Sparkle speed problem

Hi Duncan & Team Sparkle

I wonder whether you might be able to advise;
I am running the latest version of Sparkle (licensed), and when I started my project, everything was perfect.
However, as it has grown, Sparkle has been getting slower and slower, to the point where the previews don’t render half the time; Sparkle itself seems to perform OK, but curiously, I have had changes not save - I spent a couple of hours tweaking a particular breakpoint, and then saved the file; the following day, none of the changes had been recorded in the file, despite the modified date on the file representing the save time correctly.

Today whilst using Sparkle, the previews weren’t coming up at all (both safari and chrome were the same).
I took a look at activity monitor - screenshots enclosed. I should say that nothing else seems to phase my laptop! I’m just wondering why this might be happening? If I quit Sparkle, and restart it, then all seems work normally for a time, until it all slows again. I’d appreciate any advice…

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Nothing special here, just test it.

No idea what you mean!

«Sparkle has been getting slower and slower» Speed is just fine on my side.

I don’t mean version by version. I mean that the longer it runs, the slower it gets until I quit and re-open the package.

That doesn’t sound like an application problem, that sounds like not enough resources are available on the system. Could be that as you use the app something else in the background may be stealing resources such as available RAM, CPU power etc.

I would use the Activity Monitor WITHOUT Sparkle running and watch and see if you see any spike in RAM/CPU/HDD usage by anything else. That could be the culprit. As could a lack of RAM on your system - how much do you have?

If your HDD/SSD is more than 70% full that will cause slowdowns as well.

If you have Time Machine turned on then as you work it’s creating “snapshots” and if your drive is near-full that too will slow things down quite a bit.

When was the last time you ran any maintenance routines on your Mac? Download and run ONYX for Mac (make sure you use the version set for your OS). Run ALL the cleaning and maintenance routines.

Zap your PRAM; look up instructions based on your system on how to do that. (keyboard combination during boot.)

If after that you find you’re still getting slowdowns you need to dig deeper.

Trust me, this isn’t a Sparkle issue, this is something systemic on your machine.


Could this be a memory leak in the Sparkle app?
Several versions ago, it had one that Duncan fixed.
It manifested itself in the same symptoms of slowing system response if you left Sparkle running awhile.
Dunno if it’s come back in newest version… just a guess.
FYI…I have not experienced this issue for a long time.

This does not seem like an application-layer issue, this feels more like lack of resources or a system that needs a good software tuneup like ONYX. But it’s all guesswork without knowing the system-specifics from that persons machine.

I am basing this on my experience in the IT industry, these were Windows environments but I guess some of the applications work the same. I would say that looking at your screenshots the issue might be with your browser, I see that both Chrome and Firefox are open at the same time, what both these browsers tend to do is take up resources for each browser tab. So if you have five windows open they will each take what they feel they require. So it might show up as one instance but there are a few running in the background somewhere. But this is just might not be the case, as I said this applies to a Windows environment.

Something else that might slow it down could be Adobe applications, I have noticed when running Safari, Illustrator and Sparkle things do get slow but my Mac is pretty old now and the specs aren’t amazing.

My specs are:
Macbook Pro Mid 2012
4GB Ram
512GB SSD.

Also try and not run your live preview in the background as this also makes a difference, the thing to remember is that every time you make a change to your file, no matter how small, the changes need to be sent down to your browser, meaning that every little change that you make is trying to update in real time in the browser. What I usually do is close my live preview when making a lot of changes to a file(importing images, shifting a lot of content around) once I am done I open my browser and then make the minor adjustments.

Hope this helps a bit.


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Thanks everyone. I will try closing off the live previews. I am running an old Mac, 2012 MacBook Air, but other than 4Gb RAM, the processor is the highest i7 that could be specified, and an upgraded 1 TB SSD which is only 25% full.

The reason I think that the problem stems from sparkle, is that I’ve never had it happened with anything else! Oh, and the slowdown stops when I close Sparkle.

Note, this is not an attack on sparkle! I just wanted to see if I was the only person who found this, and to see whether there was a simple solution! I really am very happy with the package, and the ease with which it has allowed me to create my website.

Hello vk2003 you’re not the only person who has this problem, same here–in some circs Sparkle seems to take over the whole circus. For me, saving and publishing etc took forever, other apps like indesign and firefox were paralysed with Sparkle open, i would wait half an hour or so to shut it down… For me the solution was to design a smaller website, Sparkle works fine with three pages instead of 80. The thing is that whenever Sparkle saves or publishes a website it does it total not in bits and pieces, similar maybe to indesign putting out a pdf, so whenever you change a comma on your website Sparkle rebuilds the whole shebang.


I noticed th same issue today. Just opened up sparkle for the first time in about a year to work on a new site. Seemed snappy this morning, but by afternoon it was VERY laggy. Dragging a simple text box was a task… the box would drag behind the mouse by a full two seconds.

Shut it down and started up again… all was well. Something’s not right. I’m running Sparkle 2.8.12 on a 2013 Mac Pro with 64 gigs of ram fully up to date on Catalina



There is a simple solution: split your project in smaller parts and use sub-domains.

@vfxwolf Now that is strange! I’ve never had that happen. Is it a massive Sparkle project that you are working on or is it a small project?


Its a tiny project… based on the mountain resort free template, just one page… may add a few more, but overall, quite small and simple, hence my confusion when things started slowing down. I think the fact that closing Sparkle and re-opening it solved the problem points to an app issue, not a system one.

Its only a one page project at this point. Angel49. I used one of the free templates as a starting point, think we can all agree none of them are very complex. There’s very little to split into subdomains.

It does sound like there may be a cache-related issue with Sparkle, although so far I’ve not run into this myself. Something Duncan will need to look into with your specific Sparkle project file/s.

However one thing anyone can do to help prevent any type of slowdown like this (unless your OS is unstable/needs maintenance), is to use a fast external drive and move all your assets used for building the site and, the Sparkle project file itself to that drive.

And by fast I mean at the very least a 2-drive RAID-0, preferably SSD-based with Thunderbolt connectivity. You can find several options here:

Because I edit commercial videos I’ve already had this setup so this could be why I’ve never experienced any slowdowns since I’m not using a single-drive system and making it work overtime by having the OS, apps, working files (photos, video, graphics, etc) and my working-cache files live on the same drive.

Granted my specific setup would be overkill for authoring websites, but anyone who constantly works in creating anything visually-based - like websites - should be using an external RAID to boost system and app performance and prevent or eliminate slowdowns such as this.

I still think Duncan should look at these issues and see if in fact there’s something app-related causing this, but regardless I can’t stress enough the benefits of having all your working files live on an external RAID. If you’re unsure which setup fits your rig and budget the guys at OWC ( can guide you.

Thanks producerguyaz, dont think that’s the problem though. I’m a commercial editor and visual effects artist too, and I edit and composite 4k and 8k 360° video on this same system - speed has never been an issue with any of the apps I use regularly… She’s getting a little long in the tooth now, but the system is no slouch.

I really think its something Duncan needs to look into, as you suggest. OWC is great.