Rant: I find the IBM Knowledge center on the web runs like a dog with a wooden leg

While playing with the mqweb stuff, I found I was searching for materials on mqweb in the IBM knowledge center.    I got fed up with it being so slow, so I’ve spent some time looking into it.  The slowness may be due to “performance code”  within the page which measures how slowly it goes.  We had a basset hound who had one of its front legs in plaster, and the display of the web pages reminds me of how it used to run.

It is so bad, I see the picture stuttering as it build up.

  • I see the blue header
  • then “Do you want to” which finally ends up at the bottom of the screen.
  • table of contents on the left hand side
  • the page with the content on it appears
  • finally the banner saying “free trial.   Try RESTful APIs to and from your IBM Z mainframe”.

This banner is annoying – I cannot  get rid of it.  It takes up 2cm out of the 15 cm space in my browser – that’s 13% of the real estate!  I keep being asked to give comments on the web site… I do, but I think any comments are being ignored.

I compared the IBM site with the BBC, which has lots of coloured image files,  using the “lighthouse” capability within the Chrome browser.

Site First meaningful paint, seconds Time to interactive, seconds
IBM 9.1 KC page q132130_.htm 0.6 5.8
BBC news page with lots of images 0.3 1.5

Wow, 5.8 seconds – even worse than I thought!

With my broadband, I get download speed of about 53 Mb/Second and upload about 17 Mb/Second.  Ping took about 30 ms to both IBM and to the BBC.  We are on an island, north of Scotland, so I think our response time is typical.

How did I get this data?

In Google Chrome,  Ctrl-shift I, select the Audits tab,  type your URL at the top, press enter

Select “desktop”, Performance, No Throttling.

Click on “Run Audits”.  It runs for a few seconds and stops.

There is a lot of good information.

If you click on “view trace” button, then at the bottom you get a summary chart.

  •      93 ms Loading
  • 3419 ms Scripting
  •   321 ms  Rendering
  •     31 ms Painting
  •  885 ms System

So most of the time is spent scripting!

What sites are used?

I took the trace file, extracted the records with “url” and counted the occurrences.

  • 7357 1.www.s81c.com – an IBM site
  • 5347 http://www.ibm.com
  •   240 tags.tiqcdn.com – Tealium enterprise tag management and marketing software.
  •     42 consent.trustarc.com – TrustArc Cookie Consent Manager
  •    34 9j ?
  •     25 consent.truste.com – TrustArc Cookie Consent Manager
  •     13 consent-st.trustarc.com – TrustArc Cookie Consent Manager
  •    12 js.logentries.com –  Live Log Management and Analytics
  •      7 mapvip.podc.sl.edst.ibm.com
  •      3 www-api.ibm.com
  •      3 idaas.iam.ibm.com

And there was me thinking that the knowlegde center was like a fat pipe squirting down the data, when in fact it sends data down a drop at a time. It also tells other sites what you are looking at.

You can use the “source” tab, and explore all the files which were downloaded.  For example  there is the >V9.1.0  jpg file, along with .js and .css files used in formatting.

What are the top use java script files?

There seem to be a couple of hot java script files, taking over 2 seconds.  (on http://www.s81c.com file  js/www.js… )  The text inside the files begin with IBMPerformance…   I think that a hot function within this,  is the time function, so maybe this code is timing every thing it does, and so slowing it down.

What helps me?

This link explains how to understand the trace and performance data from Chrome.


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