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Tricking the User

Make your application appear faster

Issue: 11.1 (November/December 2012)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 15,175
Starting Page Number: 72
RBD Number: 11110
Resource File(s):

Download Icon 11110project.zip Updated: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Related Link(s): None
Known Limitations: None

Excerpt of article text...

I've written a few articles about optimization in the past, but in general getting my code super-fast hasn't been my biggest problem. Recently, however, I ran into a project where speed was essential. The app is one where the user looks up data in the app and I wanted the results to be shown almost instantaneously—even a delay of a second felt sluggish.

Worse, like most programmers, my development machine is a fast computer: a one-second delay there was an eon on a slower machine.

I spent days coming up with various algorithms to speed up my data searches. I developed several approaches that were indeed very fast. The main method I came up with involved building dictionary-based tables of the data so I could retrieve what the user wanted very quickly. However, this produced a different drawback: long initialization times that meant the app took forever to launch.

Building the tables took several seconds during launch and that made the program feel slow and unresponsive. I tried to optimize the table-building, but there really was little I could do to make it faster. I finally concluded that there was nothing more I could do: either I would have a slow launching app with fast searches or an app that launched fast but had sluggish searches. Was there no other solution?

...End of Excerpt. Please purchase the magazine to read the full article.

Article copyrighted by REALbasic Developer magazine. All rights reserved.




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