Speed up Openstep?

Started by pan1k, May 10, 2010, 03:48:10 pm

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Is there any way to give OpenStep a speed boost? Most of my apps run at a decent 040 speed, but OmniWeb is SLOW! Does anyone have any tweaks that might help speed up Openstep or OmniWeb ? I have 128MB of RAM and a 4gb SCSI drive.


I'd point out that OmniWeb was designed to handle the web of 12 years ago... in that time people have discarded any thoughts of optimizing their code and tons of additional elements are now considered standard on pages that didn't exist back then. When comparing an average page today (just the raw page source) with that of a page made in 1998, what I've found is that today's pages have more than three times the number of characters.

Browsers read and render pages based on the raw source of web pages. But in OmniWeb's case, it has to read and parse those pages looking for things it understands well enough to render.

Today I avoid the web in general on older systems. My Quadra 950 (which has been upgraded to a PowerPC 601 at 66 MHz and has 136 MB of memory) takes forever rendering pages. The slowest system I own that I still (occasionally) browse with is my ThinkPad (Pentium at 133 MHz with 80 MB of memory), and I avoid most standard web pages on that system using OmniWeb 3.1.

But if you want to see what I'm talking about, consider a simple page like Google's home page from today verses The Geometry Center home page from 1998. The web is a very different place these days and requires a lot more horse power to render the pages.

On that point, I would point out that I've tried very hard to make sure that my pages (here and here) aimed at the NeXT community render well and fast in OmniWeb on OPENSTEP and Rhapsody systems. Of course I used OmniWeb's source editor in the making of all those pages, so I saw first hand that they were working with OmniWeb (at least the version for Rhapsody).

So not only is there nothing that can really be done about this... it is only going to get worse over time. 6 years ago I had almost full access to the web via OmniWeb 3.1, today only a fraction of the web still works properly on the exact same systems.  :shock:


Too bad we could not collect a bounty for someone to update Omniweb to make it a tad more current or make one of the opensource browsers from say OS X into a NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP browser.  I would pitch in some $$ for that myself.

You want to see slow... I have a Apple Color Classic I browse the web with.  hehehehe.  All from 33MHz 68030.  I installed a LC550 board in mine so it has a bit more oophm and ram capability but still, it is like pulling teeth, but works with Netscape 4.x for when I need to download an old app to my Classic.



I'll experiment tonight. It's funny though, my Amiga 4000 browses the web pretty well, it does have an '060 which gives it a boost. Is there a way to turn off services in Openstep that I won't use?

I did do an experiment tonight. OmniWeb 2.7b does load quicker, loads pages quicker, albeit sloppier. I stripped the unwanted code out of OmniWeb 3.1rc2 and just left it with m68k code, seems to be just a tad faster. But you are right, the web is getting more complicated. Those olden pages sure do load fast! :)


Optimizing your OPENSTEP swapfile and adding a second hard drive for dedicated swap are a few things you could try that should help with general system speed.  There's good documentation on swapfile optimization here:


Also, check your RAM to ensure that it's rated at 70ns or faster.


Quote from: "pan1k"It's funny though, my Amiga 4000 browses the web pretty well

By curiosity, which browser do you use ? Do you have the source code ?


I'm using IBrowse 2.4 on an 68060, wicked fast!


Quote from: "pan1k"I'm using IBrowse 2.4 on an 68060, wicked fast!
Is this iBrowse for Openstep Mach or only Openstep on different hardware than Next. What is iBrowse? Tj


Quote from: "Tj"What is iBrowse? Tj

It' a browser for Amiga

@ pan1k

did you ever tried NetSurf ?


As far as Omniweb goes, consider the rendering pipeline prior to adopting WebKit.  There are some wonky operations involved in getting from HTML 1.0/2.0 to Display Postscript, with some klunky libraries along the way - including RTF as an intermediary, IIRC.

For Black hardware look to RAM speed, as mentioned, and disk access time/spindle rate.  

With a faster disk and a bunch of memory, a fresh power supply might be a reasonable addition - better than a Bakelite or Almond wood volume knob to an audiophile, anyway! 8)

On White boxes:
- Video driver:  If you can use a native ATI or Matrox driver, it makes an appreciable difference in just about everything

- Omni Fast Video driver and Pentium Pro driver always improved things for me on an circa 1998-2002 PII/PIII machine with 100% Intel

- Adaptec 2940UW cards work very well - and faster disk access times have nice payoff.

Have you run NXBench?


OmniWeb on White hardware runs good.. cuz it's a P3. I  tried netsurf.. didn't render pages as well as omniweb tho.. I have 70ns ram, but I think it's just the complexity of the websites I am trying to visit.