A few days ago I posted on Loband and how it’s the perfect tool for browsing the web in low bandwidth environments. Miquel dropped by to read the post but also to let us know about Maneno which is a lightweight blogging platform that he and his team have created. His comment sparked a discussion with Alan Jackson over at Aptivate, the creators of Loband, and while most of the back and forth is fairly technical Alan took the time to lay out some observations he has made of the Maneno platform. It looks like a great product and it seems like a perfect tool for that mass of aid workers that start blogs primarily to keep their friends back home updated and to let their families know that they are still alive. It has very low bandwidth demands and offers a clean and simple interface. Please check it out and let us know what you think but first head over and check out the rest of the comments. Here’s a taste:
Miguel it’s great to hear about your lightweight blogging system. We’ve been thinking there was a need for something like that for a while. Are you going to release the code / templates open source? You might be interested in our web design guidelines where we go through various techniques for optimising the size of web pages. We came up with a target page size of 25KB using estimates of the bandwidth you get on the desktop in African universities.
The 50KB typical page size of Maneno is fantastic, especially when you consider the average web page size is now over 300KB (which would have a 2 minute download time on a 20Kb/s connection). If you’re interested in shaving off even more, you might want to have a look at converting RGB images to images with indexed palettes or reducing the number of indexed colours down to something like 32.