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Is there anyone that knows whether bandwidth is something that hinders smaller wikipedias to grow? If Wikipedia is slow to load in many countries this would probably slow the growth and reduce the usage significantly. Could the sites be made to load faster in that case? Should picture sizes be limited on wikipedias where users are likely to have slow connections, and other kinds of media also restricted?
I summed up the sizes of the pictures contained in todays (29th of December) featured article at the English Wikipedia. The total size was about 11,5Mb. I really think that such large article size can prevent usage in many countries where users have low bandwidth.
Are you sure this is correct? The Wikimedia servers serve low res renditions of the images. Firebug gives me 289kb of images as an anonymous user (this includes all MediaWiki icons that are not part of the article content).
No I am not sure at all, I would very much like real data on this. Could you provide data for a couple of pages? I just wrote down this thought here and in the recommendation document to hope to get some answers.
So the Wikimedia sofware scales down thumbs automatically?
Maybe a list over the last 20 feature articles would be a good data set.
Sorry, no time. I recommend you install Firefox and the firebug plugin. Then get the data by fully reloading the page as an anonymous user (that will also load css and scripts).
If I have made everything right I get the following results for the featured articles of December:
The average is 340,7kb per article. Can this be seen as the standard size of a large article? It remaining then to find an expectation of the bandwidth in different regions.
A bigger problem than bandwidth is latency IMHO. 13 stylesheets plus 12 external scripts is a lot of roundtrips. I'm in Australia with a fast ADSL connection, and on an empty cache it can often take 5 seconds or more for the page to start displaying. Mobile networks and PSTN modems add additional latency.