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Old 10-04-2010, 06:00 AM   #1
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calibre program launch speed

with 195 books in my library, the main program now takes 5-6 seconds to launch.

is it going to get slower as I add more books or will that stay constant.

do "power users" configure the program to run at start-up ?
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybmole View Post
with 195 books in my library, the main program now takes 5-6 seconds to launch.
I just started calibre with a 4000 book library. It took 30 seconds for the splash screen then another minute to load all the books. This was on a Windows XP box that was also doing an active virus scan of an external drive at the time of start-up.

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do "power users" configure the program to run at start-up ?
I can't speak for "power users" (whatever that means) but I start up calibre when I intend to use it.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:14 AM   #3
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Do you think 5-6 seconds are too long? Time your office program, for example (or whatever you use to work in). I'm sure it takes a lot longer than 5 seconds to start up.
I don't know what them power-users do, but why would I want Calibre to start on boot? That only makes sense if I wanted it to fetch some news right away, and even that could be managed in a better way via the CLI tools.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:44 AM   #4
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Since it seems that I'll have to update Calibre, almost everytime I start it, the startup-speed is not very important för me.

I only launch Calibre when I have to add new books to my library or to the device. And it seems that features and improvements are added to Calibre faster than I add books to my library.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
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The issue of calibre’s startup speed shows up in this forum quite regularly. It seems to me that the obvious slowness of calibre startup (and some other of its functions) is quite choking for new users. The community here is one of the friendliest and helpings one can find on the net. However, the zeal takes sometimes the best of some of us.
There is no need to tell a newcomer that the slowness of calibre is just in his imagination, that other program starts just as slow, etc.
Calibre is slow. Period. It used to be really slow, but the situation has improved a lot and hopefully this trend is going to continue in future releases.

I personally do not care much about the startup speed, but if it is of concern to you, there are a couple of things you could check.
1- Your security software. I would exclude calibre main dir and calibrelibrary from the realtime protection. You should scan however, every new book by hand before adding it to the library.
2- Consider disabling “check for new version” and reducing the network timeout.
3- Job priority.
3- Number of worker processes and the limit simultaneous jobs.

On my system (WinXP on a Core2 Duo @ 2.66 GHz, 2 GB RAM) with a library of 300 books and no news sources, calibre takes some 20 sec to start the first time and after, less than 2 sec on a particular PC startup session. During that first run, the main calibre proc may take up to 150 MB of RAM. After that, it stabilizes around 20 MB. The use of RAM of each of the 4 calibre-parallel procs is stable around 29 MB.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pollito pito View Post
The issue of calibre’s startup speed shows up in this forum quite regularly. It seems to me that the obvious slowness of calibre startup (and some other of its functions) is quite choking for new users. The community here is one of the friendliest and helpings one can find on the net. However, the zeal takes sometimes the best of some of us.
There is no need to tell a newcomer that the slowness of calibre is just in his imagination, that other program starts just as slow, etc.
Calibre is slow. Period. It used to be really slow, but the situation has improved a lot and hopefully this trend is going to continue in future releases.
Here I go again derailing threads. Mea maxima culpa.
I'd first like to point out that this has nothing to do with any zeal directed towards Calibre on my part. I'll freely admit that yes, I like the program, but I try not to let that cloud my judgement. Additionally, this of course only describes what my experience with Calibre speed is. That being said, I have to say that, even when looked at on its own, Calibre isn't slow. I have a database of some 300 books, some of them quite large. Apart from loading that database and presenting it nicely, it also does various network- related stuff (lookup of new versions, fetching of news if so scheduled) and loads some eyecandy (the cover browser, I believe). That takes time. Additionally, Python, while elegant, might not be the best choice of a programming language performance-wise. But I think there's one thing that can really help reduce at least the subjective load time: activate the splash screen (perhaps this could be done as a default setting?). I once read in some UI design tutorial that, if your program isn't ready to display a program window after the initial few seconds, at least display a splash screen of some sort. Users are quite content to wait if they can see the program is working, and I have to agree with that.
Now compare Calibre with the launch time of other programs. Keep in mind that, while it may have started as a small tool or utility of sorts, as of today, it's a full- fledged application in its own right. These things take time to load. You ever complained about your office suite being too slow (and here, I can only speak about OpenOffice, since I haven't used anything else in quite some time)? Or your photo editor, and I'm not talking about paint, but something like, say, GIMP or Photoshop? Even my web browser, on its first start, takes some time to load, and subsequent launches are only faster because it cheats and keeps part of itself in memory.
And lastly, try to understand that there's a discrepancy in the expectation of near-instantaneous startup and features. If you want a feature-laden application, you generally won't get a fast one and vice versa. If you really want to have Calibre launch faster, go and get yourself a few SSDs and build a RAID of those to keep Calibre and it's database on.

I'm sorry, there's no real punchline here. I just had to vent and get that off my chest.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:10 AM   #7
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Do you think 5-6 seconds are too long?Time your office program, for example.
OK excel - about 2 second. word 1 second. google chrome - well I'm using it to type this but I doubt that it's longer than 2 secs.

is 6 seconds too long ? - not at all but then 195 books is not a lot of books.!

I am concerned that if I dump in a collection of 3000+ sci fi that I found recently then I'd be looking at 5-6 MINUTES for start-up, which would be annoying.

My windows media player has a library of 10,000+ items yet it still loads very fast, much faster than my calibre library of 195 items!

hence the thought of having calibre start up in the background ,as a low priority task, at boot up where the slowness may go un-noticed.

I have already implemented the idea of excluding the library directory from AV scans but with AVG free the real time checks may run anyway - there is little user control.

Last edited by cybmole; 10-04-2010 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:22 AM   #8
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OK excel - about 2 second. word 1 second. google chrome - well I'm using it to type this but I doubt that it's longer than 2 secs.
Okay, either your computer is really, really fast, or mine is slow, or my programs are really slow, or the Office suite has improved it's raw performance dramatically.
Still, I don't think five seconds is a long launch time.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:24 AM   #9
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Word 2010 takes about 20s on it's first run on my Computer. After that, the next starts take about 2 seconds.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:46 AM   #10
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I must have a Snail.

Calibre debug log claims 6 seconds
From first double-click till the GUI (booklist) is open is probably closer to 30 seconds (1.1K books).

Open Office 3.2 takes 15+ seconds.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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Here I go again derailing threads. Mea maxima culpa.
Believe me, please, no offense was intended. You are, off course, right; calibre is not the slowest beast down there, nor is it the most memory hungry. Nevertheless, calibre is among the slowest, at least in all of the 5 systems I run it. Several settings can improve both the start up time and its overall speed (sometimes dramatically) but in general is slow.
You mentioned OpenOffice, GIMP (don’t know what Photoshop is. ), I’d add to your list Sigil, Scribus, Inkscape and NetBeans, all of which are slow to load. (BTW, the sluggishness of the OpenOffice is legendary, the subject of countless flame wars and probably the most common source of complain). None of the programs on that list ever took more than 30 sec to load, which calibre sometimes does. And I repeat; sometimes calibre takes very loooong time to load.
Again, I agree, ~ 5 sec load time is not much for a program as complex as calibre. If you have consistently large startup times for a library < 1K books, may be you should look for pests on your system.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:31 PM   #12
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Measuring startup times of programs is highly tricky. Startup times are greatly influenced by caching. You can test this yourself by starting a program twice in a row. The second time will be *much* faster. Though exactly how much faster itself depends on a host of factors.

The problem is that caching affects different programs differently. It typically has far greater benefits for programs written in compiled languages as compared to those written in interpreted languages.

And then there are a whole host of other variables that affect startup speed, especially for programs as complex as calibre. Things like antivirus, disk read/write speeds, CPU load, kernel scheduler strategies.

The most insidious of these is the load time difference between native and cross platform applications. Native applications (i.e. applications written using the libraries provided by the OS as opposed to a cross-platform toolkit) start much faster, because the libraries they use are already loaded into RAM.

For example, on my two year old desktop, where the GUI libraries and python are pre-loaded (as they are used by the desktop environment) calibre starts up in under a second with 450 books.
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Old 10-04-2010, 12:32 PM   #13
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Believe me, please, no offense was intended.
Did I give the impression that I was offended? If so, that was not my intention. I merely wanted to express my thoughts about it. It was pent up because of some similar threads or remarks in the past
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:09 PM   #14
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Having recently started using calibre for its intended use (ie: cataloguing books) I can tell the OP that it doesn't seem to have slowed down as I've added books. I currently have 1700 +; and as far as I can tell without actually measuring it, my start up time for calibre hasn't changed.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:51 PM   #15
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OK excel - about 2 second. word 1 second. google chrome - well I'm using it to type this but I doubt that it's longer than 2 secs.

is 6 seconds too long ? - not at all but then 195 books is not a lot of books.!

I am concerned that if I dump in a collection of 3000+ sci fi that I found recently then I'd be looking at 5-6 MINUTES for start-up, which would be annoying.
I'm a long-time user of Calibre, and the speed and "snappiness" has been steadily improved. I just keep the books I've read in my library, plus a few books worth of reading queue, so my library is still smallish at about 200 books. If you find that Calibre doesn't scale well with large libraries (other posters in this thread indicates that it's not too bad), you might want to create a smaller library for speedy day-to-day use, and a huge one for "basement archiving".

But look at it this way: Calibre is so brilliant for managing/browsing your collection that it probably saves *you* for significant amounts of work. Other applications I've tried are cumbersome, and I can't imagine that any of them would be very useful for managing a library of significant size, nevermind 3000+ entries. With Calibre I can find any book within seconds, and I can do bulk changes/updates with a minimum of effort. I've reorganised my collection several times (changing author naming structure, different tags, added series and so on), and it has only taken me 2-3 minutes of work each time.

For this convenience Calibre may make my computer work a little harder. I say let it, as long as I don't have to
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