Why does it take long to browse a folder for the first time?

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From a newsgroup thread:


Q: Why is Xnview faster in displaying thumbs, and why does the speed in CodedColor improve the second time I browse the folder?


A: If you are in the Imageview of the Explorer, and the filmstrip at the top displays only 10 thumbs, then only these are created and loaded, until you scroll further. This is different for the Detailsview, which needs ALL files to allow sorting. It must "grab" each file and get infos like filedate, filesize and pixel information, which might take longer for large images.


When in Thumbsview, all displayed thumbs must be loaded from the thumbfiles. So if your thumbs are small and you have a large amount of thumbs on the screen, this might take long. Xniew usually has a very small thumbpanel, so only very few thumbs are loaded at a time. In CodedColor, once all the thumbs are created and loaded, then they are cached by the operating system (at least from w2k on), and scrolling becomes very fast.


Remember again, that when you first enter a new directory, then the thumb files have to be created on-the-fly, in other words when viewed. So again, if you are in the thumbsview, then a lot of thumbs have to be created, as seen by the filename disappearing at the bottom. The second time you enter this directory (if all thumbs have been created), then you should not experience any significant delay. Our thumb creation is also threaded, so it should be possible to continue work while thumbs are created.


Now for a small benchmark with Xnview: When enlarging the thumb panel to show an EQUAL amount of thumbs with the SAME size as in CodedColor, I experienced a shorter loading time of about 30% in Xnview. The drawback in Xnview is: everytime you reenter the directory, you get the same loading time (unless you set the thumb cache option). In CodedColor when you reenter, the loading time is 50% faster than Xnview, because we have created thumb files with a fraction of the size of the originals. So basically, I think we can improve on the topic of "first entry" (to put some erotic into my words), but our thumb concept already has speed advantages over most other applications.




CodedColor generates thumbs on-the-fly, as the images are viewed in the Explorer. Once the thumbs are created, browsing a folder becomes much faster.
CodedColor does not store thumbs in a database like Xnview, but as files on your harddrive. This is a more stable but slightly slower technique, which may be subject to change in the future.
If you have a directory with a lot of images, the image (filmstrip at top) and Screenshow mode are the fastest way of browsing the directory, because only a few thumbs need to be created at once, as opposed to the Detailsview and Thumbsview, where a lot of files are displayed at the same time.


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