As we’ve no doubt all experienced at one time or another with Twitter things just seem to slow down to a crawl, with seemingly no explanation as to why. I had my suspicions and so I got to experimenting by injecting some analysis code into Twitter In An App, where my suspicions were confirmed.
Like many ‘top down’ scrolling applications, TweetDeck is very fast at loading in new data when it’s needed as you scroll down the list. The problem is, whilst you scroll down this new data is added to what’s already there. The more you scroll, the more gets added. The same applies when the application is just sitting there receiving new tweets. There is no attempt to keep the number of items displayed at a ‘manageable’ level, and therefore it just leaks memory and leaves your Web Browser / Operating System to deal with the consequences. Usually, this means lots of disk / memory management.
Twitter In An App, therefore can be affected by this issue. However, there is now new a feature to help you keep the wild Twitter beast under control, called ‘Auto-purge’.
Auto-purge allows you to define how many Tweets you consider ‘manageable’ in each column, and when turned on, will ensure that no more than this number of Tweets exists in each column. It’s a timed event, fired after it checks for notifications, which occurs every 10 seconds.
However, you need to be careful about using this!
If you intend to catch up with a lot of tweets, and need to do some scrolling you MUST turn the feature off. The application tracks the last know tweet and will cut everything from this tweet up to the number you have defined as being manageable. If you don’t turn the feature off, you will be fighting a never-ending battle where you can never see older tweets for very long!
Also, there is a feature to enable Auto-purge on startup. This is NOT recommended for general use, unless you know that you are NEVER going to be scrolling down previous tweets when the application starts. (The reason it is not recommended, is the same as above!)