What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

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greenmorpher
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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by greenmorpher » 2014-01-25 13:34:41

Ken, I have been watching this because I do wonder about it. It doesn’t bother me, though, as I generally don’t do documents that large -- I max out at a few thousand words. In addition, I don't work in either Pages or Word.

Something confusing, though, is Philip reports making a test file from Project Gutenberg documents which ran to about 2000 pages and it opened in 15 seconds versus half that time for the file opening in Pages and OO. You are reporting 15 minutes.

I just made up a 15,000 word document, 40+ pages, using a dozen or so fonts. Still a tiny document compared with your giant file, but it opened instantly -- i.e. in under a second..

I might add I am working on a 2010 MacBook Pro with 8GB RAM and an SSD instead of a hard drive. Maybe that makes it faster although how much faster the SSD would make it I don’t know given that NWPas processing file/font info. Perhaps there could be a time saving in the retrieval of font into from the SSD.

Cheers, geoff

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by greenmorpher » 2014-01-25 13:58:19

Okay, so now I can’t let this go. I copied and pasted up to 300 pages.

With about 20 or so different fonts in use, the NWP took about 10 seconds to typeset the document.

I then selected all, changed it all to Times New Roman (which reduced the document size to 255 pages), and it opened in about 5 seconds.

Copied it up to 1000 pages (that's enough to test!) with the single font and it took 16 seconds -- BUT 5-6 of those seconds were in the "Opening document" phase, and 10-11 seconds in typesetting text.

So there you go with my set-up.

15 minutes for 2000 pages? Absolutely no way.

But the question remains - why don't NWP documents open with the speed of Pages and Word documents? Maybe because NWP uses RTF, maybe because it uses the OS X text engine (I believe Apple did not use the OS X text engine for Pages), or maybe because it opens the whole document perfectly at the outset rather than, perhaps, leaving some launch work undone initially catching it up in the background as the user commences working on the document.

Martin indicated what was happening, but he did not give an explanation of why it takes so long in NWP compared with others.

By the way -- my timing was crude. Counting 1-and-2-and-3-and … :)

Cheers, geoff

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by dumiya » 2014-01-25 15:51:27

Just my thoughts
The original Nisus was a text editor and blindingly fast, this may be the foundation of the current one. That suggests the document is stored as text, when we open page view Nisus applies the formatting to the raw text. Depending on the size of the document and the complexity of the formatting so the time. Other programs may store text partially formatted. I am just a user intrigued with the question.

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by Vanceone » 2014-01-28 09:10:24

I would assume that Nisus is doing the entire typesetting process at once, before allowing the user to interact with the document.

Other programs do it in the background. You can see this if you open a word document that's huge, and immediately drag the slider bar to like page 600 or so--it takes some time for Word to get there as it paginates up to that point.

Really, Nisus Writer should be doing this kind of stuff in the background as well, probably in a GCD task or something similar.

As for the opening post, I think I would try to copy and paste or save as under a different name. If you've had the same document for a number of years, there's perhaps some cruft built up in it that can be causing the typesetter to choke. I'm reminded of earlier Word editions on the Mac, where "Fast Save" caused an enormous amount of issues that way.

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by Patrick J » 2014-01-28 09:35:28

I have done a bit of experimenting.

I have created a document with 900 pages of text. This had all one font. Like that it opened very quickly as I expected into Page View. I put in some images and graphics and this made no difference really. Then I went through and put in many different fonts randomly, so that now I guess there are about thirty different fonts in the document. Now it opens more slowly but it is still reasonable.

I think that the original poster has a much larger document which is taking 15 minutes to open. As it seems to be the number of fonts used that increases opening time, then to get a such a long time to open it makes me wonder if the original poster has a corrupt font in that document somewhere?
Patrick

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by Ken » 2014-01-28 14:28:36

There were a lot of good ideas—and clues—in these last posts. I saved the file as RTF, ZRTF, and DOC and had the same problem with each format.

The typesetting time of 15 minutes was subjective, because it took so long that I didn't watch it.

Word 2011 (where it originated) opens it instantly from DOC, and a little more slowly from RTF or DOCX.
RealPages opens it instantly from PAGES, and a tad more slowly from RTF or DOC.
NeoOffice opens it faster than Nisus, but not by much.

It's possible that my 17-year-old file had accumulated some cruft, and it is possible that there is a font problem. So I did the following:

1. I exported the file from Pages to a "plain text document," that is, just UTF-16 characters. I opened this file with TextWrangler to verify that it had nothing in it other than text.

2. I opened the plain text file with Nisus, which opened it instantly. I saved it as DOC so that formatting would stay in the file.

3. I formatted the standalone year numbers as heading 1, the standalone month names as heading 2, and the dates as heading 3. I defined the normal style and the heading styles to match the original. I added two other paragraph styles.

4. I saved the document as DOC.

5. I opened the document in Nisus and timed it. It took 4 minutes and 11 seconds to open.

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by Patrick J » 2014-01-28 18:32:32

It might be an idea to open that plain text file in TextWrangler, use "Zap Gremlins" and then save that file.

I guess TextWrangler has "Zap Gremlins" this is something that BBEdit has and usually TextWrangler has these things as well.

You have removed the possibility of corrupt fonts. But it would also be good to remove any gremlins :)
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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by xiamenese » 2014-01-29 09:51:20

My version of NWP has a “Zap Gremlins” macro. If it isn’t one of the macros preloaded by the installer, it must be available in the macro repository. It’s been there on my system so long that I can’t remember.

Mark

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by greenmorpher » 2014-01-30 03:45:30

Ken wrote:There were a lot of good ideas—and clues—in these last posts. I saved the file as RTF, ZRTF, and DOC and had the same problem with each format.

The typesetting time of 15 minutes was subjective, because it took so long that I didn't watch it.
Ken, it wasn't "subjective" it was total rubbish. Not a time at all. And it is clear you are tlaming about MSWord opening a native format document versus NWP opening a translation from a format deliberately created by MS to maximize the problems of translation.

Good one, Ken, you got us all going.
Word 2011 (where it originated) opens it instantly from DOC, and a little more slowly from RTF or DOCX.
RealPages opens it instantly from PAGES, and a tad more slowly from RTF or DOC.
NeoOffice opens it faster than Nisus, but not by much.
And again you give no times -- just comparative subjective statements. Ken, you gave us 15 minutes of "subjective" time of something that could be measured in seconds and now you give us "instantly" and "a tad more slowly" etc . No times.

Give us times, Ken, real evidence. How can we trust your subjective times? You have demonstrated to us that you have no idea of time at all.
It's possible that my 17-year-old file had accumulated some cruft, and it is possible that there is a font problem. So I did the following:

1. I exported the file from Pages to a "plain text document," that is, just UTF-16 characters. I opened this file with TextWrangler to verify that it had nothing in it other than text.

2. I opened the plain text file with Nisus, which opened it instantly. I saved it as DOC so that formatting would stay in the file.

3. I formatted the standalone year numbers as heading 1, the standalone month names as heading 2, and the dates as heading 3. I defined the normal style and the heading styles to match the original. I added two other paragraph styles.

4. I saved the document as DOC.

5. I opened the document in Nisus and timed it. It took 4 minutes and 11 seconds to open.
Well blow me down, a real time.

But why did you save as DOC -- why didn’t you save the document as .rtf -- NWP's native format -- since you are testing NWP's handling of the file?

My experience checking large documents trying to "solve the problem" showed that an NWP .rtf document would have been open in something between 20 and 30 seconds on a reasonably modern machine (2010 MBP).

Ken, I'm sorry to have to say it, but it seems to me you are running an agenda here or alternatively, you have no idea of how a giant software company like MS throws hurdle after hurdle into the path of anyone trying to access the files they generate -- and as a DTPer and general publications journeyman (hard and soft output) for the best part of 30 years (yes, I started on PageMaker v.1 and Word 1.1 for Mac) I have pretty much seen everything in this department. Again and again.

By the way, I am not one of the "Why run a big single file?" types. I say "Why not?" if I back-up periodically -- which I do.

Cheers, geoff

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by Ken » 2014-02-07 15:48:49

I have been a Microsoft Certified Professional since 1997 and that is why I use a Mac. Microsoft Word has degenerated into an incoherent comic-book interface. They've made it so easy that it is too hard to use, plus the price tag is ridiculous. For that crap, they should pay us. If you want to trash Microsoft, I'll help.

I am running an agenda here, just as you suspect. I want to switch to Nisus.

I do have some idea of time; I learned that in school before we landed on this planet. Whoops! Forget I said that. When I said that a file opened "instantly," I meant it opened so quickly that I couldn't move my eyes and fingers fast enough to time it. When I said that some formats opened a little more slowly than that, I meant that I could see a delay that was also too quick to time. (I am using the timer on my iPhone.)

Why was I using DOC instead of RTF?

My task is to export from Pages and import into Nisus. The files begin in Pages' format, go through an intermediate format, and end up in Nisus' format, which is RTF. I have a choice of two intermediate formats: DOC and RTF. I tried both. You'd think that RTF would work better, but it doesn't. DOC works much better as an intermediate format in this particular combination of word processors.

By the way, Microsoft created RTF.

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by Ken » 2014-02-07 15:50:53

I forgot to thank you for the information about Zap Gremlins. I'm going to try that.

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by Patrick J » 2014-02-07 17:18:25

As has been mentioned by another Nisus Writer has a Zap Gremlins macro which is bundled with the application, so there is no need to use the BBEdit command, you can zap in Nisus Writer ☺

You are absolutely right of course that RTF is a Microsoft format. I think it has become widespread in its use because it is such a good markup system.

I do agree that the latest Microsoft Word and Office that I have used on Windows (I haven't used the Mac version) really is too far in the direction of over simplification such that it is a hassle to use.

Some years ago I used Microsoft Word 5.1a which was an excellent word processor. This was in the 90s on the classic Mac OS. They had a very good design in that it was simple and logical. However I have never liked any versions of the program that I've tried since that time.
Patrick

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by adryan » 2014-02-08 14:21:01

G'day, all

Yes, after many years' absence from Nisus forums (but not from Nisus products — I'm still in mourning from the demise of Nisus Email), I'm back.

The easiest way to circumvent the text typesetting problem is to keep the file open! Save it after use and Minimize it to the Dock where it is easily accessible each time you need it.

To my mind, any file that takes more than a minute (and that's being generous) to open in this day and age is indicative of a problem somewhere. There's something wrong with the hardware, the software or how you're going about things. Martin should be able to give an indication of the ETO (estimated time to open) of a file of this type and magnitude. If his ETO is significantly less than your actual time, I would suggest doing as many of the following as needed, probably in this order:–

(1) doing a spring clean with Onyx or something similar
(2) Quitting Nisus Writer, Trashing Nisus Preferences (after saving them in case the automatic creation of a new set doesn’t solve the problem and you want to revert to your old set) and re-launching Nisus Writer
(3) reinstalling Nisus Writer
(4) performing hardware diagnostics
(5) reinstalling the operating system.

If Martin’s ETO is roughly in accordance with your own observation, I would look at some other way of going about things. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t persist with Nisus Writer for this project. I’ve already suggested keeping the file open. Alternatively, you might arrange for it to open at certain times when you can afford to wait until it’s ready for action. Or you might split the project into more manageable hunks and consider doing interesting things with Nisus Writer macros or AppleScript scripts.

I know we all back up such important files, but it would be remiss of me not to exhort young players to do likewise with any large or my-life-will-be-in-tatters-if-I-lose-it files.
MacBook Pro (mid-2014)
macOS Mojave 10.14.6
Nisus Writer user since 1996

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by greenmorpher » 2014-02-08 17:53:54

Ken wrote:I am running an agenda here, just as you suspect. I want to switch to Nisus.
So switch! Save the document in NWP and stop worrying.
By the way, Microsoft created RTF.
Actually, it wasn't. It was an industry standard joint development. MS was a leading player, of course, and the moment RTF wasin general use, MS proceeded to make changes to its own implementation of it so that its documents were not fully interchangeable. The usual thing.

I was never an MS certified anything, thank goodness. I did start on the Mac on Word 1.1 and PageMaker 1 (I believe -- although what I did back then is now in the "belief" category rather than "reliable memory" category).

Cheers, geoff

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Re: What is Nisus doing when it is "typesetting text"?

Post by greenmorpher » 2014-02-08 17:58:11

Patrick J wrote:Some years ago I used Microsoft Word 5.1a which was an excellent word processor. This was in the 90s on the classic Mac OS. They had a very good design in that it was simple and logical. However I have never liked any versions of the program that I've tried since that time.
Right on, Patrick. A quality WP even though they made a total mash-up of v.5 then charged us all a new price equivalent for the upgrade to 5.1a (which was pretty much a total rewrite of very large parts of the program, I believe).

After that it was all downhill although my daughter tells me she has gone a long way to mastering the current version of Word which she is required to use at her office.

But she admits that while she can do a lot of interesting stuff in it, she doesn't much like it.

Cheers, geoff

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