Many people here complain about FileMaker 12 being slow. And yes, it is slow, at least regarding screen redraw of complex forms, large and long lists and tables.
But it is no wonder, since the new css based drawing engine has much more to do with interpreting the layout and rendering it. Instead of one type of radio button and checkbox, one type of rollbox and popup icon, there are now endless possibilities for these UI gadgets plus millions of possible color gradients, all combinations of thinkable rounded corners, textured backgrounds and hover effects. All this has to be computed.
So of course with complex layouts FileMaker 12 will be slower than former versions, which showed us stone age graphics on the screen. There may be some room for optimization in the code on FileMaker´s side, but I guess and I am sure that FMP12 will never be as fast in screen redraw as older version were.
So a new question for us developers will be, how to speed up our layouts. Of course an empty layout will be the fastest, but that is no real solution. For finding a solution we would have to know which kind of elements are slow or slower than others. I have collected some questions, which - perhaps - can only be answered by FileMaker and hopefully will be answered:
- Is there a sense in rebuilding a file from scratch in fmp12 format regarding the screen redraw speed or can a converted file be as fast as an original file ?
- how does conditional formatting impact the speed ? Are hover effects having the same impact ?
- which elements are faster ? bitmap graphics with a gradiant or a native gradiant ?
- what is better: embedding bitmap icons on every layout or taking them from a centralized table ?
- are texture and gradiant backgrounds much slower than only one color fills ?
- Do special fonts increase or decrease the speed ?
- how about tabs ? Are hidden tabs and elements on them of any importance for the screen redraw speed ? Does FileMaker only calculate visable elements ?
- Up to how many lines can a portal row be shown without having a speed effect ?
- How does the kind of relation speed up or slow down a portal ? How much slower are filtered portal rows ?
Knowing all that would help us developers to decide, what elements could be skipped completely or moved to helper layouts for increasing the speed redraw of our main screens. Thanks in advance.