Oh, way cool. Someone broadcast a question last week requesting information on how they might provide a simple (lower impact) user experience to low-bandwidth users who access the portal. My assumption in reading the question, was that some organization had a remote office (or multiple locations) with a slow connection or perhaps there were remote users dialing up into the system. In either case the IP address of this particular group of users is known and perhaps could be used to help achieve this request.
Like a good soldier I sent off a reply that perhaps they could use the IBM HTTP Server and setup some virtual hosts. Then they could use rewrite rules to redirect a specific IP address to a separate virtual portal setup in WebSphere Portal. This alternate virtual portal could use a different (stripped down) theme and display a smaller set of portlets which provide less functionality, but faster access to key information.
Then I thought! Hey, this should be documented as a portal pattern. I mentioned this idea in my last blog entry. I quickly came up with a name, identifying it as the "Low Bandwidth Access Pattern". I then added a more detailed description to the portalpatterns web site PortalPatterns.org - Low Bandwidth Access Pattern.
Having seen this question a couple of times over the years, I figured that by documenting it on a public site, I could refer folks there, instead of having to dig up old emails every few months. I often take that approach in this blog, by the way, when someone asks me a question that I think is broad enough to help other teams, or I have been asked a similar question before, I try and make an entry here and direct folks to that. Saves me from trying to save stuff somewhere where it will never be seen again.
I think PortalPatterns.org is going to be useful in this capacity. I encourage other portal experts who have the same issues or questions to participate in the site and record information that is helpful to everyone. For me I think the payoff is that I will not have to repeat myself as much, or that we can leverage information from different sources. The site pretty much has open access for everyone, but if you drop me a line I will gladly add you as sysops so that you can put your own spin on this important information.
Be aware that currently a lot of the patterns are defined, but I have not had time to really flush out the information, so it may be a while before the content is to a point where it needs to be, for the site to be really useful to folks.