Speed, Speed, Speed!

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. – Donald Knuth

You’re probably aware by now that we made a lot of improvements in AppStudio 5. One thing we did not do right away was optimize everything. It’s safer to make sure the code is solid and stable before looking for all the ways to make it fast.

In 5.0.8 and 5.0.9, having identified the bottlenecks, we got to work on making the IDE fast. Some of these date back to very early versions of AppStudio: some from new features added since. It is quite possible that AppStudio 5 is now the fastest version we have shipped.

Here are some of the things we did:

  1. Design Screen: found an unnecessary refresh. Result: adding controls is twice as fast.
  2. Project Explorer: Streamline code to move controls up and down. Result: 8 times faster.
  3. Code Window: For Function Tips, the code was being scanned when a function was encountered. Now, the Function List (in the ToolBox) is scanned. 20x faster?
  4. Code Window: Function Tips are only searched for when a left parenthesis is entered, not on every character. This led to jerky code input – should be as fast as you can type now.
  5. Code Window: Each character stroke used to broadcast to other windows so they could respond. This no longer happens, resulting in faster code entry. Side effect: Code can only be edited in the Code Window now, not in the window which appears when you click on a script property.

These changes will be most noticeable in large projects.

We’ll continue to look for more ways to make AppStudio faster. If you spot any operations that look like they are taking too long, let us know!