so the bw has the same issues as any big modular CMS - its' pages are heavy. Let's use ''not-perfect-but-nevertheless-usefull'' online speed report at webpageanalyzer
[http://www.websiteoptimization.com/cgi-bin/wso/wso.pl?url=http://www.bitweaver.org/wiki/index.php|Main Wiki Page of bw gets analyzed]
At the time of writing this page, the statistics were:
||Total HTTP Requests:|31
Total Size: |103767 bytes||
||Object type|Size (bytes)
HTML Images:|24920
CSS Images:|13273
Total Images:|38193
Download Times
||Connection Rate |Download Time
56K|20.68 seconds
ISDN 128K|6.33 seconds||
Jakob Nielsen is positive that we should achieve sub-8 seconds load time for the users to like navigating our site. This is obviously a rather impossible task to scale down the 120k page (20k of css is omited by the analysis) to 30k, necessary for sub-8 load time, but we might want to get closer to that usability ideal. (side note: at that moment BW was using AJAX for stars package -- 45k!!)
So what should we take into concideration, when theming and tweaking the bw?
The __basics__ are simple:
#eliminate extra size (obvious)
#eliminate extra HTTP requests (less obvious. reading: ''Modem connections (56Kbps or less) are corrected by a packet loss factor of 0.7. All download times include delays due to round-trip latency with an average of 0.2 seconds per object. With 31 total objects for this page, that computes to a total lag time due to latency of 6.2 seconds.'' we are loosing more then 6 seconds just for http requests, so there's no chance for sub8 responce :( )

!mind HTTP reqiests: ===combine and pack===
in short "the less requests the better".
#Some of the images CAN be eliminated without any damage to the style. There's a nice CSS trick for rollover images (If using grafic rollover at all): the rollover images are stacked in single background file vertically, and on :hover the vertical position of background is changed in CSS. The same can be done with very small images, like icons and signs of external link etc. The trick is that it does't give any boost in load time if the file is smaller then 1160 bytes - it's still single TCP-IP packet. So we can combine two small graphic files if their total is still less in size then 1k. This way we cut off 1 packet and 1 http request. (At this point, reading about how much effort is needed to save 0.2 seconds, all readers are confident I'm crazy and need psychiatric attention %/ )
#Also, think twice before you start "slicing" into small pieces your images and backgrounds in some Adobe ))ImageReady((. This technique is an offspring of table-based layouts -- when bw has div-based layout at the moment. IMHO with div-based layout you might get better results now having 3 big background images istead of 30 small ones.
#Combine javascript and CSS files: put all external css into one file - less files means less http requests. [http://www.creativyst.com/Prod/3/|Eliminate redundant markup] before uploading to the server, but leave read-frendly version locally for editing.
#Then search your bw installation for majorly used javascript files: put them together, then [http://alex.dojotoolkit.org/shrinksafe/|eliminate redundant markup] and [http://dean.edwards.name/packer/|pack]. Currently [/xing] has already implemented Dean's packer in HEAD, but it omits the first step, which costs about 10-20% size. Also, in distro the used js is parted into different files, because of BW modular structure: some .js files only required by specific packages. But in real installation it's different: you know what packages you are going to use, so you CAN combine all used .js in 1 file. Js in my installation (1.3) is less then 8k.

!Beware of the IE6
There are browsers, and there's IE. You might want to use nice modern techinques to style your site, but IE renders them wrongly or differently, so you might wind up in the situation when you have a nice styling + enormous tail of CSS hacks, javascripts etc., forcing your style to look as intended in Explorer.
*transparent png files are nice, but they don't work with IE6, and require warious fixes to be displayed correctly. Thus, by creating nice disign pattern with the png, we add unnecessary js fixes: minimum +2 files equals in extra size and extra http requests
*we should also mention Box model, CSS2 and CSS3 selectors non-collapsing or unexpected margins etc. You either fix them with CSS hacks (adding extra bites to your CSS sheet) or Javascript like [http://dean.edwards.name/IE7/|Dean's IE7] . I recommend conditional comments, CSS hacks or avoiding usage of such elements when possible. consult [http://css-discuss.org|my favourite css resource] for knowledge and help.
read more at ((theme compilance with MSIE))

!image optimisation
My offer is to postpone using .png until IE6 is history. And if we are not using alpha transparency, why use it: it usually optimises for size worse then .gif. If you really want to use it, use it together with [http://pmt.sourceforge.net/pngcrush/|PNGCRUSH] or other similar packer.
As for regular .gif or .jpg, I'll not waste my time explaining. If you don't know it, quit webmastering.

!semantic layout
Current Jill theme already has it: first in code comes bitmain, only then columns. Hurray for xing! If you are creating custom theme, don't forget about this. It's not exactly conventional speed optimisation, but it's important.

!other compression
BW have function to activate gzip. Use it. Also, use { strip} tags in smarty templates.
One more thing: if browser loads DOM (more specifically recieves all necessary dimentions of all the objects), it shows the page before images are loaded. Always set their height, width (and alt), the page will be rendered faster. The same impact on browser ''seems to be'' caused by <hr /> tag. The code before rule is rendered before the rest is loaded.
Page History
31 May 2010 (12:05 UTC)
While most othe content here is incredibly old, I updated WSO's result as a start.
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