Sparkle website very large

One of my Sparkle websites is large (850MB) - it has a lot of photos. Should I be worried? I am getting a lot of spinning beachballs and I need to ‘Force Quit’ more times than I would wish. However, I need to add that I have an ageing iMac27 (2012)!

850 MB should be Ok, even with an ageing Mac. However, if it is struggling it may be best to check the image sizes you’re placing in the project. You can drastically downsize the project file by optimising the images before adding them to Sàrkle. Download a copy of ImageOptim and run your images through that before adding to the project. This should keep the project file down quite a bit. Don’t worry about Sparkle optimising the images again - that shouldn’t happen because sparkle seems to have a smart image optimiser that stops it from over compressing images on output.

We have been looking into performance of large sites, and particularly on older Macs a lot of the times the system-triggered autosave causes Sparkle to spend a lot of time saving and compressing the file.

While we do wish to improve this, changing file formats is a slow process, definitely not in the initial Sparkle 3.

So as a troubleshoot (and temporary workaround) could you check if turning off autosave systemwide reduces the beachballs?

That can be done by going to the general system preferences and checking the “Ask to save changes…” checkbox.

I don’t generally recommend this, but if it makes things smoother it can be an option (and you need to remember to save yourself from time to time!).

This has long been an issue with my website of 2gb and 80 plus pages filled with images on El Capitan. Over time I have tried all kinds of workarounds. I cut the website down to four pages, that worked well. I began reducing the size of the images on the 2gb project but that soon got old and didn’t really make much of a difference. Duncan knows how much I bleated to him about the problem. Why I bleated can’t Sparkle do an Adobe Muse and upload changed pages only instead of the whole shebang?? But also I came to appreciate Sparkle’s style and super construction. So I recently threw up the 2gb version again and went with it. For a while I tried Duncan’s workaround with the system save again but that didn’t really work for me or Sparkle. The magic ingredient is process. Sparkle basically grabs the whole of my Macbook if I let it and knocks out the browsers, Preview, Indesign etc as well as invoking the spinning beachball but as long as you plan patiently around this it is as Duncan says manageable. I have got so good at this I hardly notice Sparkle is launched. When Sparkle decides it needs to autosave and take over the whole machine I just let it, and I go make a coffee or take a walk, but Sparkle seems mich better behaved lately. Over time I reckon Sparkle settles in and doesn’t seem to need to be such a grabber or else I am getting more patient. PRO TIP: I’ve found that if I quit Sparkle and let it do all its housekeeping in quitting, I can relaunch the project and publish pretty fast!!

Thanks for this … worth thinking about.

OK … but I cannot see an ‘Ask to save changes …’ checkbox. There is only an ‘Ask to keep changes when closing documents’, which is checked. This is in the ‘General’ section of Apple System Preferences.

Interesting. I will bear all this in mind.

Yeah the one. So you already have autosave turned off.

I strongly recommend you don’t turn off Autosave. I myself, and have seen people lose hours worth of work not remembering to Save. Autosave is not the problem. What you are experiencing is normal for a design workflow with Intel GPU’s and CPU’s. You are simply maxing out the RAM and CPU/GPU.

Design programs such as Sparkle, Apple’s Pro apps, and Adobe anything use all the RAM (memory), CPU, and GPU available. The age of a Mac only matters as far as the Intel CPU and GPU installed, which is thermal garbage. When you get the spinning beach ball, listen for your Mac’s fan.

To see for yourself, launch Activity Monitor and look at the usages by app. You can watch all your design apps fight for resources. Look at the top app, it will almost always be WIndowServer. This is the app that renders what you make your design app do and shows it on your screen.

The solution is to save money for the upcoming Apple Silicon Macs. Until then, my workaround is to do as much design work on my iPad Pro as possible.

OK … this all makes sense. I now need to consider whether it is worth updating to a new iMac27, but they are not cheap.

A temporary bandaid would be to max out your RAM if you haven’t yet done so.

I bigger concern though is your iMac won’t be able to run macOS Big Sur.

I could add to that… back everything up and then do a clean macOS install and then bring back all your backed up items.

Hunting around I found your iMac 2012 won’t be able to run Big Sur, nor Catalina if it is early 2012…

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According to Apple, these Macs will run Big Sur:

  • MacBook 2015 and later
  • MacBook Air 2013 and later
  • MacBook Pro 2013 and later
  • iMac 2014 and later
  • iMac Pro 2017 and later
  • Mac Mini 2014 and later
  • Mac Pro 2013 and later

Macs that didn’t make Big Sur’s list but were on Catalina’s included the mid- and late-year 2012 MacBook Pro, mid-2012 MacBook Air, mid-2012 and late-2013 iMac, and late-2012 Mac Mini machines. The now-abandoned systems will be supported with security-only updates to the last-chance Catalina through the summer of 2022, however.

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I have decided to purchase a new iMac27 (16GB RAM, 1TB SSD) … and use the old one as an extension screen (since it is only worth £100 trade-in). This will hopefully sort things. I can’t wait for the new iMac Silicons … literally, I can’t wait … !

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If available in your locale, take a look at the “Refurbished and Clearance” section of Apple’s Website. You’ll save about 15% with full warranty. I buy from there whenever possible and have never had any problems.

Will do, thank you. I am in the UK and haven’t noticed a section like this before, but will look.