The case for lazy loading

For music recording I’ve started using Pro Tools as my first-class choice. I struggle with this, because I find it to be a far, FAR inferior product to products like Cakewalk Sonar, for example. But I’m using it because it does offer specific features for the hardware I’m using.

Anyhow, Pro Tools has a splash screen and it takes around 3 to 5 minutes to load the application. Most of this time is looking for and loading “plug-ins”.

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Why is this frustrating? Why am I writing a blog post, in the time it takes to load this application? Because I don’t use ANY of these plug-ins, currently. So, I have to pay the price, for something that I don’t even use – every time I start the application.

The lesson here, I think, is that as developers, we need to be aware that our Users’ time is valuable. We shouldn’t waste it, making them wait, for something that isn’t critical for the application. And Pro Tools, every heard of loading things in the background?

As an alternative, I would think the software would want to enumerate the plug-in’s, but not actually load them until they are needed or requested. This splash screen drives me nuts every time I see – what a poor interface design decision this was, in my opinion.

Posted in Best-practices, Uncategorized

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