Web 2.0 over dial-up

I’m borrowing an old Pentium III computer with a dial-up Internet connection. I haven’t used dial up in a long time and was surprised what a difference bandwidth makes. Many “Web 2.0” sites are just painful to use. Some simply do not work. One site gave me a message essentially saying to go away and come back with a better connection.

However, StackOverflow was a pleasant surprise. I thought that since it uses a lot of client-side JavaScript, the site would be just as sluggish as the others I tried. It takes a while to log in, but after that the site is easy to use over a slow connection. The developers of the site must have thought about conserving bandwidth; I find it hard to believe that the excellent low-bandwidth performance was an accident. Very impressive.

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