[RCD] reduce network requests by consolidating icon images

Thomas Bruederli roundcube at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 19:51:40 CEST 2009

Hi Nathan

You're not the first asking for this but the first who implemented it. I 
just linked this thread to the according ticket: 


Nathan Kinkade wrote:
> I've been spending a lot of time in Firebug with RoundCube the past few
> weeks.  One thing I've noticed is that there are quite a lot of network
> requests to freshly load the front page.  With the default theme there are
> around 45 separate requests for a little less than 250K.  I was asking
> myself how to reduce the number of requests and was reminded of something
> interesting that I had noticed Gmail doing, and that is to consolidate many
> icons into a single image and then use CSS to position the image as the
> background of a fixed width/height block-level element.
> As I went to implement this, I began to realize that not only does this
> approach reduce the number of network requests, but it also seems to
> simplify the code a bit.  With this method the code doesn't have to worry
> at all about images or file names, but becomes somewhat image-agnostic by
> only specifying the *type* of behavior it would like to see in a given
> location.  How that bahavior is implemented then becomes a simple matter of
> CSS.
> Here is the consolidated image with not all but most of the usual icons:
> https://natha.nkinka.de/devmail/skins/default/images/icons/rc_icons.png
> And here are the patches to implement this:
> http://code.nkinka.de/gitweb?p=roundcube.git;a=commitdiff;h=84a7acd0f42e3c30c896d65699bbd4b1a3cedd41
> I found that doing this reduced the number of requests on a clean load of
> the main mailbox view from 45 to 35, which is fairly significant.  It does
> add about 5K to the page size because it brings along a number of unneeded
> icons for that page.  10 less requests may not be perceptible for many
> people running on a fast machine with broadband Internet to a server that
> isn't very loaded.  However, for a busy machine, perhaps an installation of
> RoundCube serving webmail for a university, for example, 10 less requests
> per fresh page load could make a noticeable difference.  10 less requests
> will probably also make a noticeable difference for those on a high latency
> connection, where 5K extra is less of a problem than 10 more network
> requests.
> I have no idea whether this is of any use or interest to anyone else, but I
> thought I'd share my experiment with the list.
> Nathan
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