I've lately started thinking about something I've been noticing for a while. I once loaded up a huge single web page. It was very, very long. Or should I say tall? Anyway, I was using IE, and it took forever. When I tried it in Firefox, it was a lot faster. Scrolling down on that page in IE was torture. It would freeze up, then load like 1/8 of the area you wanted to be on, on top of the 7/8 remaining of the other area that was fading — but fading way too slowly! Scrolling in FF was super fast. And that got me thinking.
I realized that while IE seems to divide its resources over all the content at once, FF uses its resources to focus solely on what it thinks you want. So when you load a big page in IE, it keeps tabs on everything, slowing it down. But when you load the same page in FF, it only pays attention to what is in the viewing area, and all the content above and below just goes into limbo, off into the ether, and doesn't take up any excess processing power. (At least this is my non-technical hippy-speak theory.)
I've learned that this rule extends to embedded YouTube videos. This is where the mouse movement comes in. That DSRL theme song was taking forever to load in FF. Then I moved my mouse, and all of a sudden the gray download progress bar jumped ahead. Yes! I stopped moving the mouse; the bar stopped moving. I moved my mouse a little, the bar moved a little. I moved my mouse a lot, continually, and the bar then went into a stead load.
Huh. Let's try loading the same page in IE. Ok, see the video, good, click to play (since it won't load without first getting that go-ahead), ok, now pause, and BAM! It immediately loads up lightning quick. What do you know? IE seems superior in this regard.
So I must say I do enjoy FF's focus-oriented loading better than IE's, but when it comes to embedded videos, it seems like a hassle to have to wave your mouse in front of the video just to get it to load. Maybe FF already knows about this and is working on it…If you enjoyed this post, I'd be delighted to have you as a subscriber to my RSS feed.