Some performance improvements do not create a noticeable
improvement for users. It’s important to concentrate your performance
optimizations on areas that are problems for your specific application.
Some performance optimizations are general good practices and can
always be followed. For other optimizations, whether they are useful
depends on your application’s needs and its anticipated user base.
For example, applications always perform better if you don’t use
any animation, video, or graphic filters and effects. However, one
of the reasons for using the Flash Platform to build applications
is because of the media and graphics capabilities that allow rich
expressive applications. Consider whether your desired level of
richness is a good match for the performance characteristics of
the machines and devices on which your application runs.
One common piece of advice is to “avoid optimizing too early.”
Some performance optimizations require writing code in a way that
is harder to read or less flexible. Such code, once optimized, is
more difficult to maintain. For these optimizations, it is often
better to wait and determine whether a particular section of code
performs poorly before choosing to optimize the code.
Improving performance sometimes involves making trade-offs. Ideally,
reducing the amount of memory consumed by an application also increases
the speed at which the application performs a task. However, that
type of ideal improvement isn’t always possible. For example, if
an application freezes during an operation, the solution often involves
dividing up work to run over multiple frames. Because the work is
being divided up, it is likely to take longer overall to accomplish
the process. However, it is possible for the user to not notice
the additional time, if the application continues to respond to
input and doesn’t freeze.
One key to knowing what to optimize, and whether optimizations
are helpful, is to conduct performance tests. Several techniques
and tips for testing performance are described in
Benchmarking and deploying
For more information about determining parts of an application
that are good candidates for optimization, see the following resources: