QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

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QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

Postby Rob@Quark » 25 Jun 2009, 03:57

Erik,
A G5 is considerably slower than any of the Intel Macs, but I suspect the main problem is the multi-column setup. There have been a few performance problems with that and if I remember, some fixed in 7.x releases and a few in 8.x releases. Not sure who at Quark you were working with before, but I'll PM you so you can send me a sample file.

Regards,
Rob Keeble
Tech Lead | Text & Typography | QuarkXPress
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QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

Postby eyoungren » 25 Jun 2009, 04:28

Rob, I understand that my G5 is slower than an Intel Mac. But if we use that reasoning then QuarkXPress 6.52 on my Mac utilizing the same files should be the same. It's not. 6.52 performs with these files like a Ferrari. 7.5 performs like a Chevrolet Chevette on the Interstate 5 Grapevine in California.
I was working with Craig Lanning, who according to Mike Berkow is no longer with the company. Here is Craig's last correspondance on the issue to me:
Hi Erik,

I have a response back from R&D on this issue. It turns out that, while there are some minor issues related to performance on PPC, what is really causing the behavior is the way all versions of QuarkXPress 7 calculate and draw text in layouts similar to yours that have multiple columns.

QuarkXPress is recalculating the text flow and draw information every time the text is pushed or added to. While this isnt a problem in smaller layouts with fewer columns, in the case of a file like yours every single line on the page is recalculated and redrawn every time you enter a word or line.

In QuarkXPress 8 we changed the text engine so that it no longer recalculates the text flow every time the text is pushed to the next line. Instead, it simply pushes the text and only needs to redraw it in the new position. There is some further tweaking to be done on the draw side of things, but that is why you are seeing such slow behavior on these pages in version 7 and not in version 8.

I have a meeting with our text engineer on this issue to gather more specifics, and once this happens Ill post a response in the forum topic and add a Knowledge Base article that covers this topic.

[b]Craig Lanning
Solutions Manager - VKB

and a clarification:
The text engine in all versions prior to version 7 used the older OS 9 Mac Toolbox calls to calculate/render text. This was also true for version 6, where the Toolbox calls were sent through the OS X buffer before being rendered on screen. This, by the way, is why the text draw in version 6 was so globby at certain view percentages, but it was faster.
This recalculation probably has to do with the way the new text engine was created to take advantage of the X-Draw and Quartz anti-ailasing features, along with the ability to draw glyphs outside of box regions.

Ill keep you posted on what I hear from the engineer later this week.
Cheers,
--Craig

I waited 2 months and then gave up. But Mike has been very helpful and at least the ball is rolling now. BTW, I sent you files. Thanks.
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QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

Postby eyoungren » 30 Jun 2009, 05:23

Well. Here is the follow up to this. Unfortunately, there is no resolution. QXP 7.x does not handle multi-column text boxes very well. That includes one box with multiple columns, or multiple single-column boxes. This is particularly bad at smaller font sizes. I have 4 multi-column documents each week for our legal sections at 10.333 inches by 16 inches, 5pt type with 5pt leading. In addition I set 2 quarterly publications at the same page size using multiple text boxes. All of these documents have multiple pages. QXP 7 just chokes. Three engineers so far have confirmed this.

Apparently there was optimization done for both 7.x and 8.x both Intel and PPC, but I seem to be the only person who has reported this issue. So. It will be addressed in a future update/upgrade I guess. In the meantime since going to version 8.x won't fix this I'm stuck editing these documents in version 6.x Or InDesign.
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Postby eyoungren » 24 Oct 2009, 11:19

Had 4 pages of 6 columns by 16 inches of 5pt type at 5pt leading this week for our legals. 2.5 hours to format because of this. QXP 6.52 would have take me 45 minutes!
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QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

Postby Thimble » 25 Oct 2009, 11:22

eyoungren wrote:Had 4 pages of 6 columns by 16 inches of 5pt type at 5pt leading this week for our legals. 2.5 hours to format because of this. QXP 6.52 would have take me 45 minutes!
Good grief, Eric. Those legal beagles must have amazing eyesight to read 5 pt type. So sorry you've having issues with this. I just upgraded from 6.52 to 7.5, but also got myself a MacBookPro with latest Leopard. After reading about your trauma, haven't dared to load Quark 7.5 onto my old PPC laptop w/OS 10.4.11.I know upgrades are an ongoing issue with your work situation, but given all the time it takes you to wrestle these files into shape, wouldn't it make fiscal sense for them to at least upgrade your PPC to Leopard? It can be done, yes? I mean, there is a Leopard upgrade for the PPC ... at least I was told there was when I inquired a few months ago, and that my local Mac dealer could order one for me. Then again, I'm not too sure I trust the local store, so maybe they gave me the wrong info.
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Postby eyoungren » 25 Oct 2009, 12:34

Well, actually we're only about a point size smaller than the leading legal/government paper in Phoenix. The Arizona Capitol Times (I worked there for 2.5 years) puts out over 80+ pages of legals in 6pt type with 6pt leading. Also in 6 columns. But they do most of the legals for the entire state and their system is pretty automated (it comes in at 6/6). So we aren't too much off their size.
To be completely honest too no one reads these except legal junkies. As long as the government lawyers can read the type then the legal requirements for the amount of runs in the paper have been met. It doesn't matter a whit if the average person can't read it or the person the legal is aimed at. It's been published.
Leopard is available on Amazon.com. But here's my problem. My coworker has a G4/450 AGP with 924mb of RAM. The company likes to keep everything consistent OS and program wise so if we upgraded my G5 to Leopard I'd have to upgrade her G4 too. Not possible according to Apple because you need like a 1.0ghz processor or so to run Leopard. I can get around this with LeopardAssist which fools the installer disk in to thinking there is the minimum specs. But with Leopard taking 512mb of ram that leaves my coworker with a paltry 424mb to run apps. Better to stick with Tiger. I'm not too sure Leopard would fix the issue either. All the way around it would be better if we both went to Intel Macs. But when every cost is being analyzed at the moment (and I do mean every cost) this isn't going to happen. I'm stuck with it until things improve enough that I can prevail upon my boss to make the necessary purchases. It does make fiscal sense, but it just isn't going to happen with the economy as it is now.
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QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

Postby eyoungren » 20 Sep 2010, 10:34

QUARKXPRESS 8.X YOU'RE FREAKING KILLING ME HERE!
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QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

Postby Witcher » 23 Sep 2010, 06:41

Are you saying Q8 makes no difference in performance on PPC Macs?We've definitely seen the text heavy doc slowdown issue in 7 with G5s, but I was hoping that when we go to Intel Macs we won't.
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QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

Postby eyoungren » 23 Sep 2010, 07:01

XPress 8.x is exactly the same as v7.x concerning text heavy documents on PPC Macs. I had hoped at the time that there would be a difference, but there is not. I'm still doing our legals and the two quarterlies I set in 6.52. Have to say I hate scrolling through a document and then getting the beach ball while XPress renders the pages with text. I'm in the habit now of creating the galleys for the news pages in 6.52, thumbnail dragging over my legal pages and making final adjustments and then opening that document in 8.x to place my ads. I just can't do it all anymore in 7.x or 8.x because they are both too slow. 20-30 seconds between beachballs when leading text. It's just nuts!
But all of that is on PPC Macs. As I understand it there is no issue on Intel Macs. As I hear it 7.x and 8.x perform just as fast (if not faster) as 6.x on Intel Macs. But I don't have a PPC Mac so the code is not optimized for me.
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QuarkXPress 7.x The "Killer" app!

Postby eyoungren » 22 Dec 2010, 07:17

Possibly an update on this. We've been having network issues with both our Macs and PCs locking up and crashing when connected to the server. Been getting worse. Now I am at the point of logging out each night because sooner or later my Mac locks up.
Today, I noticed on boot (I boot in Verbose mode) the comment: USB caused wake event (EHCI). I have only two things connected via USB. A powered hub and a keyboard with mouse. Normally my processor hovers around 20%+. So I pulled the powered hub Voila, CPU went down to 8%. Programs are opening faster, copy process is not running the CPU at 50%+ and various other little things. So, I am speculating that this USB hub has been malfunctioning for quite some time and I didn't know it. My guess is somehow it's been feeding back in to the network through my G5 and affecting everybody else.
This G5 is also the early Feb. 2005 model which had sleep issues. Corrected by a firmware update in 2006 I nevertheless run it with NO sleep settings and Highest for the processor setting. Too many issues back then of not getting the G5 to wake up.
XPress is definetly faster. Still not like QXP 6.x, but faster. I'll keep an eye on this and come back with an update later.
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