PC dom    
Well I feel I am close enough for some tentative steps into the real world. I found that I could create the default set up work more aesthetically on the PC/Windows. Still a number of speed issues on PC falling way behind both my new and old mac.
One item I am proud of is the progressive loading of the over all directory system. The first items are the largest top level ones( books, Professional,Children’s, Literature... ) these are displayed after the top 2 levels are loaded. While the user is still eyeing up the interface and beginning to zoom in, the rest of the sub categories and sub sub categories are loaded. To improve matters I have also compressed this file which makes for a short pause. This file is also a static cacheable one - hopefully the second visit will make it appear much more quickly than before. On my Mac everything flashes quickly into place.
I’ve cleaned up the rendering to make it more efficient and changed the key scale where the images come in. One thing of not is that the number of images which I am throwing on to the screen do become quite important. There is a critical limit below which things run smoothly and below which things just suddenly jerk along.
Still some stalls when loading the shelf file. I now have about books per shelf and feel this is enough to get people exited with. I’m happy enough to get a few close people to try the system out. I’ve uploaded all the new info ( 300+mb) to the server and just need a few last touches to get the ball rolling.
Once that is done I’m going to go back to the catalogue loader and put that in it’s own background thread. I also want to make
a) all the images a bit smaller (lower bandwidth) and
b) group the images together into similar pages. This way each shelf will have one single image.
c) I want to make the category file a compressed one. This should lower the bandwidth from the server and improve load times ( about 3 times faster than current ).
d) I want to grab more detailed info (name catagory/price) as the user gets very close to the book ( I also want to grab the large image of the book too).
e) I want to create seperate UK and US sites with UK and US links. This means a new trip to Browsenodes.com and Browsnods.co.uk ( aren't they wonderful!)
PC dom
Tuesday, 9 May 2006