Why are my on-line Hide/Reveals taking so long?

If you are trying to hide and/or reveal sample while a study is live and the system is taking a long time to process the file, you should be aware that the size of the phone record has a large effect on the processing time. For instance, a file with 4900 characters of phone text, 50 history slots, and a history note length of 64 will take about twice as long to process as a file with the same number of records, but which has only 200 characters of phone text, 10 history slots, and a history note length of 0.

Although it is sometimes advantageous to set large defaults for these values, you need to be also thinking about the consequences on processing time. And of course, the number of records in the file, the number of records being acted on, and the amount of other activity on the study server will also have a great effect on how long it takes to process the file.

The size of the internal record has a direct effect on how long each record takes to process although it is not the case that a record that is twice as large takes twice as long. You can calculate the approximate size of the internal phone record by using the following formula.

400 + (phone text length) + (# of histories * (36 + history note length))

in the two examples above, the small phone file results in this

400 + (200) + (10 * (36 + 0)) =

400 + 200 + 340 = 960

The large phone file results in

400 + (4900) + (50 * (36 + 64)) =

400 + 4900 + (50 * 100) =

400 + 4900 + 5000 = 10300

So the internal record is over 10 times the size of the smaller record and that is the main reason why it takes about twice as long to process.

Note: The increase in processing time will apply to almost all phone file operations whether they are done on or off line. Its just more likely to be noticed when doing online hide and reveal operations.

You can dump an existing fone file to ASCII and rebuild it with smaller settings, but you will not only have to change the header options:


but you will need to change the values in each record as well:

5038.3 – Maximum number of characters in the history note field. Set this to 0 if you are not saving notes.

5041.3 – Maximum number of characters of phone text X 100. For instance, if you current are using 4900 characters of phone text (value here is 49), but you are really only using 100 characters or less, you can set this to 2.

5068.5 – Maximum number of history slots. If this is set to say a large number like 50, but you actually never get more than 10, set it back down to 10.