Paths.js file is huge

Hi,

I've been investigating very long (sometimes fatal) load times in my HTML5 only published version of a course and think I've tracked the culprit down to the paths.js file - it's over 5MB for me. While the browser is downloading the file it holds up other parts of the preload. In one test it took over 40s which was apparently enough to cause a timeout which blocked anything else from loading, apart from the player frame.

Anyone got any bright ideas?

Thanks,

Matt

43 Replies
Matthew Bibby

Matt, while this is an interesting thought experiment, I think it might be time to step back from the keyboard. Sometimes when trying to optimise things we can end up making things a lot more complicated than they need to be and in many cases it isn't worth the headache. 

Wait and see what support have to say before you go too far down this rabbit hole. 

Matt Stafford-Clack

Cheers Ashley, and cheers Matthew - I get what you say about stepping back from the keyboard. I am burning a lot of time on this problem and at this point, short of becoming a bona fide developer, I've reached my limit and should leave it to the pros.

After just a few more tests...

Matt

Matthew Bibby

I didn't make it. Wish I had. The aim of the game is to get to space... so as you can imagine it'll take a while to finish. But it is designed to be left open while you go about your day and you can just check in every now and again, stoke the fire, collect some furs or whatever. 

I have considered making something similar... it wouldn't be too hard to do. Might be a fun idea for a future eLearning challenge. It would certainly help people understand the advanced use of variables and conditional logic.

Matt Stafford-Clack

Hi Laurie,

Nothing so far I'm afraid, still under investigation. In the end I had to "optimise" the course myself, switching blocks of text (anything that ran over to two or more lines basically) out for high-res images of the same text.

Effectively (as far as the paths.js file is concerned) any one picture is the equivalent of any one line of text. Sounds mad but it worked to drop the paths.js file to a size (<3MB) that can be downloaded and processed reasonably quickly, even though it ballooned the total file size.

Matt

Matthew Bibby
Matt Stafford-Clack

In the end I had to "optimise" the course myself, switching blocks of text (anything that ran over to two or more lines basically) out for high-res images of the same text.

There are a couple of big downsides to this approach.

Firstly, it makes it harder to make simple text changes in the future. I recently edited a course where the developer had used this approach and what should have taken less than an hour ended up taken almost triple that time.

But more importantly, it also makes the text not accessible by default to people who may rely on screen readers or other assistive technologies. This can be worked around by adding the text to the alt text field, but this once again increases development time and will result in future edits taking even longer.

Matt Stafford-Clack

Hi Matthew,

Oh it's a sub-optimal fix all right, no argument there! Only one available to me in the time I had unfortunately. Future edits will be a bit harder than they should be but I've made sure to keep text files of the original blocks wherever retyping would be a significant burden, and it's actually not too onerous going that way.

Fortunately (re the accessibility point) the majority of my text was already transcripts for audio narration (the build predates the handy stuff like captioning in SL3) otherwise I wouldn't have entertained it as a possible fix. Good point though for any readers:

Laurie I definitely wouldn't recommend this approach if you don't have a high degree of fondness for right-clicking and sub-menus!

Matt

Matthew Bibby
Matt Stafford-Clack

Laurie I definitely wouldn't recommend this approach if you don't have a high degree of fondness for right-clicking and sub-menus!

 

I have a mouse that has a few extra buttons. When doing repetitive tasks, wherever possible, I add the relevant tool to Storyline's Quick Access Toolbar, where it is then controllable via a keyboard shortcut. Then I program my mouse to trigger that shortcut with a button click. Amazing time saver. It doesn't work for everything, but many times it has saved me a lot of time.

Glad you found a workaround Matt.