leopard and nwp lag time

Everything related to our flagship word processor.
Groucho
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Post by Groucho »

I think it is high time Apple thinks more about computers and less about pods and phones. Or split company.
Not going to shift to Leopard very soon, that's for sure. Can do without for now, and keep on riding the tiger.

Henry.

wb
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Post by wb »

Well, there's always the hope that the 10.52 update this month will fix things. The story is that the current developer download for the delta update weighs in excess of 400 Mbytes.

Candace
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Post by Candace »

Elbrecht wrote: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
I hate to say this -- but the problem is not simply Apple text system being glacially slow on old machines running Leopard. Because I just tested a big document (65 pages, no tables, bold and italic but all one font) and yes, it was a nightmare -- as in unworkably slow -- in NWP, even with iTunes turned off -- -but Word had no problem with input speed. ARGH.
Candace

wb
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Post by wb »

Candace wrote: I hate to say this -- but the problem is not simply Apple text system being glacially slow on old machines running Leopard. Because I just tested a big document (65 pages, no tables, bold and italic but all one font) and yes, it was a nightmare -- as in unworkably slow -- in NWP, even with iTunes turned off -- -but Word had no problem with input speed. ARGH.
Candace
On the contrary, Word uses its own text/typography system. The specifications for Word require that exactly the same text layout (line breaks, etc.) be produced from the same document on Macs and Windows, so it was necessary for Microsoft's Macintosh operation (the MacBU) to roll its own text engine. As I understand it, Word's text engine makes low-level calls to the QuickDraw text routines to actually draw the text, but it is the private text engine that does the layout for screen and print imaging. It is clear that Leopard has not made very many changes in the QuickDraw/Carbon routines that were used by most of the early ports from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, most likely because these have been deprecated—use of them makes the porting of applications from the PowerPC to the Intel architecture much more difficult than clicking a switch in the Xcode development system. These are the routines that Adobe uses in its applications. Also, the program Publicon by Wolfram Research that I have been using for mathematics-heavy documents (it is based on Mathematica) is not at all affected by Leopard; it too uses the old Carbon routines.

It is apparent that NWP and other Mac OS X applications that are written using certain fairly high-level Cocoa frameworks (probably the ATSUI routines) are having problems under Leopard on G4 and perhaps G5 systems. By the way, it is not likely that Apple's Pages uses the same routines that NWP uses; compare the text antialiasing in the two programs; NWP's is affected by the System preference for text antialiasing, and Pages is not. I'm fairly sure, then, that Pages and Keynote use private frameworks, most likely for performance reasons.

martin
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Post by martin »

wb is correct, Microsoft Word uses its own text engine to handle layout and response to user input. This is the reason they would be unaffected by any changes in Leopard. I believe Pages uses Apple's WebKit for layout and would see a different response to Leopard.

NWP (and TextEdit) use Apple's Cocoa text engine. We've checked and one of the big reasons for the slowdown seems to be that the Cocoa engine wants to redraw much more text after each keystroke on Leopard. NWP includes optimizations to the text engine to minimize the amount of redrawing, but they no longer appear to have any effect on Leopard.

We're looking into ways of working around these problems. Hopefully we'll have a solution or two by the time the next update of NWP is ready.

ahnch27
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Post by ahnch27 »

Apple needs to do something about its text input lagging issue. This issue has come up over and over even at Apple's own support/forum page. None of the users have completely gotten rid of the problem. Some had some success in keeping it to a tolerable level. Some, like me, haven't yet.

This is less a Nisus's problem with their coding then Apple's own text input system. Nisus isnt the only word program having this issue. I noticed that some users of BBEdit, Word, Pages and most well-known word processing programs are having this issue. I have used most of these programs on my Leopard/Tiger Powerbook 1.33 system with 1.2 G of RAM, and almost always these programs show the text lagging issue one way or the other after a few pages of text. Trust me, to solve the issue I've searched high and low on the internet, none proving effective, just more disgruntled mac users. Some have expressed it's the hardware/keyboard that's causing the lag; some blame the operating system, some the users, some the programers etc...but the problem would not go away, it's always there.

However, the good news is that I found three programs so far that do not display this symptom, one being Mellel and the other NeoOffice, and the last one being Apple's own TextEdit. But then Apple's own word application, Pages, is one of the worst. Not being a programmer myself, I don't know why some programs don't show the same lagging issue while the others are just unusable, but I'm at least relieved that some programs do work.

Apple, despite many users complaining this issue on its own forum, hasn't addressed this issue yet for no understandable reason. I'm sure there are many people who experience similar frustration. As a mac user, for all its refined and streamlined user interface, it's really a shame to pay a premium to find out that it does not even input as simple as text correctly without making you pull your hair out.
Last edited by ahnch27 on 2008-02-05 03:52:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Elbrecht
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Post by Elbrecht »

... Keith/Scrivener:

"Leopard is almost certainly to blame. I saw some information elsewhere about how Leopard now redraws the text on every keystroke, whereas in Tiger it coalesced the changes and didn't redraw so much for fast typists (though you wouldn't notice in the blaze of typing). Leopard is thus optimised to take advantage of faster systems. This extra processing power required seems to have had a knock on effect, accumulating with the extra processing power that Scrivener requires on top of more basic text editors to choke on older processors. I'm still looking into it, and will look into the extra things around Scrivener that might affect it, but it looks as though there is no single thing to blame in Scrivener - rather just a result of all of the small extra things that Scrivener does."

HE
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xiamenese
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Post by xiamenese »

ahnch27 wrote:AHowever, the good news is that I found three programs so far that do not display this symptom, one being Mellel and the other NeoOffice, and the last one being Apple's own TextEdit. But then Apple's own word application, Pages, is one of the worst. Not being a programmer myself, I don't know why some programs don't show the same lagging issue while the others are just unusable, but I'm at least relieved that some programs do work.
Both Mellel and NeoOffice use their own text engines. The Redlers wrote theirs from the ground up ... NeoOffice is based on Open Office Org, though I believe it's written in Java ... and both of them look totally different, including the appearance of the text, to apps using Apple's text engine. According to the thread on the Scrivener forum, TextEdit suffers too ... along with Bean and others.
I haven't had a problem with slow down at all, either in Scrivener of NWP, on my 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro. Perhaps Apple is not doing much about it as they are looking to people upgrading their hardware. Reprehensible, perhaps, but they do want to shift those machines.

Mark

schakwin
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slowdown with Leopard?

Post by schakwin »

I'm running X.5.2 on an MBP 2.3 Core 2 Duo with 2 G of RAM and am not getting any slowdown on NWP or Scrivener. It may be an older hardware issue, or a memory issue (or something else). I've been very happy with the Leopard OS and would recommend it at least to people with newer machines and enough RAM.

(Though in fairness, I should note that I got MWP after I installed Leopard so I can't offer an A to A comparison. Scrivener is every bit as fast as it was before and MWP puts text on the screen as quickly as I can move my fingers, much faster than Word, so I assume that it's acting as it was meant to. If what I'm getting is a slowdown, the original speed would have been like hummingbird wings, too fast to make a difference for someone with only a mortal's power of typing.)
Stephen

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greenmorpher
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Post by greenmorpher »

The message is clear -- if you are still on a G4 or G5, don't go to Leopard. Stay with Tiger.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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CrisB
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Post by CrisB »

greenmorpher wrote: The message is clear -- if you are still on a G4 or G5, don't go to Leopard. Stay with Tiger.
Recently, I upgraded to OS 10.5.2. And now, regretfully, I've decided to take greenmorpher's advice and stay (revert) to 10.4.11 until Leopard's serious performance degradation problems have been resolved.

•1 The Nisus Application Support files
The NWP support folder seems to be in Users/username/Library/Application Support/Nisus and I want to move this entire Nisus support folder to another partition.

Then I would then have just one Nisus Application Support folder no matter which version of MacOSX I'm using. Hopefully this would mean just one version of every Nisus file. For example, where is the Quickfix data stored?

This would also allow me to backup the Nisus Support files automatically as part of my daily backup routine rather than need to back them up manually!

Is it safe to move the Nisus Application Support folder to my data partition - so I don't lose the new stuff I've created whilst in Leopard? And create an alias in both Tiger and Leopard to its new location in my data partition? What problems might I encounter doing this?

•2 NWP application location.
NWP is installed in OS 10.5 partition/Applications.
But since I will be reverting to MacOS 10.4.11 - simply by booting from my 10.4.11 partition - it seems to be asking for trouble to have two separate copies of the application, one each for each OS, as well as being unnecessarily redundant. Two separate copies could get very confused over the data and the various settings, especially when I next try Leopard in a few months time and so will be switching back and forth between Leopard and Tiger...

So it seems to make far more sense to have just one copy of NWP with my other applications in my personal applications partition. Is NWP flexible enough to be located where I want to put it?

Or will NWP need an alias to its real location from the Applications folder in each OS? Is this likely to cause any problems?

Basically I want NWP to be the same no matter which MacOS I've booted. And I will vary from one to the other and back again as I test out the new capabilities within Leopard. So can anyone help me with answers to these very important questions. Thanks in advance for your help.
Last edited by CrisB on 2008-03-14 00:03:54, edited 2 times in total.

martin
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Post by martin »

CrisB wrote:The NWP support folder seems to be in Users/username/Library/Application Support/Nisus and I want to move this entire Nisus support folder to another partition.

Then I would then have just one Nisus Application Support folder no matter which version of MacOSX I'm using. Hopefully this would mean just one version of every Nisus file. For example, where is the Quickfix data stored?
The location of the Application Support folder is defined by the system to be inside your home directory. I imagine you have plans to keep your home directory consistent between OS versions, and this should present no problems to NWP. QuickFix data is also stored in the Application Support folder.
So it seems to make far more sense to have just one copy of NWP with my other applications in my personal applications partition. Is NWP flexible enough to be located where I want to put it.
The NWP application itself doesn't care where it's run from. There are however two issues that might present themselves:

1. When you double click a file the system figures out which copy of the application to launch. It probably prefers applications in the Applications folder unless you've told it otherwise.

2. NWP asks the system for the location of Nisus Thesaurus. It may be that the system won't find Nisus Thesaurus unless it's in your Applications folder.

xiamenese
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Post by xiamenese »

CrisB wrote:
greenmorpher wrote:The message is clear -- if you are still on a G4 or G5, don't go to Leopard. Stay with Tiger.
Recently, I upgraded to OS 10.5.2. And now, regretfully, I've decided to take greenmorpher's advice and stay (revert) to 10.4.11 until Leopard's serious performance degradation problems have been resolved.

<snip>

especially when I next try Leopard in a few months time and so will be switching back and forth between Leopard and Tiger...
From a long thread on precisely this issue on the Scrivener forum, it seems to transpire that the problem is in large part graphics related. It seems that the main underlying causes are: (i) unlike Tiger, Leopard redraws the screen with every keystroke; (ii) it is really engineered with hardware built on graphics processors that include core-graphics in mind ... on machines which don't have core-graphics optimised graphics processors, the task is handed off to be emulated by the CPU, taking up processor cycles and causing slowdowns; (iii) it will run much faster on machines that have dedicated VRAM (e.g. MBPs) rather than those that take an area of main RAM as graphics memory (such as MBs); (iv) there was also something about the fact that even after closing text files (specifically) the area of RAM that those files had occupied is not freed up for other programmes.

In view of that: (i) if you are running a non-intel computer, the graphics processing is going to take up a lot of the available processing power causing slow-downs; (ii) if you are the sort of person who leaves your computer running for long periods with a text-processing app open, while you may be opening and closing individual files, you will be incrementally taking up more and more RAM leading to the use of virtual memory and a lot of swapping out to disk, even though the RAM is no longer being used for data you're working on.

It seems unlikely to me that Apple would regard points (i), (ii) and (iii) as bugs or flaws and that they would undertake an extensive rewrite to support what for them is legacy hardware. Leopard is written to take advantage of the possibilities that are offered by the new hardware; to cripple it in relation to the current generation of hardware would be to follow down the path to perdition in Microsoft's footsteps. On that score, trying successive upgrade releases of Leopard, in the hope that the graphic cause of slowdown on Gx computers will be "cured", is likely to prove fruitless.

In terms of (iv), whether anything can or will be done by Apple, I certainly wouldn't care to venture an opinion. But some of the slowdown can be obviated by shutting down Nisus, Scrivener or whatever text-handling app you use fairly regularly in order to free the RAM up fully and lessen the need for swapping out. And max out your RAM!

But fundamentally, if you're on a G4 or G5, follow Greenmorpher's advice and stick to 10.4.x ... and save up your bawbies for your next computer!

Mark

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Post by xiamenese »

CrisB wrote:
greenmorpher wrote:The message is clear -- if you are still on a G4 or G5, don't go to Leopard. Stay with Tiger.
Recently, I upgraded to OS 10.5.2. And now, regretfully, I've decided to take greenmorpher's advice and stay (revert) to 10.4.11 until Leopard's serious performance degradation problems have been resolved.

<snip>

especially when I next try Leopard in a few months time and so will be switching back and forth between Leopard and Tiger...
From a long thread on precisely this issue on the Scrivener forum, it seems to transpire that the problem is in large part graphics related. It seems that the main underlying causes are: (i) unlike Tiger, Leopard redraws the screen with every keystroke; (ii) it is really engineered with hardware built on graphics processors that include core-graphics in mind ... on machines which don't have core-graphics optimised graphics processors, the task is handed off to be emulated by the CPU, taking up processor cycles and causing slowdowns; (iii) it will run much faster on machines that have dedicated VRAM (e.g. MBPs) rather than those that take an area of main RAM as graphics memory (such as MBs); (iv) there was also something about the fact that even after closing text files (specifically) the area of RAM that those files had occupied is not freed up for other programmes.

In view of that: (i) if you are running a non-intel computer, the graphics processing is going to take up a lot of the available processing power causing slow-downs; (ii) if you are the sort of person who leaves your computer running for long periods with a text-processing app open, while you may be opening and closing individual files, you will be incrementally taking up more and more RAM leading to the use of virtual memory and a lot of swapping out to disk, even though the RAM is no longer being used for data you're working on.

It seems unlikely to me that Apple would regard points (i), (ii) and (iii) as bugs or flaws and that they would undertake an extensive rewrite to support what for them is legacy hardware. Leopard is written to take advantage of the possibilities that are offered by the new hardware; to cripple it in relation to the current generation of hardware would be to follow down the path to perdition in Microsoft's footsteps. On that score, trying successive upgrade releases of Leopard, in the hope that the graphic cause of slowdown on Gx computers will be "cured", is likely to prove fruitless.

In terms of (iv), whether anything can or will be done by Apple, I certainly wouldn't care to venture an opinion. But some of the slowdown can be obviated by shutting down Nisus, Scrivener or whatever text-handling app you use fairly regularly in order to free the RAM up fully and lessen the need for swapping out. And max out your RAM!

But fundamentally, if you're on a G4 or G5, follow Greenmorpher's advice and stick to 10.4.x ... and save up your bawbies for your next computer!

Mark

Candace
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Post by Candace »

I guess this means I need to "revert" to 10.4.11. I only upgraded to Leopard because of the hanging indent problem in NWP in 10.3.9 --- obviously I shouldn't have jumped all the way to Leopard.

So a basic question -- how do I "revert" to 10.4.11, since I never had it? Do I back everything up, then download it (for $$, I assume) from the Apple site? I have it on my Macbook -- but the disk says it is for a Macbook. Would it work on a desktop G4?

Thanks, and one more sigh...... Candace

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