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    posted a message on Some discussion on files.wowace.com/latest-noext.xml
    I actually only update daily, but BigWigs updates for December :

    1st x4,
    2nd,
    3rd,
    5th x2,
    7th,
    8th x3,
    10th x3,
    11th,
    14th x4,
    16th x2,
    17th,
    18th x3,
    23rd,
    27th x2

    Which means, updating daily, it was 14 different downloads.

    14 * (489-287) = 2828kB 'extra' for this month alone, for one mod.

    And yes, frequent updates are expected by my guild, particularly for Bigwigs and Omen.

    Regardless, if you use a lot of mods you will use some kind of download script to automate as much as possible. Even if the changes to BigWigs are typos in translation files, the update will still be fetched, and that fetch will contain redundancy that can be reduced.
    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Some discussion on files.wowace.com/latest-noext.xml
    I start this post with two apologies:

    • Yes, TLDR, but these issues are inter-related and belong together
    • Arguably this post belongs in updaters, but I believe this discussion is important for the future of the smooth operation of the site in general.

    I use the no-externals versions of all addons I get from this site, I believe it's the only responsible choice. To illustrate with one popular mod:

    • oRA2-r56947.zip 422.6kB
    • no-ext/oRA2-r56947 143.2kB

    The no-ext file is 34% of the size of the 'normal' version, and will also only need to be updated when it is modified, as opposed to any of its dependencies. For December I count 14 different versions of the 'normal' archive vs 2 for no-exts. Worst case (2 people who manage to download every single update for December) 'normal' would account for 5908kB, and no-ext for 287kB (that is 4.8%!). Obviously the changes to the externals would be required as separate downloads, but as they are shared libraries the download cost is shared with any other addon that uses it.

    So, having established that no-exts is the way to go, what else can be done to reduce download requirements?

    Updating no-ext addons involves first fetching http://files.wowace.com/latest-noext.xml, but this file is now 1051kB, and it gets bigger for each addon added to this site.

    If you were only interested in oRA2 it would be more sensible (422kB is less than half of that!) to unconditionally download the symlink to the latest version (with all dependencies) than to try to be clever by updating only the stuff that has changed.

    A simple improvement would be to offer a gzip compressed version of the xml file. This would represent an 89% saving (116kB/1051kB for the gzip file). Alternatively, a 16% saving can be achieved by simply chopping the xmlns prefix for 'wowaddon:' to 'w:'(886kB/1051kB for the xml file).

    A number of addons use various kinds of media files that are very static, I'm going to point at BigWigs for this but others do it too.

    BigWigs contains 3 kinds of media in addition to its code:

    • icons/
      • core-disabled.tga
      • core-enabled.tga

      • sounds/
        • alarm.mp3
        • alert.mp3
        • info.mp3
        • long.mp3
        • victory.mp3
        • textures/
          • charcoal.tga
          • default.tga
          • glaze.tga
          • otravi-close.tga
          • otravi-semi-full-border.tga
          • otravi.tga
          • smooth.tga


          • These files change very rarely (if at all) but are large as a proportion of the zip file they are downloaded in. This is particularly negative since there have been 29 updates to the no-ext version of the download in December alone, and BigWigs is VERY popular. I'm in a raid guild that requires its members to run BigWigs or DBM, we're not the only guild that does this.

            By moving these files from the BigWigs itself into a 'BigWigsMedia' addon (I used version r57382 cos it was handy) and then re-compressing, I produced an archive of 287kB (59% of the original 489kB).

            Has anyone else been thinking about these issues?
          Posted in: General Chat
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          posted a message on Performance + Latency
          It's not 200 addons, I have my machine set to use the no-exts versions of ace mods, so every library has a directory. I probably have some (more?) libraries that I don't need because I removed the things that depended on them, but I've not yet modified my download script to track dependencies.

          I wrote a quick mod to spam the messages that my machine is sending and receiving (to chat log) and it's quite an eye-opener, cartographer sending and receiving messages every time you open the map, the HUGE spam every time someone joins your party (FuBar_QuestsFu, I'm looking at you), and so forth. Omen seems a little less chatty than ktm, but if you have it set to broadcast both then that's obviously going to make problems, too, I'm going to try and get my guild to formally switch to omen and then turn off ktm compatability, hopefully that should be enough on its own.

          There's probably some scope for reduction in the data being chucked around the place, cartographer is sending raw zone-names (some kind of lookup table might be better?) and coordinates to 13 decimal places (how accurate does it really need to be?). (I'm not saying that cartographer is worse than any other addon, just as an example of something obvious to me that could be improved)
          Posted in: General Chat
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          posted a message on Performance + Latency
          I've been having issues with latency since 2.2 came out with ~3000 ms spikes where no spell gets cast, but the 'normal' latency is also higher than I've had up until now. In the course of following the latency feedback thread on the official forums I did actually test my machine while not running addons, which (to my surprise) fixed the problem.

          Now I need to figure out which (singly or as a group) of the 200 items in my addons directory is causing the problem. Does anyone have some suggestions how I should go about it?
          Posted in: General Chat
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