This is a continuation in my series on low bandwidth development.
When thinking about development, one absolutely has to think about deployment and when you think about that, you have to think about the issues surrounding the end user actually viewing the site that you put forth.
The first thing that’s key in all of this is Firefox. It’s a secure, solid browser that beats the stuffing out of Internet Explorer in any head to head test of the two. The browser can be had in a great number of languages, including all of the Colonial languages of Africa. There is, in theory, a Swahili version floating around as well, but it doesn’t get official support from Firefox, which is a shame. Hopefully some folks can get on board to change that as well as bring out Yoruba, Akan, Lingala, Zulu, and a few others as well. The current version of Firefox does have some issues in tying up bandwidth though, which I wrote about how to get around in a previous article.
But probably the best thing about this browser from the user side are the Addons. Various elements can be plugged in to the browser to help out the user. The one I like the best when dealing with a slow connection is AdBlock. This slams the door on externally loaded ads from appearing on a website. Sometimes it can have unfortunate effects, such as photos not displaying in Facebook. It is also controversial as people make money from displaying ads on their sites and if you’re shutting that off, aren’t you stealing from them? According to one person who got a lot of press, yes you are, but that campaign is now thankfully dead in the water. What people don’t realize is that if you’re blocking ads, you’re probably not going to be clicking on them anyway.
What is most important to remember in using AdBlock is that it’s going to save a user endless amounts of bandwidth. Even when bandwidth is precious, ad servers don’t care. If you take all of those out of the equation, you can quickly get to the website and the information that you wanted in the first place as you see in the example below. If you’re not using it already, I recommend checking it out.
I’ll come back to Firefox again in future articles as there are a great many of these Addons that I use in web development.
Developing and Deploying in Low Bandwidth Part 2