[Seaside] speed of VM vs. speed of database

Chris Muller asqueaker at gmail.com
Sun Dec 4 17:54:16 UTC 2011

> Have in mind that, for performance, the only metric that really counts is
> the user experience.
> Maximize anything else and you'll be heading to a non human centered
> artifact, faster.

Utility matters more than raw speed.  Applications that provide high
functional-density even at the cost of some raw "speed" before
returning control to the user provide a better user-experience than
hyperspace-speed apps.

Take a simple example.  Say I want to know why an object is not being
GC'd.  Compare the "speed" of explore pointers vs. chase pointers.
Explore pointers "performs" better in terms of getting back some kind
of response, but chase pointers gets me to the REAL answer I'm looking
for much faster.  The machine does all the work while I was taking a
sip of hot coffee, instead of me clicking around while my coffee gets

Now, I know some folks use computers as if they've already had two
cups of coffee.  They click around very fast but with lots of
misclicks, and lurching back and forth through a high-speed system but
which provides a very low functional-density.  The user often ends up
talking to themself (perhaps to keep their train of thought, "oops, I
didn't want to click that...  this is what I want..."), and so train
of thought about what they're doing is somewhat broken.

When using a system, ask yourself, how many gestures are solely for
manipulating the UI (e.g., maximizing, resizing) and how many are for
actually accessing/manipulating the domain?  For each of the former,
speed doesn't count -- in fact it counts negatively because its a
distraction from the users domain.  So, Interacting with software can
be as "slow" as interacting with another human and still be a great
experience.  e.g., 800-1000 ms response is "fast enough" as long as
the user feels the software is _doing_ useful things.

 - Chris

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