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Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Tips and Tricks from the Rainmeter Community
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nek
Posts: 104
Joined: November 3rd, 2019, 12:00 am

Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by nek »

This topic is for skin creators who knows how to write a basic skin code.


Skin: Displays an image file
toggle_on.png

Code: Select all

Skins
 └─ ToggleSwitch
      Skin.ini
      on.png

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000

[Variables]
STATE=on

[Image]
Meter=Image
ImageName=#STATE#.png
DynamicVariables=1
πŸ“— Image Meter

This is a simple skin that displays an image file.
Have you ever written a code like this?
















I feel bad from that code and I never use DynamicVariables=1 option on that Image meter. Because my computer is old enough and I think the skin is wasting computer resources. πŸ“— Dynamic Variables

















The Rainmeter.exe opens on.png file and closes EVERY 1 SECOND. (loading from the disk/cache/memory?)
(The Operation column in the log, CreateFile means Open file in this case.)
process_monitor.png
Filter > Filter...
Process Name is Rainmeter.exe then Include > [Add] > [OK]
Microsoft Docs wrote:Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.

The following code got same result.

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000

[MeasureState]
Measure=String
String=on

[Image]
Meter=Image
MeasureName=MeasureState
ImageName=%1.png
Rainmeter Docs wrote:If you are "binding" a measure to a meter with the MeasureName option, you don't need either [] or DynamicVariables. πŸ“— Dynamic Cheat Sheet, MeasureName

Conditions for image file to repeatedly be opened/closed

βœ”οΈ The skin has an Image meter that displays an image file. ImageName=something.png
βœ”οΈ The Image meter is in a skin frequent update cycle.
[Rainmeter] Update=1000 and [ImageMeter] UpdateDivider=-1 option is not set.
(or [Rainmeter] DefaultUpdateDivider=-1 is not set)
🚫 DynamicVariables=1 or MeasureName=something option is set on the Image meter.


Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a Rainmeter skin

βœ”οΈ Control the Skin update rate with [Rainmeter] section Update option. Update=-1 Update=1000 Update=60000
βœ”οΈ Control the Measure and Meter update rate. Core Measure with UpdateDivider option.

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000
DefaultUpdateDivider=-1
AccurateText=1
βœ”οΈ Use a DynamicVariables=1 only when necessary.
Especially avoid using DynamicVariables=1 MeasureName=something option on an Image Meter.
βœ”οΈ Set Disabled=1 option on a Script measure if the Lua script doesn't have a function Update().

Code: Select all

[MeasureScript]
Measure=Script
ScriptFile=something.lua
Disabled=1
βœ”οΈ Don't use a regular expression (?siU)^(.*)$ on a WebParser measure RegExp option to get a whole remote contents.

Code: Select all

[MeasureWebParser]
Measure=WebParser
URL=https://example.com
RegExp=^[\s\S]*$
; RegExp=(?s)^(.*)$
; StringIndex=1
βœ”οΈ Remove the unnecessary measures and meters.
βœ”οΈ Close the About Rainmeter window if you don't use.
βœ”οΈ Don't load a lot of high resolution images.
βœ”οΈ Use a Meter=String(Font file, *.ttf, *.otf) instead of a Meter=Image (Image file) as possible.

# General
tabler Icons - Download (4000+ glyphs, 1775 KB)
Material Icons - Download (2226 glyphs, 347 KB)
RemixIcon - Download (2214 glyphs, 393 KB)
Boxicons - Download (1604 glyphs, 306 KB)
IcoFont - Download (2094 glyphs, 1017 KB)
Font Awesome Free Solid - Download (1389 glyphs, 388 KB)
Line Awesome Solid? - Download (931 glyphs, 220 KB)
ionicons - Download (699 glyphs, 109 KB)
Emoji icon font - Download (654 glyphs, 310 KB)
CoreUI Icons Free - Download (515 glyphs, 142 KB)
Elegant Icon - Download (364 glyphs, 58 KB)
Ligature Symbols - Download (360 glyphs, 82 KB)
Typicons - Download (337 glyphs, 98 KB)
Cryptocoins - Download (332 glyphs, 114 KB)
Elusive Icons - Download (307 glyphs, 78 KB)
Metrize Icons - Download (304 glyphs, 62 KB)
Foundation Icon Fonts - Download (286 glyphs, 56 KB)
Entypo - Download (285 glyphs, 74 KB)
Linearicons - Download (270 glyphs, 80 KB)
Open Iconic - Download (226 glyphs, 28 KB)
Font Awesome Free Regular - Download (211 glyphs, 61 KB)
MFG Labs Iconset - Download (211 glyphs, 55 KB)
Dripicons - Download (203 glyphs, 40 KB)
Line Awesome Regular - Download (146 glyphs, 33 KB)
Genericons Neue - Download (106 glyphs, 21 KB)
Modern Pictograms free ver. - Download (102 glyphs, 26 KB)
Nerd Fonts - Download (3705 glyphs, 826 KB)

# Weather
Weather Icons - Download (247 glyphs, 98 KB)
QWeather Icons - Download (225 glyphs, 72 KB)
Weather Icons Font Set - Download (208 glyphs, 80 KB)
IcoFont - Download (81 glyphs, 70 KB)
Climacons - Download (78 glyphs, 19 KB)
Meteocons - Download (50 glyphs, 25 KB)

# Map
Map Icons - Download (179 glyphs, 47 KB)

# Brands
CoreUI Icons Brand - Download (831 glyphs, 510 KB)
Font Awesome Brands Regular - Download (513 glyphs, 181 KB)
Line Awesome Brands - Download (418 glyphs, 152 KB)
Zocial icons - Download (106 glyphs, 49 KB)


πŸ” dp4 Font Viewer ... Glyph preview and Unicode value.
Settings
dp4_settings.png
dp4_family.png
Notes: Copy the font file to Skins\SomeSkin\@Resources\Fonts\SomeFont.ttf.
Hexadecimal Unicode value. Allowed range is x0 - xFFFE. πŸ“— Character Variables

Code: Select all

[ButtonZoomIn]
Meter=String
AntiAlias=1
FontFace=dripicons-v2
FontSize=16
Text=[\xE068]

πŸ“— Dynamic Cheat Sheet, [Rainmeter] Update, DefaultUpdateDivider [Measure] UpdateDivider, Script, Disabled [Meter] MeasureName

⭐ How a skin is updated, About an Update=1000 by jsmorley


πŸ’‘ Keep in mind You should not use the DynamicVariables=1 MeasureName=something option on an Image Meter that displays an image file, if the Image Meter is in a Skin frequent update cycle.
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Last edited by nek on April 23rd, 2023, 4:44 pm, edited 15 times in total.
User avatar
nek
Posts: 104
Joined: November 3rd, 2019, 12:00 am

Re: Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by nek »

A couple of examples


Skin: Displays a rocket image and it changes image size with mouse scroll wheel.

rocket.png

Code: Select all

Skins
 └─ Rocket
      Skin.ini
      rocket.png
Before: The Rainmeter.exe opens/closes the image file every 1 second

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000

[Variables]
SCALE=1.0

[Image]
Meter=Image
ImageName=rocket.png
W=(72*#SCALE#)
PreserveAspectRatio=1
SolidColor=F5F5F5
MouseScrollDownAction=[!SetVariable SCALE "(Clamp(#SCALE#-0.1, 0.5, 4.0))"][!UpdateMeter #CURRENTSECTION#][!Redraw]
MouseScrollUpAction=[!SetVariable SCALE "(Clamp(#SCALE#+0.1, 0.5, 4.0))"][!UpdateMeter #CURRENTSECTION#][!Redraw]
DynamicVariables=1
After
[Rainmeter] Changed Update=-1
[Image] Added MouseActions [!SetOption #CURRENTSECTION# DynamicVariables 0]
[Image] Removed DynamicVariables=1

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=-1
;DefaultUpdateDivider=-1

[Variables]
SCALE=1.0

[Image]
Meter=Image
ImageName=rocket.png
W=(72*#SCALE#)
PreserveAspectRatio=1
SolidColor=F5F5F5
MouseScrollDownAction=[!SetVariable SCALE "(Clamp(#SCALE#-0.1, 0.5, 4.0))"][!SetOption #CURRENTSECTION# DynamicVariables 0][!UpdateMeter #CURRENTSECTION#][!Redraw]
MouseScrollUpAction=[!SetVariable SCALE "(Clamp(#SCALE#+0.1, 0.5, 4.0))"][!SetOption #CURRENTSECTION# DynamicVariables 0][!UpdateMeter #CURRENTSECTION#][!Redraw]
πŸ“— PreserveAspectRatio, Mouse Actions, !SetVariable, Clamp, #CURRENTSECTION#, !SetOption Guide

⭐ Controlling Dynamic Variables by smurfier (LuaCalendar)
[!SetOption SECTION_NAME DynamicVariabls 0][!UpdateMeasure(or !UpdateMeter) SECTION_NAME] technique is very useful for one time resolving dynamic variables. Thank you, smurfier!




Skin: Displays 1-12 o'clock images and it changes every hour.

12.png

Code: Select all

Skins
 └─ OClock
      Skin.ini
      1.png
      2.png
      3.png
      4.png
      5.png
      6.png
      7.png
      8.png
      9.png
      10.png
      11.png
      12.png
Before: The Rainmeter.exe opens/closes the image file every 1 second

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000

[MeasureHour]
Measure=Time
Format=%#I
;; Update every 1 second

[Image]
Meter=Image
ImageName=[MeasureHour].png
DynamicVariables=1
;; Update every 1 second
After
[Rainmeter] Added DefaultUpdateDivider=-1
[MeasureHour]Added OnChangeAction=[!SetOption ...
[MeasureHour] Added UpdateDivider=1
[Image] Removed DynamicVariables=1

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000
DefaultUpdateDivider=-1

[MeasureHour]
Measure=Time
Format=%#I
OnChangeAction=[!SetOption Image ImageName "[#CURRENTSECTION#].png"][!UpdateMeter Image][!Redraw]
UpdateDivider=1
;; Update every 1 second

[Image]
Meter=Image
ImageName=[MeasureHour].png
;; Update every 3600 seconds (1 hour)
%#I Hour in 12-hour format (1 - 12) πŸ“— Format codes - Time measure

You might think there is a section variable ImageName=[MeasureHour].png option on the Image meter, DynamicVariables=1 option is needed.
Rainmeter Docs wrote:Section variables are always dynamic. DynamicVariables=1 will always be needed on a measure or meter section where the variable is used in an option value. πŸ“— Dynamic Variables - Section Variables
That ImageName=[MeasureHour].png is used only once and Variables are resolved dynamically during the first skin loading.
πŸ“— OnChangeAction




Skin: Displays Weather condition images and it updates every 10 minutes.

sunny.png

Code: Select all

Skins
 └─ Weather
      Skin.ini
      1.png ... sunny
      2.png ... cloudy
      3.png ... rain
Before: The Rainmeter.exe opens/closes the image file every 1 second

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000

[MeasureWebParser]
Measure=WebParser
URL=https://www.example.com/something
RegExp=^[\s\S]*$
FinishAction=(some actions)

[@CurrentIcon]
Measure=WebParser
URL=[MeasureWebParser]
RegExp=(some regular expressions)

[Icon]
Meter=Image
W=72
MeasureName=@CurrentIcon
PreserveAspectRatio=1
SolidColor=F5F5F5
DynamicVariables=1
After
[Rainmeter] Changed Update=60000
[Rainmeter] Added DefaultUpdateDivider=-1
[MeasureWebParser] Added UpdateRate=10
[MeasureWebParser] Added UpdateDivider=1
[@CurrentIcon] Added OnChangeAction=[!SetOption ...
[Icon] Added ImageName=1.png
[Icon] Removed MeasureName=@CurrentIcon
[Icon] Removed DynamicVariables=1

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=60000
DefaultUpdateDivider=-1

[MeasureWebParser]
Measure=WebParser
URL=https://www.example.com/something
RegExp=^[\s\S]*$
FinishAction=(some actions)
UpdateRate=10
UpdateDivider=1

[@CurrentIcon]
Measure=WebParser
URL=[MeasureWebParser]
RegExp=(some regular expressions)
OnChangeAction=[!SetOption Icon ImageName [#CURRENTSECTION#]][!UpdateMeter Icon][!Redraw]

[Icon]
Meter=Image
ImageName=1.png
W=72
PreserveAspectRatio=1
SolidColor=F5F5F5
πŸ“— WebParser measure, WebParser: How UpdateRate Works
⭐ Some explanation of timing and WebParser by jsmorley
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Last edited by nek on February 1st, 2023, 2:54 am, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
nek
Posts: 104
Joined: November 3rd, 2019, 12:00 am

Re: Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by nek »

πŸ’‘ Keep in mind You should not use the DynamicVariables=1 MeasureName=something option on an Image Meter that displays an image file, if the Image Meter is in a Skin frequent update cycle.




What is DefaultUpdateDivider=-1 for?

A Rainmeter skin is defined the Update=1000 DefaultUpdateDivider=1 option by default.
This means that all measures and meters are updating once every 1 second. ⭐ How a skin is updated

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000

[MeasureCalc]
Measure=Calc

[MeasureString]
Measure=String

[MeterText]
Meter=String
Text=Something
is equal to

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000

[MeasureCalc]
Measure=Calc
UpdateDivider=1

[MeasureString]
Measure=String
UpdateDivider=1

[MeterText]
Meter=String
Text=Something
UpdateDivider=1

DefaultUpdateDivider=-1
Rainmeter Docs wrote:If DefaultUpdateDivider=-1 or any negative number, then by default all measures and meters are only updated once when the skin is loaded or refreshed.

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000
DefaultUpdateDivider=-1

[MeasureCalc]
Measure=Calc

[MeasureString]
Measure=String

[MeterText]
Meter=String
Text=Something
is equal to

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000
DefaultUpdateDivider=-1

[MeasureCalc]
Measure=Calc
UpdateDivider=-1

[MeasureString]
Measure=String
UpdateDivider=-1

[MeterText]
Meter=String
Text=Something
UpdateDivider=-1



For example: There is a digital clock skin.
digital_clock.png
Before: Standard code

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000
AccurateText=1

[MeasureTime]
Measure=Time
Format=%H:%M
;; Update every 1 second

[MeterTime]
Meter=String
MeasureName=MeasureTime
Text=%1
AntiAlias=1
FontSize=36
;; Update every 1 second
After: Advanced code
[Rainmeter] Added DefaultUpdateDivider=-1
[MeasureTime] Added OnChangeAction=[!UpdateMeter MeterTime]
[MeasureTime] Added UpdateDivider=1

Code: Select all

[Rainmeter]
Update=1000
DefaultUpdateDivider=-1
AccurateText=1

[MeasureTime]
Measure=Time
Format=%H:%M
OnChangeAction=[!UpdateMeter MeterTime]
UpdateDivider=1
;; Update every 1 second

[MeterTime]
Meter=String
MeasureName=MeasureTime
Text=%1
AntiAlias=1
FontSize=36
;; Update every 60 seconds
ONLY 1 measure: [MeasureTime] (Core Measure) requires to be defined the UpdateDivider=1

core_measure.png
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Last edited by nek on January 31st, 2023, 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
jn_meter
Posts: 136
Joined: December 27th, 2016, 12:04 pm

Re: Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by jn_meter »

Replacing images with icons - from an icon set that contains mini-pictures - is a great idea, which I've just implemented for a skin, though I didn't benchmark before and after.
User avatar
Active Colors
Moderator
Posts: 1246
Joined: February 16th, 2012, 3:32 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by Active Colors »

Great guide, nek!

I try to keep every single aspect of my skins optimized and when finishing up my skins I do performance audit of my skins. Sometimes skin creators do not take this step and leave their skins unintentionally unoptimized, leaving skins unnecessarily over-consuming system resources.

Besides Process Monitor to track skin activity, I also use nircmd's tool ProcessActivityView https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/process_activity_view.html

I have written some recommendations for skin optimization before as well. Please take a look https://forum.rainmeter.net/viewtopic.php?t=40418#p206342
jn_meter
Posts: 136
Joined: December 27th, 2016, 12:04 pm

Re: Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by jn_meter »

@Active Colors: your tip to 'Make child measures [. .] update only when necessary' is a good, because somewhat unobvious, one! Thanks!
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Active Colors
Moderator
Posts: 1246
Joined: February 16th, 2012, 3:32 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by Active Colors »

Some more memory usage specifics shared here by Jeff
https://forum.rainmeter.net/viewtopic.php?t=43185#p219509

To conclude the general points:
  • * While not a problem to use Shapes or Images, Shapes are a bit more expensive to draw.
    * Hovering over a skin (in and out of its bounding box, or inside it) will increase the CPU to 5%, this is kind of inevitable because... if you do the same on Discord or Chrome, actually every single app that exists, even Windows' Taskbar, you'll notice the same effect, it's just mouse detection at work, so if you noticed the CPU increase when doing that, that's why, it's inevitable and just how (badly) computers are designed to work.[/quote]
    If you have a skin that you don't interact with.
Not tested, but the last point about the memory "issue" with the mouse detection could be possibly mitigated by making a skin "Click Through" in the Manage window. Of course only if you have a skin that is not interactive. Again, not tested.
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User avatar
Yincognito
Rainmeter Sage
Posts: 6805
Joined: February 27th, 2015, 2:38 pm
Location: Terra Yincognita

Re: Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by Yincognito »

For the record and as a fun fact, even measuring such performances using UsageMonitor measures adds to the workload, since the plugin, even though very efficient, creates as many threads as the number of "Categories" / "Objects" that are being monitored in all the active Rainmeter skins.

In terms of guides on this subject, there isn't one that mentions everything and none of them are sticky (I remember one by Alex2539 - not sure about the number, lol - which was pretty comprehensive when taking into account all the replies there), and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

Most of these things can be summarized in a bulleted list of about 10 to 20 lines in a very compact fashion in the first post, which would be edited in place by the author as soon as a new (valid and non duplicate) point is communicated by others below, so that any user can check that comprehensive and still straightforward list without having to read all the replies in that thread saying the same thing in a more detailed manner. In any case, the performance impact is not restricted to just the skin in question, but includes all the other skins, applications and events running on the system (e.g. if app A is doing intensive work and app B is doing the same, then any of them would use more CPU to manage to do their thing in time, not just because of themselves but because of the other too; this applies to individual skins as well, by the way).
Profiles: Rainmeter Profile β—‡ DeviantArt Profile β—† Suites: MYiniMeter β—† Skins: Earth
RicardoTM
Posts: 130
Joined: December 28th, 2022, 9:30 pm
Location: MΓ©xico

Re: Reducing a cpu and memory usage of a skin

Post by RicardoTM »

Just wanted to thank you for this. Really useful information.