October 24, 2006

RapidWeaver Application Just Isn't Scaling

Sometimes, you want to root for the underdog. When everybody else jumped to WordPress or TypePad for their online blogging, I tried out a desktop application that would enable a great deal of customization, and the ability to host the site at my pre-existing domain name. Yet, now that I've used RapidWeaver for the better part of ten months, the time it takes for the application to recognize changes and publish new entries has become a serious limitation - sometimes ranging up to 10-20 minutes, dragging the entire computer to a halt, as it grabs every available megabyte of RAM in a violent attempt to get the upload right.

When I first got RapidWeaver, it was very simple to use - type directly into the application, select a category for the post, and hit Submit. The piece would be on the site in a minute or two. But as I continued being active, I noticed that the cursor would be typing letters that I had long since stopped - as the application slowed to catch up. By March, I was typing my entries in Apple's Mail application, much more quickly, and that's how I've done every single post since. The "write in Mail, copy and paste to RapidWeaver" scenario has almost become second nature.

But starting last month, RapidWeaver's need to check every single post for possible edits, to hog memory and cease my desktop from being functional has quite simply gotten out of control. We've posted more than 500 entries to Louisgray.com since the beginning of the year, and don't intend to stop. The benefits of having my own domain name and backed up files aren't exactly winning me over right now, and I've given serious consideration to rebuilding this site again from scratch in TypePad, from first post to last - to enable the near real-time post flexibility I've seen from that Six Apart blogging engine. I'm tired of having to post a timestamp on my stories in the future, to anticipate when the machine will unlock, and through Apple's Dashboard widgets, watch the available RAM trickle down from more than 500 MB to 200 MB and eventually 10 MB, where it stalls, forcing the laptop fan whirring to life.

This isn't meant to be an indictment of RealMacSoftware or their product. For the large part, I've been happy with the application, and not needing to be a MySQL junkie on the back-end as many engines need. But RapidWeaver just isn't scaling for what I need it to. I can't post 3 times a day and have the machine completely useless for the better part of an hour. Something needs to change, and I don't think my solution is to get a new laptop. A full gigabyte of RAM (which this has) should be well enough for any application.

Listening to ''Rabbit in the Moon'', by Sasha (Play Count: 6)