[scribus] Scribus Limits, Present and Future

John Morris johnjeff at editide.us
Mon Aug 10 20:39:29 CEST 2009

John Beardmore wrote
>I suppose until 1.3.5 is released, there isn't much point in 
>comparing experiences in detail, but maybe once 1.3.5 is out we 
>should all contribute the following information for our larger 
>projects ?

   OK. I took a few minutes to play with this. I tried copying the 
text from a friend's book I'm working on in another application. It 
is 318 6x9 pages in 15 chapters. I first copied just the first 
chapter which came out to 9 pages with a single text frame covering 
most of each page. At this point, the document was disturbingly 
unresponsive, but not as bad as John Jason Jordan described. Mouse 
and keyboard input seemed about equally unresponsive, although some 
keyboard input (such as page up, page down, home, and end) seemed to 
be completely ignored. At this point, I could still work in it, but 
it would have been annoying.
   To see how bad it would get, I then inserted another 300 pages and 
copied the remaining text into a second chain of text boxes not 
linked to the first chain. This gave me a document with 309 pages. 
The first nine pages had linked text boxes with 19,682 characters 
(including spaces) in 3,233 words. The next 300 pages had a second 
chain of linked text boxes, although the text (648,579 characters in 
106,152 words) occupied only 296 pages.
   The responsiveness of this larger document was pretty much 
indistinguishable from the responsiveness of the shorter document. 
Scrolling was fairly slow, page up and down didn't work at all. 
Clicking to select a text box to edit it was fairly quick, but not as 
quick as I would like. Moving text boxes with the arrow keys was slow 
but useable. Typing took about half a second per character.

Processor	1.86 GHz Intel Core Duo
RAM	2 GB, of which Scribus was occupying 1.49 GB
OS	Mac OS X 10.5.7
Page size	6x9
Pages	300
Linked	300
Chars	600,000
Scribus	1.3.5

   I suspect that the fact that my RAM was maxed out may be part of 
what is slowing things down. Therefore, I tried restarting the 
machine and opening only Scribus with this document. Scribus was 
occupying about 300 MB after I first opened the document. Moving 
about in the document was about the same as it was when I pasted the 
first text in the original document and the memory used did not 
change as I moved around. However, as soon as I entered a text frame 
and started typing, the memory started going up pretty quickly. With 
each character I typed, the memory used increased by about 10 MB and 
it soon took up the entire 1.6 GB that was available.
   I then closed Scribus down completely and restarted it with a fresh 
document. After inserting a single text frame on the only page, I 
tried typing. The memory used stayed steady at about 60 MB.
   This makes me wonder if there is a memory leak in 1.3.5. I know 
that 1.3.5 rc3 is just a release candidate. Given that I don't expect 
to use it in the near future for any production work, that seems like 
the right one for me to be evaluating.


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