Make Phoenix Even Faster

Gleemed from the Phoenix forum again, comes this tip from mfk:

Adding the line:

user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);

to your user.js file makes Phoenix render pages very fast.

Try it out. It's kinda eerie seeing Mozilla go this fast.

laszlo provides the explanation of why in this post:

Gecko normally delays the first paint of a page for a certain time while it is still loading to bring down the number of reflows needed to correctly show the complete page. The more reflows, the higher the total page load time.

The default is 1200ms. If the rendering calculations are done before this period has elapsed, it will show it anyway. If not, it's displayed in a not yet complete state and then reflowed until it can be showed correctly. 1200ms seems to be the best compromise to give the best overall performance.

If you set it to 0, painting will start almost instantly, which gives a very fast appearance, but total page load time will rise in most cases because more reflows are needed until the page reaches its final rendering state.

» posted by pinder on November 18, 2002 at 09:29 AM


Why would it take longer to load?
Shouldn't it just take more CPU time?

# posted by david salamon

Total page time doesn't really matter. What matters is the time it takes for me to be able to read the content of the page. I don't mind if it's working away while I'm reading the page. I really hope this pref gets incorporated into Phoenix.

# posted by Richard Weber

It's hard to read the page if the text is being moved about while the document is reflowing

# posted by Neil

Theoretically, you could do this to chimera, or even mozilla to get this speed change as well.

# posted by andrew

For those who are looking to do this in the recently-renamed browsers (Camino, Firebird), you can make rendering faster by typing about:config in the address bar, scrolling down to nglayout.initialpaint.delay and changing the setting to 0.

To the people who still prefer going the user.js file route, I've wasted your time.

# posted by Richard

I don't understand the difference in the user and prefs files. Why make a user file? Is it for multiple users? Duhhh, I may have just answered my own question.

# posted by mark

the difference is that if you have to create a new profile, you can just drop the user.js file into the new profile instead of "fishing out" your custom settings from the prefs.js file and copying them to the new one

# posted by pinder

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