Ken K
Wed, 19 Feb 2003 19:31:19 PST
Cathy Craig wrote:
> You know, accessing the photos via this wiki system is taking me 20 seconds
> per. And I have a cable modem. So far I am not convinced it is speedier than
> attachments.


It must be a unique set of circumstances that is causing this to
happen. The WIKI images come in at a 'normal' speed here on my 33.6k
modem, and very fast at work on a T3 line and a friend's DSL modem.

Regarding the practical differences between attachments and the WIKI:

As far as speed goes, theoretically the WIKI should be faster than
email, since 8-bit binary images sent via email are encoded in 7-bit
ASCII in order to be able to traverse mail servers. This encoding adds
approximately 25% to their size until they are decoded at the
receiving end.

Because it has already been collected and stored by your ISP, email
comes directly to you via the mailserver of your own internet
provider, and generally at full speed of your internet connection. On
the other hand, the speed of the WIKI depends on traffic at, as well as the speed and number of 'hops' between your
ISP's server and the host (ibiblio) server, and traffic on the
internet in general.

Storing images on the WIKI helps ensure that the mailboxes of members
are not unnecessarily tied up with images. I hate to keep using the
Yahoo Clivia discussion group as an example, but it serves as a good
example of what can go wrong when a group becomes popular and users
ignore posting etiquette. This past year, every time there was a
Clivia show in South Africa, my mailbox was overflowing with image
attachments every time I accessed it. (over 2 mb of images) This meant
that it took about a half hour to collect my email. In my opinion,
this is not what email is for. Some members suggested a limit to the
size of attached images. (a 147 kb image size limit was already in the
group charter) This sounds good, but in reality it did not work
either. The person flooding the group was not attaching images which
were individually too large, however that person was attaching
multiple images to each email so that each email by far exceeded the
recommended limit, and there were multiple, consecutive emails each
time this happened. To make matters worse, many of the images were not
particularly unique or remarkable, and subjects such as signage
outside the show were being attached, along with images of people in
attendance at the show. Apparently the poster was a personal friend of
the group moderator, because nothing was ever said to discourage the
practice, as far as I could tell.

I realize that our own PBS image traffic is presently much lower than
this, however we do want and expect the IBS to grow. If more members
begin to take the time to share their images with the group, our
traffic could be quite a bit heavier - enough to cause congestion in
some members' mailboxes. A system such as the WIKI ensures that abuses
and their subsequent complaints will not take place, and I feel that
all participants are much better off for it.

Big kudos to Mary Sue for setting us up with this great tool.

East S.F. Bay Area, Ca.
USDA Zone 9 (mediterranean)
-2°C to 38°C

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