[Hummingbird] Hoping for clarification on compression page

I\'m confused. When it says it\'s compressing, is it doing something or not?

I read the doc and I know we need to refresh the homepage to reset that, but even after a reset, that says compressing until (?) a shift-refresh is done on the browser. I think it would help to indicate on the minification page what\'s expected.
(See supporting images in follow-up post)

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hi @tg!

    I read the doc and I know we need to refresh the homepage to reset that, but even after a reset, that says compressing until (?) a shift-refresh is done on the browser.

    The Hummingbird needs the site to be "really loaded" once after setting up minification options to trigger minification process. Once it's done (if the site's getting an external traffic, you don't usually have to reload it manually, though it might take a couple of minutes to get "fired up"), the plugin would then proceed in background automatically, regardless of whether the site is reloaded again or not.

    However, the fact that it gets "stuck" in "Compressing..." state for some files is a different thing. If a given file is already minified (which happens, e.g. theme can provide already minified file or have some minification option built-in) Hummingibird should either skip it right away or test it first and after a moment the "Compressing" status should be removed and file should be skipped as well.

    Is this only the "jquery-core" file that's showing "compressing" status like that or are there other files like this as well? I would like to investigate this so could you please enable support access to the site so I could take a closer look?

    To do this, please go to "WPMU DEV -> Support" page in your site's back-end and click on "Grant support access" button there, then let me know here when it's active.

    Julian

    If you're experiencing the same issue with files getting stuck in "Compressing..." state, please start a separate thread of your own and enable support access to the site as well so I could check it too (a separate thread is necessary for me to be able to use support access to your site but also the reason for the issue might be slightly different too).

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Tony G

    Is this only the "jquery-core" file that's showing "compressing" status like that or are there other files like this as well?

    Adam Czajczyk It does show Compressing for many files. Like Julian I have noticed this on a few sites and am only now paying any attention to it. Since this isn't site-specific. I recommend trying this on a test site. Install Hummingbird, activate, go to config, then just try the optimizations. Wherever You know that something needs to be done which is Not explicitly on the page, please make a note. Don't do anything that's not directed from that page aside from the refresh of the home page which is in the doc. While I have read the doc I haven't fully internalized it yet for this complex product so for now I rely on the plugin page to tell me what needs to be done. Maybe we just need to wait for those background processes to play through and refresh that page after a few minutes. I dunno - from my recollection neither the page nor the docs say anything about background processes. HTH Thanks!

  • Tony G

    I've done a bit more checking for another ticket. In short, the minification page is just not intuitive. I did do a homepage refresh followed by a few pause/refreshes of the minification page, and saw files being compressed over time. Without that step to refresh the homepage page it does appear to just sit there, even though all the files say "compressing". More correctly, they're waiting for a refresh before compressing.

    I think all we need here is some on-screen guidance. After clicking Bulk Update, display message: "Please refresh the home page to begin minification. Then continue to refresh this page to see progress on each file."

    And not all files get queued with a home page refresh. So perhaps more to the above tip: "If after a few minutes files are still showing as 'compressing...', please refresh other pages on the site that use those files, and then refresh this page to check their status."

    It's interesting to note the size of the jQuery Core JS increased slightly after minification. :slight_smile:

    On clicking Re-Check files. It actually de-compresses all of the files currently shown as compressed - or at least that appears to be what's happened since the data with each file is refreshed.

    The tool-tip on that button says "Looks for newly enqueued files and preserves current settings". Well, by 'preserve current settings' I expected that files which were already compressed wouldn't be affected. I think this is talking about other settings like compression and combination. But it looks like it's not correctly comparing the current size and timestamp of files with the metadata gathered the last time this operation was run.

    Again, I think what's needed here is a review of how we as users are supposed to interact with the page. What do we need to know? What should we expect from the various steps and processes?

    A huge concept with this page is that I believe we need to experiment with script placement, compression, combination, etc, to achieve a sweetspot of optimization without breaking functionality. This form provides all of the tools but does not in any way help us to work through that process. I think we still need to manually track all of the combinations of what we've tested and what doesn't work. And then on adding a new plugin it seems we need to go through this time consuming task all over again. Three cheers for having the tools to do this but please do another round of development on this to help reduce the effort required for this extremely difficult process.

    Thanks!

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hi Tony G,

    thank you for your response!

    I did do a homepage refresh followed by a few pause/refreshes of the minification page, and saw files being compressed over time.

    That's a good news, thank you for letting me know! Just one more question, if you don't mind: is the site getting significant (or any) external traffic apart from you visiting it (being logged in as admin) and crawlers? That might be important factor here to research further :slight_smile:

    I think all we need here is some on-screen guidance. After clicking Bulk Update, display message: "Please refresh the home page to begin minification. Then continue to refresh this page to see progress on each file."
    
    And not all files get queued with a home page refresh. So perhaps more to the above tip: "If after a few minutes files are still showing as 'compressing...', please refresh other pages on the site that use those files, and then refresh this page to check their status."

    That actually sounds like a good idea. Some additional explanation "never hurts" :slight_smile:

    On clicking Re-Check files. It actually de-compresses all of the files currently shown as compressed - or at least that appears to be what's happened since the data with each file is refreshed.

    It does "decompress" them, that's true. That's actually a good thing as not only some new files might have been added but also some might have been changed. The "preserve settings" refer to the way minification options are set rather than to the "act of physical minification/combination/etc".

    A huge concept with this page is that I believe we need to experiment with script placement, compression, combination, etc, to achieve a sweetspot of optimization without breaking functionality.

    You're absolutely right about that. Most of the plugins that provide similar kind of optimization either attempt to do "everything" automatically or just doesn't care much about what is compressed/combined/moved etc. That can lead to either some really serious (and hard to diagnose/fix) issues in a worst case scenario or to optimization simply not working nearly/at all in a best case scenario.

    Hummingbird's huge advantage over them is so advanced and detailed level of control over the process. While setting all the options might be quite time consuming task, it usually lets you go much further than any other solution of that type.

    To sum it up, I think that the most important point of your last response here would be that the interface should be more intuitive and that actually the setup process itself could use some improvements or even some "flow refactoring". Personally, I might not see it the way you see it mostly because working with the plugin that much I think I just "got used to it" but a fresh look often lets us see some additional things.

    Having said that, I passed your recent post to the Hummingbird lead developer directly so he could read them and discuss with his team and product managers.

    Once again, thank you very much for your valuable feedback!

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Tony G

    is the site getting significant (or any) external traffic apart from you visiting it (being logged in as admin) and crawlers? That might be important factor here to research further

    This is a new site in development that has not been advertised. The only hits received other than my own are from the WPMU DEV Uptime ping.

    RE the rest of your notes. Yes, as always, we're entirely on the same page. Thanks!!

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hi @tg!

    This is a new site in development that has not been advertised. The only hits received other than my own are from the WPMU DEV Uptime ping.

    So yes, that would actually explain why you had to manually refresh it a couple of times. I fully agree that at least some additional note that it's necessary would make a nice improvement to the Hummingbird.

    As for the other remarks. I was just messaged back by the lead developer and told me that he found your feedback as very valuable and they are going to discuss that with UI/UX designers as well to look how they could improve the whole process :slight_smile:

    Thank you again for this!

    Best regards,
    Adam

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