Lots of lags when typing blog posts with new Ubuntu upgrade

I’ve gotten my laptop upgraded to ubuntu 10.04 and it doesn’t seem that much different for what I’ve used it for thus far. I did the upgrade at home where I had broadband to download the files and it seemed to take several hours to go through the update on my crappy old laptop (I think it is an original mobile celeron 2.8ghz processor for those that care).

Anyway, I noticed while typing my last post, there were a lot of lags when I made typos and tried to make corrections. I think it is the wordpress interface trying to do real-time spell-checking, but I’m not sure. I noticed that WordPress offers a “turbo” mode option so I gave that a try. The link takes you to the Google Gears download page and when I try to go through the steps, it gives me an error saying it isn’t compatible with my version of Firefox. Odd – I would have thought Google would have been all over getting things working with the newest version of Firefox – or maybe it is something unique to Ubuntu 10.04? Again, I would have thought Google would have been on top of this error.

Doing some google searching (which is becoming more difficult with the recent changes to their search engine’s algorithm – which I am assuming they will work out shortly) I was able to find a place to download a Firefox addon that will make Gears work with Ubuntu 10.04 and Firefox 3.6.3 . The download was a package called “xul-ext-gears”.

I just searched for that package, downloaded it and installed it. Oddly, the package said installation was complete, but the progress bar was continuing to move. I’ve gotta chalk that up to the slightly unrefined nature of Ubuntu compared to Windows.

Now when I go to my WordPress blog, I don’t see the link for “turbo” anymore. I assume Gears somehow works in the background to download many of the scripts to the laptop to run locally as opposed to downloading things back and forth perhaps?

Typing messages did seem a little more responsible, but I still had some lags especially when I made a typo and had to back-up to make the correction. My current workaround for that lag is what I am doing now. On the Dashboard page of WordPress is a section called “QuickPress”. I’m typing my message in that box (where it is very responsible and also has live spell-checking) but I’m missing out on autosave features and probably some other stuff. The advantage in responsiveness is well worth it.

I’ll now save the draft, and then go into the edit post page and add the slug and category as I see fit. I’ll see how that goes.

In WordPress, I realized I didn’t actually enable Gears.  I now went to “Tools” and enabled Gears.  It downloaded 166 files.  At this point, I can’t say that it seems any quicker to type this message in the main editing window.  I’m curious what parts of WordPress are sped up by “Gears”.  I suppose I could have looked into that before I went through the steps of adding and enabling it.

I did a little more searching around and I actually may have found another contributing problem to the slow data entry.  I’m not sure if this new solution fixes everything, although it does seem much more responsive overall.  The solution was found at this post on slow browsing in Firefox (link removed 3/27/14 as no longer exists).

  • Open Firefox and in the address bar type:
    about:config
  • In the Filter bar, type:
    ipv6
  • Double-click on network.dns.disableIPv6 to set the value to “true”
  • Restart Firefox

I realized that the above solution not only didn’t eliminate the lag, but it also caused me to not be able to see the cursor at times, making it hard to know where I would be typing.  That solution wasn’t going to work.  I did a little more searching and saw that some people had a lot of lags because of the built in spellcheck of firefox.  I just disabled that by going into “Edit – Preferences – Advanced” and under the General tab was the option to uncheck spellcheck.  Now as I type, I don’t get any of the spellcheck assistance, but I also still have pretty annoying lag when I try to backspace or delete anything.  I think perhaps it is more an issue of too many elements on the page and my computer’s weak processor.  Oh well.  If I find a better solution, I’ll be sure to add it here.

Okay.  So now I’m taking the next not-so-drastic step to see if installing Google Chrome as the browser will make much difference.  There isn’t much lag using Chrome, and it also seems to have a spell checker.  There is a little bit of a lag when backspacing, but I don’t think it’s as bad as what I experienced in Firefox.  Looks like I’ll just be using Chrome from now on.  I’ve always been a fan of Google, so this isn’t a big sacrifice.  I’m guessing the rest of the lag is just having a very slow processor.  I suppose I could see if there is a less interactive wordpress admin interface.  That’ll be my next search.

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