Microsoft MSDN Goes Loband


Image from Jon Galloway

Anyone who has tinkered under the hood of a Windows machine is fully appreciative of the Microsoft Developer's Network (MSDN), a clearinghouse of information for all Microsoft products. Recently - and perhaps through a little Treehugger prompting - a new ultra-low bandwidth of MSDN has just been released that cuts page size by over 80 percent, insuring lightning-quick access to this heavily-used resource. Praise for the new site has been extreme; the hardcores from StackOverflow simply love it, and here's why you will too.
Let's see the Loband difference. Here's the old site:

and here's the new one:

The biggest bandwidth saver is eliminating the treeview on the left. These types of controls are common yet obscenely bandwidth intensive and slow page load times to a trickle; dropping the treeview allows the page to load in one second instead of four. Overall page size is also dramatically reduced as well - the 'typical' high bandwidth MSDN page is about 400K, but Loband cuts that figure down to about 70K. That's an 82.5%. reduction with hardly any loss in functionality.

There are a few tough spots - some articles are hard to read in Loband, particularly if the associated pictures and diagrams really help the learning process. Also, beginners will probably want to use the navigation tree more than pros, but there’s a simple link at the top of the page that allows switching between the 'high' and 'low' bandwidth views - it's the best of both worlds. MSDN Loband is a well-done pare-down of a major site and a nice lead for other industry players to follow; glad to see you had it in ya. Jon Galloway
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Tags: Appropriate Technology | Computing | Technology