[Sugar-devel] ASLO

Sam Parkinson sam.parkinson3 at gmail.com
Sat May 24 07:10:10 EDT 2014

Hi James,

On Thu, May 22, 2014 at 9:44 AM, James Cameron <quozl at laptop.org> wrote:

> > On May 21, 2014 9:58 PM, "Sam Parkinson" <sam.parkinson3 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > > On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 8:20 AM, James Cameron <quozl at laptop.org>
> wrote:
> > >> What's the Flash element for?
> > > Sorry, I'm not exactly sure what the Flash element is.
> Nor I.  I'm using Firefox, configured to ask before running Flash, and
> it asks, so that means the page is trying to run something.

Oops, I accidentally included SocketIO. I have removed it.

> But in a quick search I wasn't able to find what Flash is actually
> being run.  Maybe it is something in persona.org.  Do you really need
> to uyse persona.org?

I think persona is a good login system for users since there is no confirm
your email stuff.
For me, it provides valid email addresses, which is VERY useful.

> While looking for the cause, I assessed the network load for your
> prototype:
> - with an empty cache, a total of 23 GET requests to 10 different
>   servers, for a total of 491 KB of data,
> - with a primed cache, a total of 11 GET requests to 10 different
>   servers, for a total of 65 KB of data,

It could be worse :)

I managed to remove 1 :)

> - the slowest response of 1550 ms was from
>   aslo-bot-master.sugarlabs.org, and this large response time
>   persisted on repeated refreshes.

Oh, that always hit the filesystem. I added a cache now.

> Comparing to activities.sugarlabs.org which, at the moment, has more
> features:
> - with an empty cache, a total of 40 requests to just one server, for
>   a total of 381 KB of data,
> Because the requests were to just one server, the original ASLO loads
> much much faster.

But can't the browser only do 2 requests to one server at once? Where as it
can do async to many servers?

Also it is a common standard today (I think) to use a cdn version of your
This means for very common scripts (eg. jquery) it will just hit the
browser cache.
Also cdns are just faster that 1 web server.

> By splitting the requests among multiple servers as you have done:
> - the browser can't queue multiple GETs in the same HTTP connection,\


> - the browser must negotiate several new HTTP connections, each with a
>   round trip delay,

What I could do is combined all the js into 1 file (and same for css).
BUT, I'm not sure if just using the cdn version would be better; cdns are
very fast (and most of the scripts are served through cloudflare which has
edge cache servers in South America and Australia as well as the usual US +
Europe + Asia. This is good because it is close to sugar users).

> - the web site depends on multiple servers, so the mean time between
>   failure (MTBF) is dramatically reduced.  See [1].

Well, I think that splitting the servers is actually better.
Some things are served by reliable cdns (good).
But separating the non-essential bits (comments, recommendations) means
that crashes there will not effect the essential bits (data.json or

> This is even more important for XO laptops, because they are usually
> connected over wireless, with varying network latency.

Ok that is an issue. I could combine files (and put the on cloudflare cdn,
I think they have a free plan).

> You might work to place all the resources you use on one server, and
> find out why 12 KB of data.json from aslo-bot-master.sugarlabs.org
> takes such a surprising time to load.

LOL. I added cache :) Maybe I should try to cdn just that file as it is the
entire data set for aslo.

> Hope this helps.

Thanks :)

> [1]  if server A has an MTBF of one day, and server B has an MTBF of
> one day, the combined MTBF is half a day.  Without knowing the MTBF of
> each server, you can guess at a failure once a day or once a week, and
> so for 10 servers the MTBF will range from once every tenth of a day
> to once every tenth of a week.
> > >> When I click on "Review the activity" nothing happens except a
> > >> text cursor appears.
> > >
> > > Ah, that is a textbox, I changed that to "Type your review..."
> Interesting.  That's not what a textbox normally looks like, and it
> isn't clear where the review should be typed.  For instance, if you
> just start typing, nothing happens, you have to first click in the
> "Type your review" area.  So you can't obey the instructions.
> Normally a textbox is empty, and is identified as a place you can
> type, and a separate element is used to give the purpose of the
> textbox.

I might think a bit more about this.
I like the seamless look personally, but I will try to make the textbox
more obvious.

> The same can be said of the Search... textbox.

It looks very obvious on sugar :) Have a look.
I will make it look more obvious on other stuff too.

> > >> The "Download" and "Post" buttons could be made into icons.
> > >
> > > I made some changes, what do you think?
> I see you added icons to the text.  Perhaps I should have been
> clearer; the text needs to be in several languages, but an icon
> doesn't need to be.  That's one of the reasons icons are used.

Icons are also not the most obvious, so putting translatable text there
means either:
1) More obvious if the text is in the users language
2) Still a bit obvious because there is the icon

That's just my view, also I think the icon makes the button too small.

> > >> The icons could do with mouse-over hints in the current language.
> > >
> > > Did that for the review types just then :) Any others that need it
> > > :)
> All of them, of course.  How else will people know what they will do?

Cool, will do :)

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