|Magic Animated Buttons - Documentation|
Memory usage FAQ
- Do I need to worry about memory?
The Magic Buttons were designed for use with normal-sized
web buttons arranged in rows or columns. If you are using them
"normally", you should not need to worry about memory. But if you
are using very large images, you should read this carefully.
- They run fine on my computer - do I need to worry?
Unlike our other applets, the Magic Buttons do something called
"image processing" in a very intensive fashion. While we have strived
to make them as memory efficient as possible, image processing is
by its nature demanding on system resources. Because java applets run
on the computers of your website visitors, you cannot know in advance
how advanced or primitive a machine will be available for running the
applet. So if you have the latest in mean hardware, don't forget those
of your website visitors who don't.
- My image has a bytesize of 100 KB - what difference does this make?
The bytesize of the image is relevant only to download time, not
to the operation of the applet. Any image used by an applet has to be
downloaded from the server before use - just like any other image on
your webpage. The download time is the same for applet images and webpage
images. By today's standards, 100 KB is not a user-friendly image size.
Once downloaded, however, the bytesize is irrelevant to the memory needed
by the applet.
- Can I save memory by using fewer buttons?
No. The number of actual buttons used is largely irrelevant to the amount
of memory needed. This is because all the buttons use the same set of images.
- So how much memory do I need?
The amount of memory needed is roughly proportional to the result of the following
frames x button width x button height
For example, if you use a standard 20-frame transition with buttons
that are 200 x 50 pixels, this gives a memory factor of 200 kilopixels.
This should be perfectly safe.
If you use a 50-frame transition with buttons that are each 600 x 400 pixels
(i.e. which occupy a large part of the screen), you have a memory factor
of 12000 kilopixels (12 megapixels). This may bring even a large computer
to its knees, depending what else is happening on the computer.
As a rule of thumb, try and stay below 1000 kilopixels.
- I'm using large format images - how can I save memory?
If you just have to use a large format image (say, 400 x 250 pixels), then
the only way to save memory is to cut the number of frames. Cutting the frames
will, however, make the transition jumpy. The irony is that it is precisely with
large images that you need a lot of frames to smooth the transition. To keep the
transition smooth-ish with few frames, you must also increase the speed of
the transition by cutting the time between the frames.
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