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Quick-launch Slow-load

Programmes that launch really quick and load addtional features later.
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One thing that has always bugged me about Netscape is that it takes ages to launch. When you activate the Quick-Launch mode, tons of the working memory is lost just to make Netscape start faster. I also think that despite the progress in chip technology, a lot of computer programmes still take ages to launch. (Examples: Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Dreamweaver - o.k. I don't have the newest computer, but still...) Why not programme them in a way, that they launch really quick, and load additional features later. This addtional loading could work on a background basis, so it's not too annoying. Most of the times when you start a programme, like MS Word, you go and load a file first. So all that has to be initially working is the "open file" or "new file" part of the programme. While you then start reading the file you just opened or start typing the words into your new file, the programme could continue loading all other features into the working memory. You would save tons of time. What do you think? [Please don't tell me to get a better computer, switch from Windows to Mac or Linux, I know all that...]
nick!, Jun 07 2002

totally http://www.ccs.neu....flaming_monkeys.gif
unnecessary [thumbwax, Jun 07 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       The problem with late loading is when you first try to use a feature, say the Airbrush, and it sits there for five minutes loading mid-click. When it returns control, you find that you've airbrushed half the picture.   

       So at some point after launch but before the expected first use, the feature needs to be loaded. In general, most features can be prioritized, so that the most important or likely are loaded first. It can proceed to load them in the background while you start work.   

       This is perfectly bakable, but will just take a lot of work for programmers.
sadie, Jun 07 2002

       A good place to start tracking how often tools are used, and even to not load some that are not often used. Say you use airbrush most, then pen, then 'stained glass filter', but haven't used 'turn to flaming monkies' in six months. On startup, it gets the program going, loads airbrush, pen and stained glass, then starts loading the lesser lights as there's processing time available while one ponders, or acquires coffee. And, since it left 'flaming monkies' unloaded, there's more memory for the other tools and it works a little faster.
StarChaser, Jun 07 2002

       A lot of it also comes down to software design. If a program on start up has to load 50 different DLLs, that will take a lot longer than if the same functionality is all included in the same executable file. However, it's considered that extensibility is better than quick loading. After all, if you're using an application for an hour, does it really matter if it takes 1 second or 5 seconds to load?
pottedstu, Jun 07 2002

       I must spend at least thirty seconds looking at a splash page everytime i open a program. I'm sure theres a conspiracy there somewhere.
[ sctld ], Jun 07 2002

       [ sctld ]: Well, obviously there's a conspiracy to make you buy a faster PC, but that goes without saying.
pottedstu, Jun 07 2002

       nick!, as I understand it (though I'm no expert), if your computer is not "the newest," some of the slowness may be a result of increasing amounts of your RAM being held hostage by Windows since you first started up the computer. I frequently hear about software that purports to fix this problem without requiring you to buy a new computer, but I've read varying reports on the effectiveness of these measures. Is there an expert in the crowd who knows the truth regarding this?
beauxeault, Jun 07 2002

       Oh heck, lets just switch to Linux. Half-baked kernel anyone?
[ sctld ], Jun 07 2002

       What is clear to me, when I use my administrative tools in the new Windows version: there are more active processes loaded on startup compared to previous versions. Further use of RAM optomization tools and benchmark checking services gives me no more improvement in speed or functionality, as I determine by using diagnostics that suggest ‘tweaks’ to my system.   

       Currently, I'm experiencing slow responses from the simultaneous operation of an involutional database, a web browser in several windows (one of which is usually running MrSID image extraction drivers) and mail client, and an instant messager. Usually closing something tips the scales back and speed returns, but the opportunity to continue normal operation by sacrificing some functionality of the open programs is super appealing. *Then I could open more stuff*.-)
reensure, Jun 07 2002

       This is done by many microsoft apps (as far as I remember, word loads dlls in the background after launch, although it probably does load an unnecessarily huge chunk of code at startup). Also, with programs written in Java, classes will be loaded as they are needed on most Java Virtual Machines. So, this is done in various flavors already, and should be done for more large apps such as photoshop.
ilyar, Apr 29 2003


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