It's been a while since we rolled out any new features. There was a bug-fix and minor platform update earlier this month, but it didn't contain anything noteworthy that warranted a blog post from me

 

Last night we deployed a fairly large update to the site, although the number of member-facing changes is relatively short. The one I'm most excited by is the lazy loading of images.. read on for more info!

 

Highlights

 

Lazy loading of images

 

When I first started looking at this earlier on in the year, I wanted to improve the page load performance, especially on mobile devices. Lazy loading images is very common these days; it will only load images that you can see on the page, and loads images 'below the fold' as you scroll down. Quite a lot of our pages on Community are image-heavy, so loading images like this makes a lot of sense & improves performance a tonne!

 

First, I found a decent JavaScript library and used that, but then saw that Google had native lazy-loading in a pre-release version of Chrome. It was expected to be available in Chrome 75, but was removed prior to release. It did make it into Chrome 76, initially turned off, then activated a few days later. Chrome 76 was released in early August, so it landed at just the right time for me to get the feature finished off for this site update. Content authors don't need to change how they work.. we make changes to the HTML when the page is rendered. Same for our main landing pages.

 

You shouldn't really notice any difference.. apart from (hopefully) the pages on Community loading faster!

 

Action widget moves with page

 

The Action widget will now track down the side of your content as you scroll. This should be especially useful for content authors, since links for Editing your content (etc) will be there without you needing to scroll up to the top of the page.

 

Fixes and Improvements

 

  • Change 'Past Roadtests' widget sort to order by end-date
  • Feedback and Support area translated into other languages
  • Add "micro:bit Projects" to "Build" nav drop-down
  • Facebook videos stopped working.. now fixed
  • Design Center images were sometimes missing
  • Fix sort order for Featured Search results (newest first)
  • Searching for product on our Newark store didn't work there was a quantity in the list of product IDs
  • "Contact Site Admin" link on site maintenance page now goes to a valid email account
  • For Dreamboard images, change the label from Choose File to Choose Image File

 

  • 6 SEO improvements
  • 4 anti-spam improvements
  • 13 other fixes and improvements