perhaps not acted upon!)

jsid-1188577130-579346  Mark Alger at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 16:18:50 +0000

Dolly and I haven't said anything, 'cause we figured we were on you too much about the LENGTH of your posts, but -- yeah, since you asked -- that side-scroll thing (we're on 1024x768 and browse in Opera maximized, in case you wondered) is a bite.

FWIW, we set our page width on BTB to fit comfortably in that window and so far few complaints. (Dolly says, "They better NOT complain! I'll kick their asses!) But that's just da Doll.

As for the bandwidth thing -- um: (turns to audience) if bandwidth is an issue, why are you using a graphic browser? You should be in Lynx. AFAIAC, anybody using a Mosaic-based browser can't be TOO concerned about bandwidth. I realize dialup is a cross many must bear, but I suspect they're in a shrinking minority and really ought to be working to increase their bandwidth, rather than griping at site designers.

But, then, I'm an elitist snob. Always have been. ::grin::


jsid-1188585299-579358  Joe Huffman at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 18:34:59 +0000

I took a quick look at the xml for the RSS feed and did not immediately see anything wrong with it in regards to the date. It's probably a problem with Microsoft Outlook. I'll investigate further and send a bug report to the Office team if appropriate (my son James works in Office).

I'll check into the title issue as well.

jsid-1188586091-579360  Mike at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 18:48:11 +0000

I have broadband at home and the office, but I've used my cell phone in the past for internet access while traveling. When I did that I just turned images off in my browser so that I didn't waste tons of time trying to download them. I could always go back later to look at them, or if it was something important, like a wiring diagram from the supplier, I could click on something to open that one picture up.

jsid-1188587325-579363  Kevin Baker at Fri, 31 Aug 2007 19:08:45 +0000


I do not use Blogsnot's "title" function for posts. It wasn't available when I started the blog, and when they added it, I didn't use it and still don't. My blog titles are formatted manually. That may be the cause of that problem.

jsid-1188656262-579412  Rich at Sat, 01 Sep 2007 14:17:42 +0000


I have dsl and t3 depending on where I am and that means it takes awhile on the dsl. In general a good rule of thumb is to have low res on the page 150 usually 300 dpi max on the page and click to a higher res image so the choice is there.

Also higher res pictures then to be wide on IE.

jsid-1188656323-579413  Peet at Sat, 01 Sep 2007 14:18:43 +0000


Thank you for your consideration. Most bloggers would have just said "upgrade."

Even with the crappy photo-editor that comes with Windoze (yeah, I'm a U*X snob) you can increase compression with little quality loss (see my last comment on the thread that started all this).

P. (I really *will* shut up now)

jsid-1188664814-579425  Kevin Baker at Sat, 01 Sep 2007 16:40:14 +0000


You're a UNIX NERD and you're on DIAL-UP??? ;)

jsid-1188668901-579428  jed at Sat, 01 Sep 2007 17:48:21 +0000

No Kevin, not 640x480 or even close. 1280x1024. But there's no reason to assume that I, or anyone else, for that matter, always has their browser configured for full-screen display. The vast majority of time, I'm looking at at least a couple of windows at once. So the width/height of my browser window is less than my full screen resolution, which allows me to see what's happen in the other applications of interest I have running at the same time.

At the moment, my browser window is 825x829.

There's another effect in operation here as well. I don't know if this is just me, but reading very long lines -- as in page or column width -- is more difficult than short ones. Of course, too short is a pain as well. But I suspect that there's some neurological thing going on, maybe with being able to read by scanning "chunks" as opposed to word-by-word, and very long lines have something like a buffer overflow effect going on. Just speculation on my part as to why, but it's a noticeable effect. Makes me wonder why you sometimes find books, articles, etc. published in 2-column layouts.

BTW, it's long been a peeve of mine that even supposedly professional web developers seem to not grok the difference between designing for the web and for printed material.

jsid-1188677733-579438  Brett Bellmore at Sat, 01 Sep 2007 20:15:33 +0000

Dialup, and when it rains the rate drops down to about 10kb/s, if that. OTOH, if it's been dry for a few days, I can get into the 40s...
How about a compromise: Switch to progressive loading jpgs, so we can see what's there while waiting for the load?

jsid-1188688982-579442  AlanDP at Sat, 01 Sep 2007 23:23:02 +0000

I would suggest that you set your RSS feed to do full posts instead of just the first however many characters. Anyone with dial-up can use a newsreader to read your blog and they won't be constantly stuck with loading big pix.

That's what I do, and my only complaint is that your newsfeed doesn't feed full posts. So in your case, I don't read every post. I pick and choose based on the excerpt.

I would never be able to keep up with as many blogs as I do if I had to load each site every time just to check if there were any new posts.

jsid-1188703299-579448  Kevin Baker at Sun, 02 Sep 2007 03:21:39 +0000

Great. Now I have to figure out how the RSS feed works - that I've never touched since I started the blog!

jsid-1188707105-579456  Kevin Baker at Sun, 02 Sep 2007 04:25:05 +0000

OK, I found (and changed) the RSS feed function to "Full."

Somebody please tell me if it's working?

jsid-1188708442-579462  Joe Huffman at Sun, 02 Sep 2007 04:47:22 +0000

Looks good to me: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheSmallestMinority

jsid-1188715332-579469  Kevin Baker at Sun, 02 Sep 2007 06:42:12 +0000

Yep. I bet it's going to cost me some Sitemeter hits.

And I'm coming up on one million, too!

jsid-1188781303-579511  Dave at Mon, 03 Sep 2007 01:01:43 +0000

Still dialing in here. I'm a technological bottom feeder. Reading, writing, emails, etc. don't require a high speed connection, so I haven't bothered with one. I use multiple computers at home, and I like being able to get online with any of them at the drop of a hat.
Whenever I run into a site that is hard on a dial up connection, I switch to a text only browser.
I use offbyone. You can adjust the settings down to nothing but text, or you can allow images, among other things.

jsid-1188933549-579606  markm at Tue, 04 Sep 2007 19:19:09 +0000

I'm still on dial-up at home. Too far out for DSL, and since I don't watch TV, I object to paying the cable company $40-something per month for a service I don't use so I can pay them extra for broadband service. Not to mention my general distrust of them getting it right, considering,

1) They had billboards up advertising their internet service years before they had any web site, and

2) Their web site is still full of bugs.

But load time has never been too much of a problem with your site - except some times in the past when it was the server that was overloading, because I tried to access it through the big pipes at work and it was still deadly slow. I just open up a new pane and start the load process while I'm reading something else. My biggest beef is that I cannot access comments in my favorite browser (Opera). The "## Comments" field isn't even displayed on the screen.

jsid-1188935455-579607  Kevin Baker at Tue, 04 Sep 2007 19:50:55 +0000

Sorry, Markm, but I can't help you on the Opera thing.

jsid-1188936194-579608  Stephen Rider at Tue, 04 Sep 2007 20:03:14 +0000

Wide stretches of text is hard to read. It's a long established reality, and the reason that newspapers use narrow little columns.

jsid-1188937259-579609  Kevin Baker at Tue, 04 Sep 2007 20:20:59 +0000


I'm not sure how to limit the "wide stretches of text." Do these occur all the time, or only when there is a large image on the page?

jsid-1188950508-579624  DirtCrashr at Wed, 05 Sep 2007 00:01:48 +0000

I'm running at 1280x1024 and Firefox, and with my bookmarks open and occupying a column on the left I have to window-over to read the full text, but only a teensy bit. ;-)

jsid-1188960294-579635  jed at Wed, 05 Sep 2007 02:44:54 +0000

MarkM, it's likely either you have JavaScript turned off in Opera, or Opera has poor JavaScript support, and the haloscan script that writes the comments link is failing.

The default behavior of HTML and web browsers is that the browser wraps the text to fit the width of the browser window, unless something else makes that not happen. One example is, in fact, wide images. There are numerous ways to break this, for example specifying fixed pixel-width table cells, or divisions.

In your case, your template uses an html-table 2-column layout. The new breed of CSS purists will scoff at that, but I think it's just fine, as tables are less finicky, and degrade better, than fancy-schmancy CSS. However, the rendering engine will set the column width to the width of the widest thing in there, and sometimes wider, depending upon borders, margins, etc.

Without going into changing your layout, using thumbnail images is the fix.

Looking at your feedburner page that Joe linked to, here's images not causing excess width. So if you're really curious, you can examine the CSS and HTML they use.

jsid-1188960526-579636  jed at Wed, 05 Sep 2007 02:48:46 +0000


Corrected link: images displayed with text wrapped to layout width.

Yes, the images get apparently truncated, but I have a horizontal scrollbar which shows that the "window" width includes the full image. But the text is still wrapped to the display width.

BTW, you'll also notice the same layout trick at ar15.com.

jsid-1188994867-579648  Stephen Rider at Wed, 05 Sep 2007 12:21:07 +0000

Your page isn't _too_ bad RE width, but what I waas referring was the overall width of the main content seection. That could use some marrowing down.

No time now to peruse your page source, but I'l give a peek later and see if there's a fix you could manage yourself. In the somewhat longer run (i.e. I'm busy lately) I could probably help you out with a lot of things.

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