Now that the new resource locking system has been landed for a couple of weeks and some of our worst performance bugs have been resolved, we've been able to uncover and fix a ton of routine performance problems.
Padre 0.55 landed the first pass of these, but the upcoming Padre 0.56 is looking to be incredibly fast and has ditched much of the weight that you expect from an IDE. It's actually starting to feel light like an editor again, instead of heavy like an IDE.
Amoungst the improvements, we have a new tricksy startup mechanism that can apply startup preferences without having to load the user's config file at all (or any of the accompanying weight).
The startup process has become so fast that we're seriously considering ditching the splash screen (because it slows down the startup too much) and open files in an existing Padre has become nearly instantaneous.
Opening files is at least twice as fast thanks to an encoding detection shortcut for simple ascii files. Changing tabs is 5+ times faster due to removal of some filesystem operations and refresh locking. Closing a file is at least twice as fast, and 3-4 times faster if you choose to use the new feature preference to disable Padre's remembering of cursor locations in files.
Closing groups of files "Close This Project" and "Close Other Projects" etc has gained locking and now works incredibly quickly. With the cursor memory off the time between clicking close and the Padre window vanishing is almost instantaneous now.
Finally, we've also added a number of new refresh shortcutting to different tools and widgets, which makes Padre in general much snappier when moving around inside the same project or just doing operations that trigger off refresh cascades within the same file.
The sum total of all these improvements is that Padre feels almost like a whole new editor. It's fresh, snappy, and generally a joy to use.
And even more fancy improvements are in the pipeline. Mattias and Steffen between them have spawned a special new "slave master" threading branch which is already able to save 4-5meg of RAM per background thread by spawning of a master thread very early in the Wx startup process, while our list of loaded modules is very small. As a bonus, because it doesn't have to fork the entire Wx application tree, the slave master branch also fixes the long-time "Leaked Scalar" bug.
0.56 is definitely shaping up as something special and when it comes out I highly commend it to everyone to take a look, especially if you haven't had a look at Padre in the last 10 or so releases.