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June 10, 2002

More on ActiveWords

I've been playing around with the ActiveWords application recently, and just wrote up my impressions.  I came across something I initially thought was a bug in ActiveWords, but I've since concluded is a big performance problem in both Mozilla 1.0 and Netscape 6.2: textboxes are very slow.

This came up when I was testing the ActiveWords text substiution feature.  ActiveWords lets you define any word to stand in for any amount of text.  For example, I've set the word 'homeaddress' to stand in for my basic contact info.  That works out to be about 5 short lines of text, about 120 characters.  On the PII/266 laptop I've been using, if I type 'homeaddress' into a text box in Mozilla or NS6.2, it takes about 8 seconds to backspace over the word 'homeaddress' and type in the 5 lines of text.  (The experience was very reminsiscent of using a teletype; ActiveWords was doing about 15 characters per second.)

My first reaction was that something was screwy between Mozilla and ActiveWords, but then I turned off ActiveWords and tried typing very rapidly into a text box, I discovered that Mozilla just can't keep up. 

The problem is probably masked on most modern systems, but a PII/266 isn't that bad at most things.  (At least that's true after I got 128mb into it.  I first got this laptop with 64mb.  Win2k is very unhappy running in only 64mb.)

Follow-up:Nope, it's still slow on somewhat newer systems. My PIII/500 also had a notable lag typing into a Mozilla textbox.