NWE 2 long document performance

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fergatronix
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NWE 2 long document performance

Post by fergatronix » 2004-09-12 19:23:44

I'm finding NWE 2 to be insanely slow opening long (20+) page articles with copious footnotes. For example, my wife's 54 page chapter for her latest book takes 40 seconds to open. Once open, scrolling is impossible: the beachball appears and NWE bogs down for minutes.

That's on a new 15" PB with 1GB RAM. On my old Cube, forget it. On our G5 it's a little better. Loathed though I am to admit it, MS Word opens the same document instantly.

Is anyone else noticing such poor performance?

PS: apart from this, I should add, it's an awesome application!

evansb2
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Joined: 2003-04-25 12:31:52

yep

Post by evansb2 » 2004-09-12 20:26:45

I decided to see what the performance would be like in my 240 page book, and it's still too slow that it'susable. So, I'll be writing my next onee a chapter at at time. I'll still be using NWX almost exclusively, but I'd love to keep everything in one file. The only time I'll resort to the dreaded Word will be when I'm required to use the commenting feature. (Consider this a feature request, too.)

NWX2 is significantly better than 1.x, so far.

Tacitus
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Re: NWE 2 long document performance

Post by Tacitus » 2004-09-15 06:09:57

fergatronix wrote:I'm finding NWE 2 to be insanely slow opening long (20+) page articles with copious footnotes. For example, my wife's 54 page chapter for her latest book takes 40 seconds to open. Once open, scrolling is impossible: the beachball appears and NWE bogs down for minutes.

That's on a new 15" PB with 1GB RAM. On my old Cube, forget it. On our G5 it's a little better. Loathed though I am to admit it, MS Word opens the same document instantly.

Is anyone else noticing such poor performance?
...........
Yes, it seems to be the norm. My own experiences are similar to yours with documents around the same length, although since I am on an early G4 it is that much worse, to the point where it's unusable on anything but a short doc.

Hopefully Nisus can do some code optimisation over the next few weeks and speed it up somewhat. I have an uneasy feeling that some of the poor performance is down to the heavy demands of the Cocoa environment, although Mellel manages to be reasonably fast. If there are any programmers around perhaps they could enlighten us.

cheers,

Tacitus
History is a nightmare from which I am trying to escape.

charles
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Re: NWE 2 long document performance

Post by charles » 2004-09-15 10:56:24

Tacitus wrote:Hopefully Nisus can do some code optimisation over the next few weeks and speed it up somewhat. I have an uneasy feeling that some of the poor performance is down to the heavy demands of the Cocoa environment, although Mellel manages to be reasonably fast. If there are any programmers around perhaps they could enlighten us.
Hi:

ABOUT OUR PERFORMANCE

There are two aspects of supporting long documents in Nisus Writer Express: the time it takes to open the file and then performance when working with the file once it is there. For both aspects, our major performance hurdle is in fact Cocoa, though we have gotten pretty good at working around that now so things should get better in the coming releases.

For 2.0, we focused on making sure that once a file is open, it will perform well. We made a number of improvements that make most common activities, such as typing and scrolling through pages really quick.

One change we made was to do all of our page layout right up front when we first open a document instead of doing it in the background like we did with 1.x. While doing background layout made the document open faster, for many people it made their computer feel slow and they complained about how long it took to have all the pages in their text show up.

Now, after 2.0, our focus will again be on improving file open speed. Here we should be able to make some major improvements on our RTF reader so it will get faster.

One thing it is important to note: opening files with lots of footnotes will take longer because we sometimes have to do a lot more work to get all the text into the right place. We have some things planned that should make this better in the end, but for now that will definitely slow things down.
Charles Jolley
Nisus Software, Inc.

ceffe
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Re: NWE 2 long document performance

Post by ceffe » 2004-09-15 11:37:15

charles wrote:For both aspects, our major performance hurdle is in fact Cocoa, though we have gotten pretty good at working around that now so things should get better in the coming releases.
That is good to hear. I was just starting to really fall in love with NWE 2, when I realised that it was too slow for scrolling for my kind of writing (often > 20 pages).

Since I'm eager to replace word as my main writing tool, I will keep track on how NWE 2 evolves as regards speed for scrolling. I really like the way NWE 2 makes it possible to have a really uncluttered writing environment, while retaining good language and style controls.

cheers,
ceffe

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Todd
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My Experience.

Post by Todd » 2004-09-15 12:24:57

My experience with the 184-page footnoteless document that I'm working on matches Charles's statement pretty well. It's a tedious thirty seconds to open, but once it does, it's far more responsive than version one ever was, nearly on par with MS Word.

Under light pressure, the spinning beach ball is rare, and when it does appear, it is gone in an instant. Heavier usage, like changing the font of the entire document, happens within seconds but causes sluggishness for the next minute as the pages renumber. Page and character resizing are slightly slower than in a small document. Only gradual page scrolling with the arrows is too slow to be of any use at all.

In short, these delays fall within the bounds of acceptability for a new product, especially one that excels in so many other ways. What I'd like to know is just how much the hardware factors into all of this. I'm using a G4 500 Mhz Powerbook. Would an G5 iMac, for example, make a big difference in the performance of NWX 2?

JBL
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Re: My Experience.

Post by JBL » 2004-09-15 17:38:12

Todd wrote: Would an G5 iMac, for example, make a big difference in the performance of NWX 2?
Well, I have a 100 page document (albeit double spaced with no footnotes). On a dual 2 GHz G5, switching fonts and such is virtually instantaneous. Still takes a few seconds to open though. Of course I would hope that a dual G5 would be overkill for word processing.

ceffe
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2.0.1 already improved speed

Post by ceffe » 2004-09-16 22:26:56

Hi again,

I can see now that footnotes had a lot to do with the seriously reduced speed. I had a word document with some 30 pages and 41 footnotes that NWE 2.0 totally choked on (spinning ball, for eeever). For whatever reason, the new 2.0.1 opened the same document nicely and scrolling works just fine.

Good work!
/ceffe

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