Poor C2 Editor Performance On Larger Projects

Bugs will be moved here once resolved.

Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:30 pm

Thanks for the update @Ashley, truly appreciate it.

I believe you are looking at this the wrong way in terms of passing blame, and ultimately is getting us nowhere. No one is trying to blame anyone here, we are simply trying to use the software and it is not working as expected. No one is calling you incompetent, or anything along those lines. You built a great tool for creating applications and games and not many people have the dedication, skill, or will to do that.

Sometimes, updates make older optimizations not work well. For example, a game that worked well on iOS 7, could be laggy as hell on iOS 10. The developer needs to update the game for iOS 10. It is not Apple or the developer's fault, at the end of the day the developer is the one who needs to do something about it.

Similarly, when going from C2 to C3, a project needs to be converted. Plugins need to be converted. And so forth. That is on the plugin developers and developers of the project. There is no blame, just the fact that work needs to get done for it to work properly.

There are numerous, and I mean countless pieces of software that had to do numerous patches and fixes for W10. That all fell on the software creators and not W10. Sure, there are some things that Microsoft broke, but they only came to light by software developers doing their due diligence in debugging their software to determine the root cause. Most software updates for W10, were in the same boat as you. No ones fault, simply changing times.

Now, if you connect the dots here. W7 updated to 8 then 10. C2 did not change for W10. It is not working properly on W10. That ultimately puts it in your hands. Again, no blame, but going back to the software cycle it ultimately falls on you to look at it (which you are currently doing).

Now, it is entirely possible you find some sort of Microsoft Library they broke and they never noticed. Then a bug can be filed with Microsoft, but only once that is determined (which, only you can determine). Simply saying W10 broke it, is not enough. Microsoft would say C2 needs to optimize itself.

Perhaps, there are workarounds you can find. Who knows.

I just want to be clear. At the end of the day, there is no blame. The blame game gets no one anywhere. It is simply who ultimately needs to look at it, and you are doing just that. You are looking at it, and that is all we can ask. We the users, cannot look into this issue beyond what we have done. We also cannot bring this issue to Microsoft with the little knowledge of C2 users have (we don't know the libraries, how the internals work, only you do). Putting all that together, we the users have our hands tied and you are the only one who can free us. That is a lot of responsibility on your plate, I get that. But if you look at it from our perspective, it might shed some light on the issue. It is beyond frustrating, to say the least, for these performance issues to be hit. The way you were responding previously, added to the frustration. Your new stance on it is much better and definitely cools the tide.
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:55 pm

Not taking "sides" as I haven't read all comments, but I did try to open the test project and it was slow the first time to open. And fully understand that its annoying.

But im not really sure what was expected by people? Wont all programs at some point suffer. I could understand if the issue had to do with a structured well designed app, but this is just a lot of objects and events just for the sake of being many. Which is fine for testing, at least to some degree.

By that I mean I use both Photoshop and 3D applications and don't really see a huge difference between those and a huge project in C2. To explain it a bit better. If I make a ridiculous large image like 100000 x 100000 in Photoshop, it will take around 27.9 GB. it will take for ever to open if it doesn't crash Photoshop first. But that wouldn't make me instantly go to Adobe and complain that there software is slow or bugged. Same goes for 3D applications which can be crashed or force you to restart in less than 5 seconds if you simply crank up the number of subdivisions for an object.

What I mean by these examples is that all programs will suffer in performance if you push them to the limits or beyond. The test program have around 11000 events and lots of objects. C2 will have to load all of them and obviously it will take longer the more objects it have to load. It seems a bit like my example above with Photoshop, its easy to have a go at software if you are not reasonable, but it doesn't really make a valid point, I think. Because even if Scirra solves it for this project, what prevent someone else to make a similar post just with 5000 objects and make a similar complain?

But if C2 is supposed to do it and this project is seemed as a valid test project, then I guess its fair to raise the issue. Anyway as I said, Im not taking "side" just think its a weird test, as I have made many huge projects and never ran into this being an issue, unless it was my own fault for making a poor design in the first place, and this test project just seems like that to me. :D
Last edited by nimos100 on Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:55 pm

@humanescape - you repeatedly said "C2 is broken on Windows 10" earlier in the thread, and now you say "No one is trying to blame anyone here". This is obviously contradictory. I've also seen you repeatedly edit previous posts in this thread, sometimes deleting a lot of content. I mean, this whole thing started with you pressuring us to fix it over the holidays treating it like an emergency even though we currently have other more serious issues. Frankly what I take away from that is your objective is mainly to troll over this issue and make everyone as upset as possible. This is a totally needless attitude; after this issue is resolved, I will be updating our bug report guidelines accordingly, so that no Scirra engineer is obliged to investigate an issue that users are being needlessly combative about.

Anyways, I'm looking in to the issue and I should have an experimental build out soon to trial a fix.
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:57 pm

@nimos100, the performance issue is hit with only a few objects. The sample capx's were to show the issue.

Some people are hitting 4-5s per dialog, with only a handful of objects.

When comparing to W7, the same project loads instantly.

That is the issue in the thread.
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:00 pm

humanescape wrote:@nimos100, the performance issue is hit with only a few objects. The sample capx's were to show the issue.

Some people are hitting 4-5s per dialog, with only a handful of objects.

When comparing to W7, the same project loads instantly.

That is the issue in the thread.

Ok fair enough, Im using Windows 7 so all good here :D

With only a handful of objects, I fully understand that it annoys people (And Scirra as well). :D
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:21 pm

Ashley wrote:@humanescape - you repeatedly said "C2 is broken on Windows 10" earlier in the thread, and now you say "No one is trying to blame anyone here". This is obviously contradictory. I've also seen you repeatedly edit previous posts in this thread, sometimes deleting a lot of content. I mean, this whole thing started with you pressuring us to fix it over the holidays treating it like an emergency even though we currently have other more serious issues. Frankly what I take away from that is your objective is mainly to troll over this issue and make everyone as upset as possible. This is a totally needless attitude; after this issue is resolved, I will be updating our bug report guidelines accordingly, so that no Scirra engineer is obliged to investigate an issue that users are being needlessly combative about.


If you feel that strongly about it, I am always available for a quick phone call to clear the air and misunderstandings. That said, I am not going to comment here about what you wrote as it is not needed for the bug.

Ashley wrote:Anyways, I'm looking in to the issue and I should have an experimental build out soon to trial a fix.


Great, can't wait to try it.
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:30 pm

Ashley wrote:Anyways, I'm looking in to the issue and I should have an experimental build out soon to trial a fix.


We accept our faults if we ever had/have one! Because you have made a fix and we are very thankful. :D
That's so cool @Ashley . We're ready to try it whenever you want when it's ready.
The Things you can create is only limited by your imagination. If you don't have the skills then use your motivation as a natural force to exceed all expectations. Chadori RebornXD
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:44 pm

Ashley wrote:If a Windows update slows down some Windows code that C2 calls, the root cause is categorically with Windows itself. We might be able to work around it, and I'm looking in to it today. What is annoying though is when users blame us specifically for the problem, when all the evidence points to it not being our fault. It sucks enough that we're a small team left scrambling to cover up for Microsoft's mistake, and then having people blame us specifically for the issue and refusing to accept the possibility that it could be anyone else's fault (as if we're totally incompetent and all problems are obviously our fault)... that's just salt in the wound.

Basically I think this would be reasonable: "Hey Scirra, it looks like a recent Windows update slows down C2. This kind of sucks, do you think there's anything you could do to help?"

But this is unreasonable: "A recent Windows update slows down C2. OMFG C2 is so crap and is broken. WTF is wrong with Scirra. Why haven't they fixed it already? Do they even know what they're doing? Unbelievably poor service OMG!" (Maybe nobody used those exact words, but it's definitely the impression I get)


While this position is somewhat understandable, I think it's maybe a little revisionist to assume that even a majority of people pointing out the issue place blame 100% on Scirra. This is of course aside from the fact that it's not really anyone else's problem that Scirra is a "small team" (wasn't C3 going to subscription supposed to help alleviate this issue?) or that the changes Microsoft made were a "mistake." It's their OS. Scirra (and every user) is a guest. Software is designed to run on their OS, not the other way around (also an issue that still exists with C3 and Chrome/NW.js, before we get into that sales pitch).

As for quality of service - dismissing issues that exist because they're not Scirra's "fault" doesn't change the fact that when the issues were initially brought up, the response from Scirra was...well, pretty dismissive itself, in terms of the impact the software issue has on its users.

Anyways. None of the rest of the noise surrounding it - as in, the emotional reaction of Construct's users or Scirra's - really matters. You've said it's being looked into. Great! Thumbs up all around.
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:19 pm

This is genuinely probably the most effort I've put in to one issue out of the last 1000 bug reports. Right here you have the founder of the company directly trying to help you in an 11 page thread. I'm trying to handle this in a routine fashion, which starts by identifying the root cause. Once we have that, we can consider our options. Sadly sometimes there aren't any immediately obvious options (e.g. if we get hosed by a graphics driver on a particular OS/card combo) and I will say so if I think that is the case. Don't misinterpret that as dismissiveness; this is a routine engineering investigation and that's how it goes sometimes. Honestly, if you think after all this that I just don't care, I am sure nothing I ever do can possibly satisfy you, so why should I keep trying?

Anyways, I'm starting to suspect this really comes down to the Meltdown mitigation patches. A lot of things line up: the timing, the fact it seems to be in Windows code, and the fact the bottleneck on opening these dialogs could well involve a lot of system calls - all it'd need is one or a few system calls in the internal code to add an icon, plus the fact Meltdown's patches have been known to cause major performance regressions to such code, plus the fact the regressions are worse on older CPUs (which explains why our mostly modern systems don't show much of a problem)... it kind of explains everything. Based on this theory I just released a beta of r251 which significantly reduces the number of system calls in this situation, thereby mitigating the performance overhead of the Windows patches for Meltdown. Please give it a spin - make sure you set the icon mode to "Don't show unique icons" to activate the workaround.

If this works, I think it will prove the theory, in which case I must apologise for blaming Microsoft - it would ultimately be Intel's fault :P Again, I'm not using blame to excuse myself from fixing it - I must point out we just did a beta release specifically to address this, so obviously we're working on it. It's that finding the root cause is essential to know what to do about it. Blame for the root cause, and obligation to fix it, are two separate issues that I think everyone is conflating. If Apple update iOS and totally hammer performance in apps, it's obviously their fault; in an ideal world, they will then fix it. If they don't, out of negligence, lack of caring, or otherwise, then they've screwed over the app developers who then ought to fix it. But in that case I think it's reasonable for the users whose app is now slower to at least have some sympathy for the app developer and co-operate with them. Accusing the app developer of having a broken app is both technically wrong and unnecessarily combative.

Anyways, the next step is: let me know how r251 works out.
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Post » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:38 pm

So, did some quick test:

Add action (brand new): Unbelievably faster now. Near instant in one of my test CAPX's now.
Edit Action (existing): Much faster. On one of my test machine's (the same one I ran the fresh install test on in the previous page), the same one that reported about 1.5-1.8s is now taking ~0.5-1s. This is a huge improvement.
I did notice *some* actions are faster to edit than others. When editing a function action, it is noticeably faster than editing an action that was setting layers opac.

I then tried r251 on my more powerful machine. It is pretty much on par with my W7 machine. The W7 machine is an old laggy machine, but still out beats my 6700k beast. But, in comparison to speed previously witnessed this is a huge step forward. I would say the speed is within acceptable ranges now :D

Again, I have not done heavy testing yet. But these initial results are amazing.

Windows Update / Meltdown
It is worth noting, this issue was not caused by a windows update, or meltdown. For several reasons (not that it is too important, but to keep facts straight and prevent going down rabbit holes):
  • The bug was shown on both AMD and Intel (there is meltdown and specter. one of them effects only Intel, the other is both AMD and Intel).
  • This bug pre-dates meltdown updates, and was also tested on pre-meltdown updated machines
  • a user actually reported better performance after the meltdown update
  • it was shown early W10 had the issue (it has been there since the beginning of W10).
  • Similar bugs were reported months and even over a year ago, showing this is not related to a recent update
  • ...there are plenty of other test and benchmarks that could be run around Windows Update, but I don't believe they are too important given the vast amount of information already collected (and given the improvements with r251)
It is completely reasonable to assume (and probably did), updates may have caused the issue to get worse and better over time (one update makes it worse, the next better, and so forth). But, it would be incorrect to say without a doubt windows update or meltdown caused this bug when you look at all data at hand. It would be safer to say, this has existed since W10 was officially released (which has been confirmed through testing). Again, not too important, but it should be said to prevent people from going down the wrong rabbit hole.


Sidenote
A side note, there are still other issues in the performance that users have reported, such as slow image loader. I have done my best to keep those out of here and stay focused on the issue I reported which was slow dialogs mainly with adding/editing actions. My hope was they were related, but this fix did not fix the other issues. Unfortunately, the users affected by other slowdowns will need to create a new bug report. This one has worn me down, I rather not pursue the other issues at this point (and to be honest, the other issues do not affect me as much). I will, however, help anyone with testing that does try to pursue the other issues as it is the right thing to do (as so many have helped me with this issue).


Summary
All-in-all, initial results are great. One could say the difference is beyond great, it is fantastic.


Going Forward
I am quite happy with the performance right now. Others are still affected by similar issues but, if we look back at the original bug report, so far it is much better. I am going to plug away and see how it goes over the next week.

It took a lot of effort on both sides @Ashley (there were plenty headaches on both sides). Ultimately, you came through and I am very happy with this release. I also recognize and appreciate the effort you have put into this at the end.

I would also thank everyone who helped test out this bug. This would have been impossible to fix without all of your help.

And with that...Program on folks!! :) :)

Edit: fixed broken list
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