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Hacking: Shrinkify MobileFrontend responses
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Reach Jon Robson (jdlrobson) on Freenode webchat on the #wikimedia-mobile channel. Please join us if you are interested in performance or have experience in this area.

In this session we will be exploring the question "What's the smallest-possible-but-still-usable page that we can deliver to the user?"

MobileFrontend has a whole bunch of rich features and more keep getting added every sprint. The Mobile Web team does a good job of deferring loading resources until we absolutely have to, but I think that we could do more.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help produce a patch that'll trim as much of the fat as aggressively as possible.

187062 could be a starting point for this project. It simply limits the response to the lead section of the article. From here we could:

  • figure out the minimum set of styles to deliver
  • stop delivering JavaScript modules altogether
  • replace images with tappable placeholders

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phuedx renamed this task from Shrinkify MobileFrontend responses to Hacking: Shrinkify MobileFrontend responses.May 19 2015, 3:19 PM
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In T97570 @Gilles says "The Barack Obama article might be a bit of an extreme example due to its length, but in that case the API data needed for section 0's text + the list of sections is almost 30 times smaller than the data needed for all sections's text (5.9kb gzipped versus 173.8kb gzipped)."

Couple of notes:

This was something interesting that I discovered recently. NPR provides a text only version of their site at

I have no idea how they handle this on the backed, but it might be worth learning about.