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  1.    #1  
    I wanted to perform experiments with the new Blazer on the Treo 650. Of course I don't have a 650 yet, but I do have the Treo 650 simulator. To simulate the network speed connection, I connected my laptop to the internet using my Treo 600 and PdaNet through T-Mobile's GSM network.

    The results have really impressed me! As reported before, Blazer 4.0 starts showing you text almost immediately. I went to cnn.com, which we all know takes a very long time to fully load on the 600. In about 6 seconds from hitting OK to the URL I was looking at a screenfull of text from the page and in 8 seconds I was able to scroll to the bottom of the page with all its text visible! Bear in mind that the simulator works a lot slower than the real device on my laptop and the latency of the connection through PdaNet is bound to be worse than the real thing. So, I expect the numbers on the Treo 650 to even be at least slightly better than this.

    In short, I am quite impressed and expect to have a MUCH better web browsing experience on the 650.
  2. #2  
    Hmm, I would be completely shocked if all the text came back in 8 seconds on the real device, much less faster. How long does it take to complete the whole page with the pictures and such. I think it takes something like 2:15 on my Treo.

    I'm curious because a lot of websites use graphics for navigation and while it's great to get the text back first in most cases, there are the occasions when I'm just going to front page to navigate to another page deeper inside. Thus if the total page is still around the 2:15 mark (I don't expect it to be with the fast rendering) it's still amazing, but not enough that I can say that I don't want wifi anymore.
  3. njchris's Avatar
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    #3  
    Silverado, try going to ebay and then sign in and go to myebay and tell me if you have the same result as me (page too large).

    I know I've brought this up before but this error really irritates me that they did not fix it.
  4. #4  
    AMEN, bmacfarland. Wifi is the best tool out there today for surfing the web...as long as you are where it is available...which is becoming a larger network every day.
  5. #5  
    As a result of efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act most websites should have an underlying level of text that supports navigation. This feature allows screen reading programs (used by the visually impaired) to access the content and navigation features of a web page. Treo users will benifit from ADA compliant sites with the ability to navigate before all the graphics load.

    One issue that may problematic is that a screen reader program can read text that is the same color as the backround, (white on white for example) but a sighted person may not on a treo. Putting same color text navigation bars inside a backround can be use as a method of creating text navigation withen a page that still looks like it only has graphical navigation features. This technique can be used to add ADA compliance to a page that a designer does not want to change the visually. Of course if the designers added ALT tags to the graphics the treo can read these fine and the page will be fine on the treo. Most of the site auditing software will still show errors when graphics are not alt tagged, even when back up text nav features are included, so the trend is to build "treo" friendly sites.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmacfarland
    Hmm, I would be completely shocked if all the text came back in 8 seconds on the real device, much less faster. How long does it take to complete the whole page with the pictures and such. I think it takes something like 2:15 on my Treo.

    I'm curious because a lot of websites use graphics for navigation and while it's great to get the text back first in most cases, there are the occasions when I'm just going to front page to navigate to another page deeper inside. Thus if the total page is still around the 2:15 mark (I don't expect it to be with the fast rendering) it's still amazing, but not enough that I can say that I don't want wifi anymore.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by rbright
    AMEN, bmacfarland. Wifi is the best tool out there today for surfing the web...as long as you are where it is available...which is becoming a larger network every day.
    For what it's worth, I didn't mean to make this into another wifi thread. Let's stick to the subject at hand and see if anyone else can provide some Blazer experiments.
  7. #7  
    mbrenner, as much as I'd love to see it happen, I'm not going to hold my breath. There are very few website that qualify as valid HTML. For instance the CNN page in question has so many errors that the W3C Validator simply gives up (see http://www.htmlhelp.com/cgi-bin/vali...m&warnings=yes).

    That being said as a developer of numerous websites (it's what I do) I have yet to have one client ever bring up being ADA compliant. Unfortunately, it's one of those things where there are always "bigger fish to fry" and other tasks that need development.

    Now who's got a cool Blazer experiment?
  8. #8  
    Somehow, I'm not convinced the performance of the simulator on a PC (or Mac) has any relationship to the performance of the real Blazer 4.0 on a 650. The CPU in your desktop has got to be many, many times faster that the one in a 650, and that's going to dramatically affect rendering speeds.

    To see how much faster it really is, I'm afraid, we'll have to wait until someone with the actual device does some comparos.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  9. fushigi's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by bmacfarland
    I'm curious because a lot of websites use graphics for navigation and while it's great to get the text back first in most cases, there are the occasions when I'm just going to front page to navigate to another page deeper inside. Thus if the total page is still around the 2:15 mark (I don't expect it to be with the fast rendering) it's still amazing, but not enough that I can say that I don't want wifi anymore.
    At the Chicago road show yesterday they said the new browser downloads links first, text second, and graphics last. (How they differentiate links from text I don't know) This is supposed to benefit people who are clicking through pages. Perhaps the graphics-based links will show the <alt> text? I didn't think to inquire about it at the time.
    - Fushigi
  10. #10  
    bmacfarland, thanks for your reply. I guess that I live a sheltered life working in a public institution. As we are in California (and also receive federal funding on occasion) we are bound by ADA and required to deploy ADA compliant sites to the best of our ability. This is taken very seriously where I work. I should add that the California law as well as my uderstanding of the federal one covers procurement of IT products and services as well as stuff like desks and chairs. So we are not supposed to purchase, or deploy solutions that are not ADA compliant either.

    Your point about CNN is interesting. If you are correct (and I certainly think you are) than as an instructor at any institution that receives federal funds you cannot make use of the CNN web site any part of your curriculum, becuase it is not compliant. Understand that I am not on an ADA crusade, I am only speaking to its requirements on institutions and businesses that I deal with. Weather it is a "Good thing" or well written is outside of the scope of my comments here.

    As fo the treo, one of the things I am going to do in my organization is to look at our sites with the treo. If the pages do not work well I am going to call our webmasters (s) attention to this because I beleave that a lot of the people we serve (or in the case of business, sell to) in my case college students, will be using devices like smart phones as a conduit for information and the web, and we need to support that.

    Completely aside from ADA I would hope that groups like CNN would also realize that the early adopters and soon to be general public will be turning their attention to information sources that have good smart phone support. Doing a good job of it will further their organizations mission as these devices become more mainstreem.
  11. #11  
    Njchris, I tried to log into eBay and get the same message as you, "page too large". I even tried to turn off images, and I still get this error. Have you tried testing it with ReqWireless browser? I could not successfully install it on my simulator.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by fushigi
    At the Chicago road show yesterday they said the new browser downloads links first, text second, and graphics last. (How they differentiate links from text I don't know) This is supposed to benefit people who are clicking through pages. Perhaps the graphics-based links will show the <alt> text? I didn't think to inquire about it at the time.
    It's easy to determine links that are text as they will be surrounded by <a> </a> tags. However, links that are graphics would likely behave differently. I'm guessing they'd still want to save graphical links to the end of the process as one tiny graphical link can be the same information as a page of text. In 99.999% of the cases, I think the page of text is more valuable than the link.

    Meyerweb,
    I was thinking along the same lines with you as to the rendering of the HTML, but then changed my thinking as essentially the simulator is running the same code as the phone, but that it has to be translated into code to run on a normal PC. Thus you might have a faster computer, but because it's emulating another device that negates some of the speed. It's hard to see if it negates all the speed (making it an accurate test) or just a tiny of slice of it (not so accurate).

    The best way to test this would be to run a Treo 600 emulator and see how close that is to the real life performance. If the Treo 600 emulator brings back pages in half the time on the PC then you can infer that the PC's rendering helps it by 50% and can further infer that the Treo 650's emulator is aided by 50% by the PC as well, thus making the actual device twice as slow as what you are seeing on the emulator. Silverado, you got more experiments in you?
  13. #13  
    FYI,

    cnn.com text loads in less than 10 seconds in WebViewer on the 600. The whole page takes a little over a half minute
  14. njchris's Avatar
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by JesseRPI
    Njchris, I tried to log into eBay and get the same message as you, "page too large". I even tried to turn off images, and I still get this error. Have you tried testing it with ReqWireless browser? I could not successfully install it on my simulator.
    I havent tried to install that. I'll see if I can try that tonight.

    I'm just amazed that this is still in there from the previous version. And am I the only one that seems really put off by this?
  15. #15  
    "My ebay" page loads fine in WebViewer. I should also note, as a follow-on to my PDF question in Chicago, that WebViewer does transcode PDF files to HTML via their proxies, which is a big "plus", for sure!

    Todd/Indy
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by bmacfarland

    The best way to test this would be to run a Treo 600 emulator and see how close that is to the real life performance. If the Treo 600 emulator brings back pages in half the time on the PC then you can infer that the PC's rendering helps it by 50% and can further infer that the Treo 650's emulator is aided by 50% by the PC as well, thus making the actual device twice as slow as what you are seeing on the emulator. Silverado, you got more experiments in you?
    Well, actually the best way to test it would be compare the two actual devices. But given that neither of us HAVE both devices, the next best test would be what you suggest. It might not be completely accurate, but would at least give a qualitative feel for the level of improvement.

    Bob
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
  17.    #17  
    The treo 600 simulator is slower on this laptop than my treo. The 650 simulator is VERY slow, for example, I hit the applications button and I have to wait a few seconds to see any apps. As pointed above, webviewer gets all text in 10 seconds on the 600. Why is that so unbelievable? Ever tried a text-only browser on any platform?

    Yes, my 2GHz laptop has a faster processor, but it is simulating an ARM processor (which in some cases is itself simulating a 6800 processor).

    The graphics took a lot longer to complete downloading. I didn't measure that because I didn't feel a huge difference. If I get around to it, I might do that. Then again, this is an easy test for others to perform.
    Last edited by silverado; 11/10/2004 at 12:22 PM.
  18.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    Somehow, I'm not convinced the performance of the simulator on a PC (or Mac) has any relationship to the performance of the real Blazer 4.0 on a 650. The CPU in your desktop has got to be many, many times faster that the one in a 650, and that's going to dramatically affect rendering speeds.

    To see how much faster it really is, I'm afraid, we'll have to wait until someone with the actual device does some comparos.
    Ever tried the the simulator on a fast PC? If you do, you'll see that it is quite sluggish in all tasks, so much so that the Treo 600 is MUCH faster than the simulated 650. Does that lead you to believe that the 650 is slower than the 600?
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by silverado
    The treo 600 simulator is slower on this laptop than my treo. The 650 simulator is VERY slow, for example, I hit the applications button and I have to wait a few seconds to see any apps. As pointed above, webviewer gets all text in 10 seconds on the 600. Why is that so unbelievable? Ever tried a text-only browser on any platform?

    Yes, my 2GHz laptop has a faster processor, but it is simulating an ARM processor (which in some cases is itself simulating a 6800 processor).

    The graphics took a lot longer to complete downloading. I didn't measure that because I didn't feel a huge difference. If I get around to it, I might do that. Then again, this is an easy test for others to perform.
    Others who have PDANet... I have a Plugged in account, but I haven't downloaded the simulator yet. I don't have a PDANet though, so I can only simulate using a DSL line which isn't much of a simulation.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    Well, actually the best way to test it would be compare the two actual devices. But given that neither of us HAVE both devices, the next best test would be what you suggest. It might not be completely accurate, but would at least give a qualitative feel for the level of improvement.

    Bob
    Well obviously that's the best way, but my way is the only possible for the general population for now.

    To skfny, is WebViewer free? Does it use a proxy? If it does, that's not applicable to all sites as CNN.com is only a sample site that everyone knows. CNN is very likely to be cached by proxies and hence it will be quicker as it would be downloading a smaller page (reduced graphics and the like). Most of the sites, I'd go to are forums and things that proxies provide an actual disadvantage.
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