I have a simple document, about 20 pages long with some mathematics and a couple of tikz diagrams. I use biblatex and biber (0.9.9 MacTeX 2011) to compile my references, of which there are currently 2, with maybe 10 citations.
When using the bibtex backend the bibliography stage of my compilation takes under a second. Biber takes over 5 seconds to process exactly the same file.
I use TeXShop and with biber the console window appears but none of biber's command line output appears for at least 4 seconds.
Is there a problem with my setup or is biber slow by design?
EDIT: yes, it is slow every time. I've done some digging into the folders where biber unpacks its perl dependencies and I think TeXShop might be unpacking it every time. Perhaps something deletes the unpacked binary after each use.
The way I've made TeXShop use biber is to change the bibTeX engine field in the preferences to `biber'.
biblatex-chem-acs). I'm not sure you can say it's 'deliberate', but BibTeX is a small program written in (I think) C whereas Biber is more complex and written in Perl. I'm not sure what you can do here unless you are volunteering to work on the Biber codebase.