Performance improvements for the Phonetool

1A telephony is becoming more popular every day. We also notice that in the use of the Phonetool. All the more reason to meticulously reanalyze it.

Previously, the desktop version of the Phonetool used an isolated copy of the popular Firefox browser. This was an adequate solution, but not very flexible, as Firefox is in fact a full-blown browser. Now we use Xulrunner, the engine used by Firefox. This reduces stress on the PC resources. Also, there are versions for Mac OS X and Linux which are compatible with our way of distribution, so we can start developing desktop versions for these increasingly popular operating systems as well.

In the Phonetool software itself the individual timers which are responsible for updating the information have been integrated into a single scheduler. This provides a marginal performance improvement, but makes the process more transparent for developers, so they can find issues much easier and faster.

We also discovered that the application was always consuming CPU-power, even if nothing happened. Acceptable on the average workstation, but problematic on terminal servers where multiple users are logged in at the same time. This turned out to have nothing to do with the code of the Phonetool, but the way browsers handle animated images. We were using a single image for the icons. At each location where an icon should be displayed only part of the whole image was shown. Normally this is a technique which improves performance. This does not apply to animations (animated gif) however. These remain active on the CPU, so they should be displayed as few as possible. Now all the flashing icons have been replaced by individual images which are only displayed when they are needed.

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Richard de Vroede

A perfectionistic Jack-of-all-trades who dedicates all of his passion to his work.