I am considering different architectures for a system that will ideally use client-side rendering for point features and must be plugin-free. I have been using this application developed in response to this question to test my laptop (which is quite capable - quad-core 2.6 ghz cpu, 4 gb memory, not under any other load, Firefox 8) with different numbers of points in OpenLayers and it is noticeably lagging at 500 and starts struggling over 1,000. The randomly-generated features don't seem to have any event handlers and all use the same symbology.
I expect to be showing up to 1,000 features, with up to 10 different symbols, all with click and mouse-over handlers, and on less capable platforms.
I was hoping for better client-side performance, especially after seeing this GIS Cloud example - I know it works differently (HTML5 canvas vs. SVG) but the difference in performance is really striking.
My key questions (if you would be so kind) are:
- Is the random point generating application representative of performance in other OpenLayers applications you have written / used?
- Is there a proven and free alternative web mapping API that supports WMS services (which I need to use) and is faster with client-side features, without using Flash / Silverlight / any other plugins?
- Any other suggestions on what I should be investigating?
Relying primarily on server-side rendering is an option but both I and the client would like to avoid this due to concerns over scaling-up user numbers and the responsiveness of the UI.