Speed up stacks edit mode? Yes please!

Very interesting new stack from 1LD designed to pinch some resource from your graphics card and speed up the sometimes painfully slow stacks edit mode. Also has a workflow assist. I have some large projects where I can definitely put this to the text and for £15 if this does the job I’ll be a very happy chappy! fingers crossed.

1 Like

Just bought it now. £8 with the discount!
My 8gb 2013 iMac has been painfully crawling along for the last couple of months, so if this helps me put it with it for just a bit longer it will be well worth it.
And the ability to have shortcuts to certain stacks built into the project so that each project has a bespoke favourites area will be so useful.
Well done 1LD.

@richardnicholls OK - where’s the discount code from?

You need to be on his Email list as far as I know.

5 characters - :+1:

1 Like

Bought it yesterday, it helps big time. I don’t have the studder while scrolling pages in edit mode … especially on my playground/test pages where I have just a bunch of left over stacks/etc.

2 Likes

Does anyone know if this is just for Macs with dedicated graphics cards, rather than shared, can’t see anything on 1LD’s site or support pages.

@manofdogz
What do you think? Is Boost Toolbar working well for you?

Yes. For £8, it’s miraculous! No stuttering at all, and the per project toolbar is great :+1:

2 Likes

Absolutely! This is amazing. Placing items on the layout is now precise and fast without the stuttering around. I didn’t realize the stuttering was a hardware issue. Now fixed. The quick access tool bar is genius!

1 Like

same here. I couldn’t believe it. Incredible improvement. Will put this in all my projects immediately.

1 Like

Would love to know what @isaiah makes of it and whether similar techniques/technology could be bundled with Stacks itself. One of the main reasons I stopped using RW/Stacks for client sites was stuttering/slowdown in edit mode as well as slow previews.

2 Likes

Yes it definitely is - more tests to do but I started with a page that has over 1000 ‘accredited member’ contact details listed alphabetically using the Doobox 'Hunter 3 'stack. This has always been slow to edit due to pushing Hunter 3 harder than it was designed for! Now, it is a breeze.

I also have a very content heavy site built entirely using Go-CMS which is very slow in edit mode - again, the site is pushing the boundaries of what Go-CMS is designed for. It doesn’t matter because in reality editing is done in the CMS. However, when I need to move structures around, the pages can take 30 seconds to respond. The preview has been speeded up to about 5 seconds which is a huge improvement. So far very impressed!

5 Likes

it is indeed quite stunning. i didn’t believe it until it was live and running on my machine.

once i saw it was the real deal i stayed up all night reading papers about how it works, when it works, and what the limitations are.

some very specific CSS can trigger a very specific behavior in WebKit (and other browsers too). WebKit rasterizes the page to a single GPU texture (assuming you have enough video RAM to do that). this creates the very smooth scrolling – a similar but different incantation is used to make drag&drop fluid.

interestingly, after reading a number of papers, i was able to find 5 unique solutions to achieve the same goal.

i also managed to create a couple test cases that filled the video memory of older macbook. at least on that machine the result was a kernel panic/reboot.

i was also able to create a page that runs slower with this enabled. there is a cost to generating large GPU textures. any page that forces this to happen often performs poorly.

but both of these blemishes were lab-concocted perfect-storms. i suspect that the vast majority of people will see a net win.

so my overall review:
wow! it does what it says it says on the tin. :+1::+1:

but a word of caution:
i’m kind of glad someone else decided to do this before me. this sort “clever trick” often has real downsides – otherwises the webkit guys would certainly have enabled this for everyone, right? the fact that they didn’t gives me some pause. i think it should give you pause too.

but, hey, for $15 it seems like a fun trick to try. i jumped at the chance and bought it myself!

i’m really thankful that OneLittleDesigner brought this to our attention. And more, for sticking his neck out and being the first person to build a stack that enables the trick. i hope he’s profited a nice haul this weekend selling it.

but…

i was able do it myself (albeit a slightly different technique) in only two lines of code. once you know to google about it – it’s pretty easy for any web-developer to make it happen.

now that the cat is out of the bag, i would not be surprised to see those two lines – or one of the other handful of ways – make its way to frameworks and other stacks. it’s too simple and works too well and there are too many ways to make it happen – for it to stay proprietary for too long.

as for adding it to Stacks???
maybe. the jury is still out. i have a lot more users to worry about, so i need to be a bit more cautious.

it’s easy enough (i had my own two line version built after reading the second paper) – but i’m still not 100% convinced it won’t make a whole bunch of computers crash like crazy.

so… both to give OneLittleDesigner his time in the sun… and to give me time to mull it over and listen to feedback from other users and devs… i’ll just sit on the idea for a bit.

if all goes well, then perhaps i’ll add my own unique trick.

18 Likes

@isaiah If you were a politician in the USA I would vote for you!

3 Likes

Wouldn’t work. @isaiah is (1) too honest, (2) actually cares, and (3) actually gets things done.

10 Likes

Just bought… awesome! The editing now is super fluid! :grinning:

A boost would also be needed for the “Preview generating” process.

So did I

Is there anything Realmac can do to implement it at their level? Could this be achieved by using CALayers (double buffering)? This could actually be faster and more compatible if it works.

2 Likes

so my testing of this is not very encouraging, unfortunately. on some hardware (mostly “integrated” Intel GPUs on MacBook Pros) it’s pretty easy to make the texture space overflow the VRAM. the results aren’t pretty. and that’s if you’re lucky. if you’re unlucky webkit kernel panics the machine (and i have rebooted my macbook a lot this week). if it doesn’t, sometimes webkit displays some of the content flipped (upside down) and reversed (mirror image) – which is pretty crazy. it looks to be some sort of webkit bug – or maybe a GPU bug.

i’ve been asking around a bit too. i believe i have a confirmation that the problem exists on MacBook Pros with a 4GB discrete GPU too.

on machines with more powerful GPUs everything seems to be fine. i have a dual GPU system with 16Gigs of video ram. nothing makes it fall over.

the good news is that my own personal technique for doing this seems to use a bit less memory and i have yet to break it.

but… as predicted all the quirks i’ve found so far are entirely hardware dependent. so only on the hardware i have plus a few friends. Stacks runs on dozens of machines with hundreds of possible configurations and GPUs. and once found there is no way to “fix” it – at that point it’s just a quirk of WebKit and that GPU.

this means that i’m unlikely to make this the default behavior of Stacks anytime soon. because that would render Stacks unusable and unfixable for some users.

but i may put in an “advanced mode” switch someday. obviously with my own technique. and not right now. as my results so far are very much a mixed bag, i’d prefer to collect a bit more data before committing to anything.

3 Likes