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Large select list slow in IE 6

Brent Sterling
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Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 948
I am not sure anybody would have a quick solution to this but I figured that it would not hurt to ask. I have a page that has two select lists that contain about 4000 items each. Okay...having these huge select lists may not be the best user interface but that it another topic. On my computer the page loads in 2-3 seconds in Firefox but takes around 15 seconds with IE 6. Testing with IE on some tablets that are several years old (not sure what CPU) shows that the page takes several minutes to display with IE (don't have Firefox on the tablet...IE is what the client uses).

Longer term I would like to migrate to an Ajax based "suggest" list but that is not going to happen today. Have others noticed this type of performance difference between IE and Firefox? Anybody know if IE 7 is better? Is there anyway to speed this up in IE 6?

- Brent
Eric Pascarello
author
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Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
The speed depends on the browser, updates, extemsions, markup [make sure it is valid], and what else is running on the computer. Other factors that also can be in play is if you are using a table design.

And yes a select list with 4000 options is a bit overboard. I would not even want to give a user a select with 25 options.

You can actually implement the autocomplete pretty quickly if you use a library. http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/autocomplete/ is one example of many out there.

Eric
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30598
    
154

Originally posted by Brent Sterling:
Is there anyway to speed this up in IE 6?

Not IE 6 specifically, but if you don't have a compression filter, you should try that out. It will help save bandwidth which will make the actual transmission faster. It has helped us a lot for large pages. And a 4K list is large in and of itself!


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Brent Sterling
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 948
Thanks...I have not personally been able to see the "several minutes" load time. I did try another computer with a 1.5 GHz Mobile processor using IE 6 and a 2 GHz computer with IE 7 and they were both in the 15 - 30 second range. For most of the time the CPU is pegged out and nothing is transferring over the network.

Oh well...we have been getting more request for suggest type lists so it looks like this is a good place to start.

- Brent
Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
The speed has nothing to do with the network. The speed is based on how long it takes the browser to render the controls on the page. There is nothing you can do other than making sure you have valid markup.

Eric
 
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