leopard and nwp lag time

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Candace
Posts: 83
Joined: 2004-06-25 11:06:43

leopard and nwp lag time

Post by Candace »

Has anyone figured anything about NWP's excruciating slowness on Leopard on a IGHz Power PC G4 iMac with 1.25 Gh Memory?

Word seems to be having no corresponding problems....


I have a new iBook with more oomph, but am hesitant to upgrade to Leopard on that in case NWP slows down there as well. It's ironic -- I went to Leopard to avoid the paragraph formatting glitch NWP experienced in 10.3.9 -- evidently I went too far into the modern world; should have stopped at 10.4.

Thanks. Candace

dshan
Posts: 334
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: leopard and nwp lag time

Post by dshan »

Candace wrote:Has anyone figured anything about NWP's excruciating slowness on Leopard on a IGHz Power PC G4 iMac with 1.25 Gh Memory?

Word seems to be having no corresponding problems....


I have a new iBook with more oomph, but am hesitant to upgrade to Leopard on that in case NWP slows down there as well. It's ironic -- I went to Leopard to avoid the paragraph formatting glitch NWP experienced in 10.3.9 -- evidently I went too far into the modern world; should have stopped at 10.4.

Thanks. Candace
I have a 1GHz PPC G4 PowerBook, 1.25GB RAM with MacOS X 10.5.1 and NWP and haven't noticed any slowdown (though it's not my main machine anymore so maybe I've not used it enough to notice. But it's certainly not "excruciating"...)

Slow at doing what exactly? Loading NWP, loading particular doc(s), updating docs? Big docs only, or all docs? Fancy formatting? Lots of footnotes or somesuch?

Candace
Posts: 83
Joined: 2004-06-25 11:06:43

Re: leopard and nwp lag time

Post by Candace »

dshan wrote:
Candace wrote:Has anyone figured anything about NWP's excruciating slowness on Leopard on a IGHz Power PC G4 iMac with 1.25 Gh Memory?

Word seems to be having no corresponding problems....


I have a new iBook with more oomph, but am hesitant to upgrade to Leopard on that in case NWP slows down there as well. It's ironic -- I went to Leopard to avoid the paragraph formatting glitch NWP experienced in 10.3.9 -- evidently I went too far into the modern world; should have stopped at 10.4.

Thanks. Candace
I have a 1GHz PPC G4 PowerBook, 1.25GB RAM with MacOS X 10.5.1 and NWP and haven't noticed any slowdown (though it's not my main machine anymore so maybe I've not used it enough to notice. But it's certainly not "excruciating"...)

Slow at doing what exactly? Loading NWP, loading particular doc(s), updating docs? Big docs only, or all docs? Fancy formatting? Lots of footnotes or somesuch?
Slow at loading, but that's not my main concern. Slow at putting the type on the page on bigger documents., with maybe five footnotes total. I'm not sure what fancy formatting is, but I don't think these docs qualify. They are legal briefs, with some italic, some headings and subheadings, some section breaks. I don't know where the page cut-off is for problems, but the post below says 10 pages, and maybe that's right. Certainly a big issue on a 50 page brief.

On December 4, 2007, dcloes posted: "I'm experiencing two glitches in an otherwise fantastic piece of software. Unfortunately, one of them is pretty much a showstopper for me. It seems that in any sufficiently long document (10 pages or so), text input becomes incredibly slow, to the point of being unusable. I type pretty fast, but not superhuman by any stretch of the imagination, and I've never seen a word processor struggle to keep up. It's not uncommon to wait 5 seconds for NWP to finish displaying a sentence that I typed." (His post is titled "Laggy Text Input and ...."

This is the same problem I am experiencing. And for me, too, it's pretty much of a showstopper. I need to know if it's a Leopard/NWP problem (yes) that would be cured by getting a bigger better computer -- or if it's just a Leopard/NWP problem that shows up on bigger docs. Candace

dshan
Posts: 334
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: leopard and nwp lag time

Post by dshan »

Candace wrote:
Slow at loading, but that's not my main concern. Slow at putting the type on the page on bigger documents., with maybe five footnotes total. I'm not sure what fancy formatting is, but I don't think these docs qualify. They are legal briefs, with some italic, some headings and subheadings, some section breaks. I don't know where the page cut-off is for problems, but the post below says 10 pages, and maybe that's right. Certainly a big issue on a 50 page brief.

On December 4, 2007, dcloes posted: "I'm experiencing two glitches in an otherwise fantastic piece of software. Unfortunately, one of them is pretty much a showstopper for me. It seems that in any sufficiently long document (10 pages or so), text input becomes incredibly slow, to the point of being unusable. I type pretty fast, but not superhuman by any stretch of the imagination, and I've never seen a word processor struggle to keep up. It's not uncommon to wait 5 seconds for NWP to finish displaying a sentence that I typed." (His post is titled "Laggy Text Input and ...."

This is the same problem I am experiencing. And for me, too, it's pretty much of a showstopper. I need to know if it's a Leopard/NWP problem (yes) that would be cured by getting a bigger better computer -- or if it's just a Leopard/NWP problem that shows up on bigger docs. Candace
I did some testing today on my G4 PB using a 35 page document. NWP loaded quite quickly, certainly not significantly slower than it used to under 10.4. I could add text to the document easily, no lag I could find, it scrolled fine, I could notice no slowdown like you report. However this document was all Courier 12pt, double spaced, and had no footnotes and a very straightforward format, no mixed fonts, no italics, no styles, etc. It was a Nisus created document, not converted from Word or anything. From previous reports of performance lags with Nisus it seems it's things like multiple fonts, footnotes, italics, multiple styles and largish documents converted from Word originally that seem to cause performance issues like you are seeing. I doubt it's related to you running Leopard.

The thread you referred to above had a response from Martin suggesting anyone having the problem send him the documents they're having problems with so they can try to find out what's going on. I suggest you do that and see if the Nisus guys can find out what the problem is.

Candace
Posts: 83
Joined: 2004-06-25 11:06:43

Re: leopard and nwp lag time

Post by Candace »

dshan wrote:
Candace wrote:
Slow at loading, but that's not my main concern. Slow at putting the type on the page on bigger documents., with maybe five footnotes total. I'm not sure what fancy formatting is, but I don't think these docs qualify. They are legal briefs, with some italic, some headings and subheadings, some section breaks. I don't know where the page cut-off is for problems, but the post below says 10 pages, and maybe that's right. Certainly a big issue on a 50 page brief.

On December 4, 2007, dcloes posted: "I'm experiencing two glitches in an otherwise fantastic piece of software. Unfortunately, one of them is pretty much a showstopper for me. It seems that in any sufficiently long document (10 pages or so), text input becomes incredibly slow, to the point of being unusable. I type pretty fast, but not superhuman by any stretch of the imagination, and I've never seen a word processor struggle to keep up. It's not uncommon to wait 5 seconds for NWP to finish displaying a sentence that I typed." (His post is titled "Laggy Text Input and ...."

This is the same problem I am experiencing. And for me, too, it's pretty much of a showstopper. I need to know if it's a Leopard/NWP problem (yes) that would be cured by getting a bigger better computer -- or if it's just a Leopard/NWP problem that shows up on bigger docs. Candace
I did some testing today on my G4 PB using a 35 page document. NWP loaded quite quickly, certainly not significantly slower than it used to under 10.4. I could add text to the document easily, no lag I could find, it scrolled fine, I could notice no slowdown like you report. However this document was all Courier 12pt, double spaced, and had no footnotes and a very straightforward format, no mixed fonts, no italics, no styles, etc. It was a Nisus created document, not converted from Word or anything. From previous reports of performance lags with Nisus it seems it's things like multiple fonts, footnotes, italics, multiple styles and largish documents converted from Word originally that seem to cause performance issues like you are seeing. I doubt it's related to you running Leopard.

The thread you referred to above had a response from Martin suggesting anyone having the problem send him the documents they're having problems with so they can try to find out what's going on. I suggest you do that and see if the Nisus guys can find out what the problem is.
Thank you for doing all that work. I can say the problem is absolutely definitely related to me running Leopard, because the documents I am having problems on with are exactly the same as ones that ran fine (with the exception of the last sentence in the paragraph indenting when I did not want it to) in 10.3.9. The problems occurred immediately upon installation of Leopard. (These documents are my bread and butter, and if they hadn't worked before, I would certainly have noticed.)
All the documents were created in Nisus, not imported from elsewhere. They do have (some) footnotes, but not tons; they do have italics, they do have bolding. They do not have mixed fonts. And yes, thanks, I have sent sample docs to Nisus so they can figure out what's going on.

I am a bit confused because I am a longtime Nisus Writer user, and I thought the whole point of this program was that it handled long documents and footnotes and academic requirements with ease. Maybe that is no longer true with NWE -- but it seemed to be doing okay until I installed Leopard. Maybe what I need to do is uninstall Leopard (this must be possible) and installl 10.4, which I gather fixed the paragraphing glitch and was otherwise unproblematic.

JHB
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Location: Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea

Post by JHB »

I've had problems with slow typing speed in a couple of documents, one fairly lengthy (about 17,000 words), and one three pages, mostly tables. I would concur that it's likely to be since Leopard, but I don't want to go back to Tiger just to check it out!

I suspect it's with older (!) machines like mine — though that's less than three years old, but PPC rather than Intel. I've got a PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz with 2 GB memory.

martin
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Post by martin »

NWP is definitely slower on Leopard than on Tiger. I imagine if you're on an older machine, like a G4, you'll definitely feel it. We're looking into what changes we can make to keep Leopard happy and speedy.

jhecht
Posts: 44
Joined: 2004-12-09 10:41:48
Location: Boston area

Post by jhecht »

Could the slow response be a memory problem?

I'm still on 10.3.9, but NWE became agonizingly slow on my dual 1.8-GHz G5 with only 512 Meg of memory. Adding 2 gig of memory made a tremendous difference in NWE's response.

I'm sure 10.5 needs much more memory than 10.3.9 did, and it may have crossed the threshold where NWE was thrashing around, swapping memory between the limited RAM and the larger virtual memory on disk.

This may depend on how many other processes you're running at the time as well.

wb
Posts: 11
Joined: 2008-02-02 13:31:49

Time Machine and Leopard background tasks slow down NWP

Post by wb »

I've noticed the typing lag on my G4 Powerbook, so I've spent some time examining what contributes to the lag in NWP under Leopard. While I am sure that complex documents with a large number of imbedded, in-line graphics (such as MathType equations) exhibit a slow typing response, the documents I have that contain cross-references to list items (numbered figure captions that continue over the length of the NWP document) have an especially slow typing response.

But here's a possibly surprising conclusion from some experiments I did yesterday: having Time Machine turned on under Leopard makes the same documents in NWP exhibit a much slower typing response. It must be that there is a background process running when Time Machine is on that makes the system respond much more slowly to user events, such as keypresses. To be clear, in my control experiments, Time Machine was on but no backup was running (my backup Firewire disk was not connected). When I turned off Time Machine, deleted the backup drive connection in Time Machine, and rebooted the system, NWP typing in a test document was a lot faster. The typing response improved enough that it was no longer a problem for me to work on the test document.

As a result, I'll use Carbon Copy Cloner to do backups while waiting for SuperDuper to be updated. No more Time Machine for me.

To conclude for now, it is clear that Leopard has a number of additional background tasks that support the advanced features like Time Machine, and perhaps some of these compete with NWP in a way that slows the typing response. (I'm not so fast, but I type in bursts as I think of stuff to write, and it is disconcerting to have the response to the screen lag behind my brain.) I suggest that we G4 users turn off as much of this fancy stuff in Leopard as we can, at least while working with NWP. It is a small price to pay—NWP is vastly superior to all of the alternatives (believe me, I've paid for and tried all of them.)

In the long run, I guess that getting an Intel Mac will be worth it; it is not going to be a surprise if the NWP developers concentrate on tuning NWP on currently available Mac systems with dual-core Intel chips.

Candace
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Joined: 2004-06-25 11:06:43

Post by Candace »

I HAVE an Intel Mac, but I have been hesitant to upgrade it to Leopard for fear that NWP would get laggy and horrid. I'd be very happy to hear that wouldn't happen.....

As for the Time Machine explanation, would Time Machine still be affecting things if one had never designated a back up or hooked it up to an external drive? Time Machine for me is just an icon on my desktop, doing nothing....or is it secretly busy despite that fact that I've not asked it yet to step up to the plate? Candace

wb
Posts: 11
Joined: 2008-02-02 13:31:49

Post by wb »

Candace wrote: As for the Time Machine explanation, would Time Machine still be affecting things if one had never designated a back up or hooked it up to an external drive?
No—Leopard normally has Time Machine in the Off setting.

If you connect and mount a USB or Firewire hard disk, the Finder will put up a dialog box asking you if you want to use it as a backup disk. Upon clicking the "Use as a backup disk" button, the icon changes to the Time Machine disk icon, which is aqua and white rather than Firewire orange. Then you will see in System Preferences that Time Machine is turned on.

I observed a speed-up upon deactivating Time Machine: I erased my backup disk and turned Time Machine off, then I rebooted. As I posted above, things got faster in NWP upon relaunching and trying out my test document, which had exhibited the typing slowdown. Now, it is certainly possible that the reboot was the fix and that Time Machine is not at fault, but I've used NWP now for more than a day on the same documents with several sleep and wake cycles and several quits and relaunches of NWP, and so far, no slowdowns. The only thing that is different is that Time Machine is off. As it is often put, YMMV. But things are better for me now that Time Machine is off.

wb
Posts: 11
Joined: 2008-02-02 13:31:49

Draft View is slower than Page View

Post by wb »

Well, I'm still getting some typing slow downs even with Time Machine off, and I've rebooted again, so I'm not so sure what is going on overall when the typing lags.

I have observed, however, that the typing lag is much more noticeable in the Draft view than in the Page view in the same test document. This is pretty reproducible on my system; I'm switching back and forth, and the typing lags noticeably in Draft view (or in Full-screen view), but in page view the update is significantly faster.
Last edited by wb on 2008-02-04 06:27:49, edited 1 time in total.

wb
Posts: 11
Joined: 2008-02-02 13:31:49

Post by wb »

As a final comment on the typing lag issue, I guess I'll have to retract my speculation about Time Machine. It is not clear that that alone accounts for the slow typing response on my G4 powerbook. The main thing that is now clear to me is that NWP demands a pretty fast system to get fast typing response. Having used Activity Monitor while working with NWP, I can say for sure that NWP puts an impressive load on the processor during keyboard input under Leopard; having not tried it under Tiger, I can't say if the performance is worse under Leopard compared to that under Tiger. The load is sufficient that I can't use any other application (such as iTunes) that puts a continuous drag on a processor at the same time as typing in NWP. On my G4 powerbook (1.33 GHz, 1.5 Mbytes), NWP pulls spikes during typing that exceed 50% of the processor. On my dual G5 (2.33 GHz, 2 Gbytes), I can't feel it during normal work because the load is balanced over two processors.

JRP
Posts: 11
Joined: 2007-01-30 16:24:07

Post by JRP »

Folks over in the Scrivener forum are having similar problems. Keith, the developer, believes it may be related to how Leopard renders text vs. how it was done under Tiger. Go to www.literatureandlatte.com if you want to check that discussion thread. Just a forewarning, though, the thread doesn't have a solution to the issue either.

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Elbrecht
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Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Post by Elbrecht »

But Keith has this:

"In other words, it looks as though the Apple text system has suddenly become glacially slow on old machines running Leopard. This is a bit of a bombshell. I'm hoping to submit a report to Apple about this, but this is not good. It basically means that you are going to have the same problem with any program that uses the Apple text system."

I didn't follow the whole long thread - as I am not concerned - but this sounds truely bad...

HE
MacBook Pro i5
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