Local TCP/IP Networks & Speed

If you're a corporate developer already connected directly to your server by a high-speed line, speed may not be a problem for you. Having an office right on top of a T1 or T3 line is great, but most of the developers I know are still working over phone lines - mostly at 14.4 kBps, some at 28.8 kBps, and a few lucky ones running ISDN at 56 or 64 kBps. Those speeds are fine for using the Web - not ideal, but workable. When you're developing, though, FTPing large files back and forth to your server and looking at the same page over and over again on your browser, it's nice to have a faster connection. Ethernet runs up to 10 MBps, and even if it's a bad day with lots of collisions and a busy network, it's still much faster than the phone lines. I've suddenly realized how slowly the browsers themselves interpret HTML and put together a page, because that's almost all that I'm waiting for. I can spend less time tying up my phone lines and waiting for transfers to happen and more time working on code and design.

One warning about speed: don't ever forget that most of your audience is stuck using slow modems. What's speedy for you may drive your reading public crazy.

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Copyright 1995 by Simon St.Laurent. All rights reserved. You may print this document for yourself or others at no charge, but commercial distribution without permission is prohibited.

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