Let's accept that calcualtion fields can drastically affect performance.
So, let's pretend that in a file there are no caclulated fields or extremely complex and trying relationsships. And let's limit the number of fields to a minimum.
I ran into an unexpected problem with 4D using version 2 or so that was not documented in the manual. My first job for a client took forever to load on his new network (which wasn't very fast at all).. I was told later that the problem was the 4D wanted to load every record and relationship of the first table created. Naturally that was the main table...
I have developed the habit of making small nests of links rather than long winding chains that need a road map, usually less than four or five tables.
Now, I am wondering seeing how much easier it is to just linik 50 tables together and avoid having 300TOS, if that is a viable idea.
As further history I created a link of tables on a MacPlus that was probably 20 tables long with subtables of various depths. After finishing the design and with very little data, I opened the file to the first layout. It took 45 minutes to load. Today that would be seconds on my laptop with the same file.
So, the question is whether it is OK to create a nest of octopi or preferable to create many nests of only a few tables linked together for a specific purpose.