Omnigraffle 7 Still sooo much slower then ver 5 [greatly improved in v7.11; more test cases always welcome!]


#1

Hello. Long time Omnigraffle user. Omnigraffle 5 was a loved cornerstone of our company for years. But a couple years after the Ver6/7 transition everything still just seems worse. What is the direction of Omnigraffle?

• It was fast to use, now it is slow on big drawings and the interface on all machines tested.
• Slow diagramming is losing value as a fast place to do software architecture and flow charting
• It hasn’t keep up in GUI/UI development, lacking components like Sketch/Invision/Affinity
• It can no longer copy/paste to other mac apps with native PDF vectors without errors

Don’t know what the internal goal was, it seems you replaced the native Cocoa PDF draw environment with something else (JS/SVG?). What was the reasoning? Where are you headed?


#2

Let me start here first. We’re still using the native PDF-based CoreGraphics primitives to draw that we’ve used in every version of OmniGraffle. With Retina resolutions (four times as many pixels on a screen) and wide color gamut (more bits per pixel), those primitives do have to push a lot more bits around than they used to in the past. CPUs haven’t gotten a lot faster over the same period of time, so they have a lot more work to do—unless the software you’re using is able to offload some of that work to the GPU, which has gotten a lot faster. I believe most of CoreGraphics is still CPU-based; we might have to explore other drawing technologies to get more benefit from those faster GPUs. But we’re still using CoreGraphics at the moment.

The JavaScript support that we’ve added to OmniGraffle 7 lets you manipulate the canvas with your own scripts, and the SVG support we’ve added lets you import and export the web vector format most commonly used in web development. But the app itself doesn’t use either of those technologies internally, they’re only used when you’re interacting with it in one of those formats.

• It was fast to use, now it is slow on big drawings and the interface on all machines tested.
• Slow diagramming is losing value as a fast place to do software architecture and flow charting

Are you only seeing this when you have lots of documents open? Or are you also seeing it when you have just a single document open? We recently identified a performance issue related OmniGraffle’s flexible inspector options (where the user is able to choose which inspectors should be attached to the document window and which should float as separate windows), which has been making the currently shipping app slower the more windows you have open. This performance issue has been fixed for OmniGraffle 7.9, and the app feels much more responsive as a result.

• It can no longer copy/paste to other mac apps with native PDF vectors without errors

Could you elaborate on the errors you’re seeing? I know that I rely on being able to copy/paste PDF from OmniGraffle to other Mac apps, and it’s important to us that this continue to work well for all of our customers.

OK, now let me return to the original question in that post, namely:

What is the direction of Omnigraffle?

Every January, I share our roadmap for the upcoming year. Here’s what I shared in this year’s roadmap:

We’re kicking off the year with a free OmniGraffle 7 update for Mac, v7.6—also known as “The Big Stencils Update.” You can now place the Stencil Browser in the left sidebar of your document, so it’s available while you work on your canvas and inspect other objects. (You can also place it in the right sidebar, or a popover, or open the whole browser—or even just individual stencils—in their own floating windows.) And it’s easier than ever to customize lightweight stencil collections by dragging objects from the canvas right onto the stencil browser (rather than having to open the stencil in a separate editing window).

Customers have been writing to tell us how much more efficient 7.6’s updated stencil design is for their workflow; if you haven’t tried it yet, I hope you’ll do so and let us know what you think! (Again: if you already own OmniGraffle 7, this is a free update. If not, we have a free two-week trial available!)

Right on the heels of 7.6, we’ve already started the public test for 7.7, which focuses on improving our support for importing and exporting SVG. And after that, 7.8 will be focused on diagramming improvements—so if you have any diagramming needs you’d like us to be thinking about, we’d love to hear from you: please email us at omnigraffle@omnigroup.com!

Of course, we’ve already shipped v7.8, so all of those things are now done! What we’re working on now for v7.9 are performance improvements (as noted above) and Mojave support (including support for Mojave’s headline feature, Dark Mode).

Of course, we’re also starting to think about next year’s roadmap. If you have thoughts on where you’d like us to focus our attention next year, please don’t hesitate to let us know!


#3

Same here, the newer versions did not make things better

  • very very slow performance with large drawings…
  • magnets not working, I have to cmd-X remove object and cmd-V paste object and than the magnets work again
  • orthogonal lines do not make 90degree angles between objects but always de default x is in a slightly off position, now I always have to move the x to make 90degree angles

Not a very happy customer anymore… :-(


#4

I do use OmniGraffle when I need flexible connectors between shapes (better supported than in Sketch).

Very useful for short-trips when another taxi can always be quickly hailed after the occasional glitch or breakdown, and speed is not essential.

(Possibly not the right vehicle, though, for long inter-city hauls on deadlines).


#5

The 2nd bullet points seem to me that you are saying the new line routing isn’t working for you. To go back to the earlier line routing, select your orthogonal lines, then in the Properties inspector, Under Connections, uncheck Route From Object Centers. Just unchecking that should return you to old line routing in most cases, if you prefer that.

As far as the poor performance, we have reports of a slow down from some people after updating to Mojave. If this is when it started, could you please email us an example document with steps to reproduce it? The team is actively investigating this, and it is much easier for us to fix any cases we can reproduce here. Please email to omnigraffle@omnigroup.com and keep in mind, you can use Contact Omni from the help menu and check to Anonymize files, which replaces your text with the letter X for privacy. I’m sorry to hear about the bad experience.

Thanks,
Lanette


#6

We tracked down a pretty big performance regression triggered by building with the Mojave SDK which we’ve fixed in the current v7.9.4 release:

  • Performance — Improved performance when scrolling and dragging objects in certain scenarios.

We’re continuing to work on improving performance across the app. Performance characteristics vary with hardware (Retina displays vs. non-Retina, integrated video vs. discrete, etc.) as well as document content (large image attachments of various formats; different fill types like gradient, stipple, marker, etc.; as well as different fill effects like blur, pixelate, or magnify), so if you’re still seeing performance issues anywhere we’d love to hear specific details of what you’re seeing with what documents on what hardware so we can include your setup in our performance test cases.

Thank you!


#7

Hey, I’m experiencing severe performance issues with this v7.9.4 of yours, my configs are:

OSX Mojave 10.14.2 (18C54)

Hardware Overview:
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
3,4 GHz Intel Core i5
8 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Radeon Pro 570 4096 MB

It’s basically the same with and without the large opened image files, thus I could send you what I’m working with, if required.


#8

Please send example document(s) along with which actions are slow if possible. Feel free to highlight which objects or selections are causing pain. For example, is it slow when you are moving items? Resizing? If you choose Contact Omni from the help menu, you can check the box to convert all text to gibberish if you have any confidential data in your file.

Thank you for helping us identify and resolve these remaining problems.


#9

Sure! Here’s one example of input causing the OmniGraffle to slow down:

I believe the problem is how the app treats semi-transparent PNGs (see the figure in the example). When you drag a shape over the PNG, the canvas only refreshes at around 4-5 FPS. Maybe there is an inefficient procedure to compute the overlap, or the PNG is too high-res, I don’t know.

Cheers!


#10

I have the same problem.
OSX 10.14.
Omnigraffle 7.9.4
2.6 i7
16GB

Large canvas with 3 drawn boxes. Fine scroll/draw performance.
Add 82kb png. Scroll/draw performance falls through the floor.
Tried saving the file (which in previous versions would solve performance issues) and restarting but neither have any effect.

I’ll email the support address as well.


#11

Thanks to both of you for those examples! Our team is working on improving performance right now (for our upcoming 7.11 release), and we’ll include these examples of slow scrolling/drawing after attaching an image in our tests.


#12

Test builds of OmniGraffle 7.11 are now available:

https://omnistaging.omnigroup.com/omnigraffle/

Please try these builds with your documents and let us know how much of an improvement you see! (Also, please let us know if you encounter any bugs in drawing or loading or otherwise, since in our pursuit of performance improvements we’ve made some pretty deep changes.)


#13

I’m working on a decently large doc and its been painfully slow. I tried the dev version of 7.11 and its much faster. But all of the PDF’s that are embedded in my doc are all squished when using the dev versions. Anything that can be done?


#14

Uh oh, that doesn’t sound good! Could you please email us a sample document that demonstrates the problem? That’s definitely the sort of problem we’re looking to identify in this public test period.

The ideal way to email us this feedback is to use Help > Contact Omni, since that will let us know exactly which build you’re using.

Thanks for helping us test this update!


#15

Scrolling has been dramatically improved with “large” images in this test build for me on a MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar. Was becoming somewhat unusable on a non-too complex diagram.


#16

Thanks to everyone who has pointed out areas which could still use improvement! Here’s this week’s update:


OmniGraffle 7.11 for Mac Brings Significant Performance Enhancements

OmniGraffle 7.11 for Mac improves performance in a number of ways:

  • Moving groups and multiple selections is faster
  • Scrolling, particularly in large documents, is faster
  • Working with very large images is faster
  • Using Variables in text fields is faster
  • Opening documents with hundreds of canvases is faster
  • Gradient Fill is faster
  • Fill shape with text, and aligning text to the bottom of the shape, is faster

Performance has been the major focus of this release, and we think you’ll find the app is much snappier.

We’ve also added some new features: you can customize the Solid Fill Pallette Colors ; you can now automate Shape Combinations and the Fill shape with text option; and you can now view image metadata, so you can see things like file size, kind, and dimensions.

The image metadata is also helpful for performance: knowing, for instance, that an image is particularly large can help you optimize your documents.

Read the release notes for all the awesome details!

PS On Wednesday we’ll publish a special episode of The Omni Show that will go in depth on how we identified areas to improve and on how we improved them.


#17

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