Performance Issue: Scrivener Hang Up When Switching Folders

1.0.3 is hanging up when I switch between individual scenes and the complete Draft folder. Switching between scenes works fine, but scene to Draft hangs up the program. It eventually loads, but definitely slows down the process.

I’m not using an external drive. Auto Save is on, but I’m not sure why that would affect scene to Draft and not scene to scene.

Anybody else seen this problem?

You’re talking about a slowdown while in the “scrivenings” view? If so, it will take the computer some time to compose that view if you are transitioning from looking at one scene to looking at all of the scenes.

A couple of questions:

  • How large is your project in words?
  • How much memory does your computer have?
  • How fast is your CPU?
  • Is your computer a desktop, a laptop, a netbook, or something else?
  • How old is your computer?

The slower and less powerful your computer is and the longer your entire work is, the longer time will be required in building a scrivenings view.

If this is not a problem that has anything to do with scrivenings, I apologize in advance.

I’ve commented on similar problems (see edenmousemabee post ‘memory leak’ on 8 November).

My project is 53,600 words in 60 files in the draft folder.
My computer had 4 Gb memory
CPU is 1.86 Ghz * 2 Core 2 Duo
Computer is desktop.
Nearly 5 years old.
Hard drive is Sata 2
Win 7 64 bit.

I’ve tried lots of things to make the ‘scrivenings’ assemble faster. Simplifying document notes had a minor effect. The latest thing I tried was moving from ‘IDE’ to ‘AHCI’ disk interface, and this improved matters slightly - scrivening will now open in around 18 seconds rather than the 25 or 25 seconds previously.

My lappy, 2 Gb memory, 2.0 GHz * 2, 2 years old, Win 7 32 bit, AHCI interface, assembles an identical scrivenings in 3 or 4 seconds - but the Sata 2 drive is an SSD.

Curiously compiling the project for print takes around the same time on each machine as the ‘scrivenings’ does. From which I conclude that the delay in assembling scrivenings (or compiling) is related to the number of physical accesses to files.

I’ve no idea if it is possible to optimise the processing for less powerful machines - but the long scrivening/compile times on the desktop influence the way I choose to work.

Yes, I am talking about hang ups in the scrivenings view. I use Scrivener on both my work computer (a Dell desktop approximately five years old) and my netbook (an Asus). The problem occurs on both machines, but I’ll give you the specs for the netbook since it’s with me now.

The project is approximately 76,000 words long, split into 23 unequal scenes.

ASUS 1005HA netbook
Atom N280 1.66 GHz
1 GB memory
~ 2 years old
Running Windows XP

Any optimization ideas?

I am not working from personal experience here, so again, pardon my musings if they don’'t prove to be true.

Both of these issues appear to be I/O related, albeit expectations for performance from an Atom-based netbook should probably be scaled back to a minimum. The key is DiscoveredJoys comment that “…[it] assembles an identical scrivenings in 3 or 4 seconds - but the Sata 2 drive is an SSD.” “SSD” is the key here.

My personal experience–and note that my projects are, at this point, all short stories–is that my full scrivenings view takes about 3 secs to compose. I have an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU (2.5Ghz) with 6 gigs of ram. And the story is only novella-sized, about 17K words. It currently has about 40 scenes. If I was to scale that up to around 75K words, I’d probably be looking at over 13 seconds. Same ballpark as you folks.

But I bet if I got a freeware Windows ramdisk, I could make scrivenings much quicker. I don’t need to; I’m happy with performance as it is, mainly because my MSs are short. And if I worked on longer form material, I would probably never request a scrivenings view of my entire 75K novel. I’d stay at the chapter level unless I had to do text searches over the entire work. And I’d expect to take a performance hit building the view given Scrivener as it currently exists.

The issue for either of the machines listed here is the limited size of main memory. But with care, a ramdisk might be possible to construct and use. But there are issues with using one, most importantly, making sure the ramdisk gets written to the hard disk at some point. I haven’t researched them, so I can’t make recommendations. But this might help scivenings performance in the short term.