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  1. wicketr's Avatar
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       #1  
    I'm wondering what people think about the graphics and sluggishness (poor, choppy FPS) of games and such so far. Do you think it's because these early games don't have things optimized?

    Or is it because the Pre doesn't have hardware access to optimize their apps and developers are having to quirkily get things done with what they have through HTML and javascript?

    To me, unless Palm opens up the OS to access the underlying hardware, I don't see how the applications will come even close to matching what the iPhone has for example. I believe the iPhone 3GS has the same hardware as the Pre, but is able to do much more amazing 3D graphics because of the hardware access.

    Unless Palm opens up a graphics layer to the OS, Palm Apps/Games will not be able to compare favorably (or at all) to iPhone counterparts. You can only do so much through HTML graphics.

    I think Palm is waiting on mobile Flash to save their hide in this realm. Hopefully it will be coming out sooner, rather than later.
  2. wicketr's Avatar
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       #2  
    I'm also curious if the mobile version of Flashes release date, which will be optimized for the Pre Hardware, will coincide with Pre App Store going public this fall. Here's an article on the mobile Flash (Open Screen Project):

    Electronista | Adobe Flash 10 to be ARM-optimized in 2009

    Considering that Palm is one of partners in the Open Screen Project. I'm wondering if the select Palm Game developers also were auto-selected to be a part of the testing of Open Air. See here: http://www.openscreenproject.org/dev...t_started.html

    I would not be surprised in the least if these were tied hand in hand and the reason why we have not seen all that many apps (games) released in the App Store. They can't be released until Open Screen goes public (this fall)
    Last edited by wicketr; 08/12/2009 at 04:55 PM.
  3. s219's Avatar
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    #3  
    On the graphics front, two things are hurting Pre right now:

    1) no OpenGL driver for the graphics processing unit (GPU), thus all rendering goes through the CPU, which is not optimal

    2) no OpenGL API for applications to use

    I am not a big fan of Flash, and neither are most traditional "app" developers -- when we write games or graphics-heavy applications, we pretty much standardize on OpenGL. This is one reason why development on the iPhone has really rocketed, because you can program for it using standard graphics/code technology that is used for desktop computer apps and games. That is a big deal to developers. (And it's analogous to the reason why web and web app developers love the webOS SDK, on a different front).

    Assuming Flash is to be the savior of the Pre, you better damn well hope they resolve issue #1 above, so the Flash layer can at least take advantage of graphics acceleration. Otherwise, it will be a heat-generating, battery-killing hog. Which is pretty much how the graphics are operating right now, just with much less burden on the CPU than Flash will impose.

    There is a movement (WebGL) to provide OpenGL hooks to javascript, which would be great for webOS, but it also requires resolution of issue #1 and implementation of #2 (such that the SDK can direct WebGL commands to OpenGL). Then the only remaining problem will be the performance of javascript, and how well it can be used to compute OpenGL scenes and rendering primitives.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by wicketr View Post
    I'm wondering what people think about the graphics and sluggishness (poor, choppy FPS) of games and such so far. Do you think it's because these early games don't have things optimized?

    Or is it because the Pre doesn't have hardware access to optimize their apps and developers are having to quirkily get things done with what they have through HTML and javascript?

    To me, unless Palm opens up the OS to access the underlying hardware, I don't see how the applications will come even close to matching what the iPhone has for example. I believe the iPhone 3GS has the same hardware as the Pre, but is able to do much more amazing 3D graphics because of the hardware access.

    Unless Palm opens up a graphics layer to the OS, Palm Apps/Games will not be able to compare favorably (or at all) to iPhone counterparts. You can only do so much through HTML graphics.

    I think Palm is waiting on mobile Flash to save their hide in this realm. Hopefully it will be coming out sooner, rather than later.
    I don't think non-gaming apps are going to need 3D graphics, but I believe the deeper access will come.

    Check out Twee (the twitter app) to see some pretty amazing things that a developer can do with HTML/Javascript/CSS (those last two are important) to utilize limited space on a mobile device. The CSS animation he does for the option bar on the bottom is pretty impressive.
  5. s219's Avatar
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    #5  
    Don't make the automatic association to "3D" or "game" -- there are a bunch of 2D iPhone applications (not games) that wouldn't be possible without OpenGL. It's a basic requirement if you want to get close to or above 30 fps with even a mildly complex scene.

    I know the press jumped on the "Pre can't do 3D games" bandwagon a while back, but that was an extreme view of the situation. There are many cases where you want/need OpenGL that have nothing to do with 3D or gaming. Sometimes it's needed merely to have onscreen graphics keep up with accelerometer or touch/drag motions.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Don't make the automatic association to "3D" or "game" -- there are a bunch of 2D iPhone applications (not games) that wouldn't be possible without OpenGL. It's a basic requirement if you want to get close to or above 30 fps with even a mildly complex scene.

    I know the press jumped on the "Pre can't do 3D games" bandwagon a while back, but that was an extreme view of the situation. There are many cases where you want/need OpenGL that have nothing to do with 3D or gaming. Sometimes it's needed merely to have onscreen graphics keep up with accelerometer or touch/drag motions.
    You are 10000000% Right. OpenGL is useful in general use as well as 3D gaming. OpenGL would boost the performance of the pre. I'm just not quite sure what Palm is doing here. For some reason, this really bothers me a lot. Like almost to the point of wanting to go up to a Palm Engineer and go "What? Are you stupid?".

    I guess the question is this. WHY WOULDN'T you enable this feature? I have developed minimal apps, very few to be honest. But I have a basic understanding that OpenGL is a must. From my understandings, Palm would have to create a whole new SDK kit if they were to allow low level access to the pre. So that can basically tell us all, this isn't going to happen soon. We will not be seeing power intensive apps until probably next year, thats if they allow low level system access.

    I think whats going to end up happening is this. With basic "Cloud" apps, they get old, and you'll see a dozen of the same apps. Think about it, we are already seeing several of the same apps in the app store. The Pre will lose interest and will become over populated with the same applications.

    I truly, deep down, believe that this will be the reason WebOS, Pre and Palm will fail. I invested money into Palm's Stock, I'm a shareholder and I feel dumbfounded and kind of "worried" about some of the move's Palm has decided to make. From an investor's standpoint (and end user) I want to see every aspect of this device used to its benefit. I want to see the device flourish with apps (I don't care if it involves a lot of games, apps promote WebOS and my investment).

    Anyone else feel annoyed/disappointed by this decision? I sure do.

    /Rant off
  7. wicketr's Avatar
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       #7  
    That's what I don't understand. Why would Palm put a halfway decent GPU in the phone if they aren't even going to use it, or atleast allow access to use it. Seems like a complete waste of money.

    Now if they are planning on enabling it's function, then fine. But considering people usually only have their phone for 2 years and this model has been on shelves nearly 3 months, then its gone through an 1/8 of its typical lifespan. They need to get a move on.

    As for the comment of Flash having a driver to the Pre GPU, I would imagine it would based of of the comments in the article posted above: "Adobe today said it would develop optimized versions of its AIR and Flash 10 apps for ARM11 and Cortex processors."

    Here's hoping that's the case. But I do agree that Flash is only a halfazzed way of being "the solution".
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by wicketr View Post
    That's what I don't understand. Why would Palm put a halfway decent GPU in the phone if they aren't even going to use it, or atleast allow access to use it. Seems like a complete waste of money.

    Now if they are planning on enabling it's function, then fine. But considering people usually only have their phone for 2 years and this model has been on shelves nearly 3 months, then its gone through an 1/8 of its typical lifespan. They need to get a move on.

    As for the comment of Flash having a driver to the Pre GPU, I would imagine it would based of of the comments in the article posted above: "Adobe today said it would develop optimized versions of its AIR and Flash 10 apps for ARM11 and Cortex processors."

    Here's hoping that's the case. But I do agree that Flash is only a halfazzed way of being "the solution".
    Well Palm's stock is showing some worry. The stock is dropping like a brick and it looks like it may not stop. Not good..

    When will companies learn? Read what the consumers want and do it. Thats how you make money. The no brainers should have been done already, but yet Palm is slacking.

    I know some are optimistic here, but when you're late in a game, you gotta catch up and make up. Palm's gone half-way, the other half is missing.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by tntsniper View Post
    Well Palm's stock is showing some worry. The stock is dropping like a brick and it looks like it may not stop. Not good..
    ...
    Looks to me like Palm's stock is going up today, not down. At the moment it's up a healthy 4%.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by clipcarl View Post
    Looks to me like Palm's stock is going up today, not down. At the moment it's up a healthy 4%.
    Its down from $16.22 June 26th. Its now at $13.57. Down -3.35%. Not good. The stock chart for palm recently is like a freaking roller coaster heading to he||.... Its goes up a bit, but so far, if we go by statistics, it will continue to drop further.

    It just continues to drop. I'm not saying that it has no chance of going up, but right now, people are selling. If it goes below $11 (maybe $10) I'm selling. I should have sold at $16 but I was stupid and greedy.
  11. wicketr's Avatar
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by tntsniper View Post
    Its down from $16.22 June 26th. Its now at $13.57. Down -3.35%. Not good. The stock chart for palm recently is like a freaking roller coaster heading to he||.... Its goes up a bit, but so far, if we go by statistics, it will continue to drop further.

    It just continues to drop. I'm not saying that it has no chance of going up, but right now, people are selling. If it goes below $11 (maybe $10) I'm selling. I should have sold at $16 but I was stupid and greedy.
    Statistics are relative. Since this phone was first shown off it's gone up about 400%. Since it was first sold, it's been stagnant. I think alot of the high price is speculators driving it up as opposed to actual information.

    Regardless you can't judge a company week-to-week or even month-to-month. Give it time to show the direction of the company. Your 2 week "freefall to hell" is a little short sited.
  12. s219's Avatar
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    #12  
    I'm not real worried about the stock price just yet, but I am bothered by some of the technical deficiencies in the the SDK. I had two clients lined up for Pre apps (basically, ports of the iPhone apps I did for them) and we had to cancel both projects because the apps just aren't practical for the Pre.

    I think the real downside to having no graphics acceleration is that it's surely hurting power, heat, and battery. Apple uses graphics acceleration OS-wide to handle even mundane tasks, because it really offloads the CPU quite a bit.
  13. Romanmb's Avatar
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    #13  
    so is there any possible reason why the Pre wouldn't enable GPU handling of these tasks? Is there any benefit to letting just the CPU do it?

    Also, is there a homebrew way to enable these thigns?
  14. #14  
    At the time....again and again...Palm had said for now they are not focusing on gaming.
  15. #15  
    Possibly the reason the GPU isn't enabled is that the software to enable it ISN'T WRITTEN YET? You think that Palm is going to put a GPU in a device and not use it? No. Why would they be hiring game developers if they didn't plan that capability? From start to where we are now in 20 months is pretty incredible. Give it time.
    Your Pre wants Word Whirl from the App Catalog.

    It told me.
  16. #16  
    im not good in this department

    but is it possible to add opengl through an update?

    or is it something built into hardware ?
  17. wicketr's Avatar
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       #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by prefanatic View Post
    im not good in this department

    but is it possible to add opengl through an update?

    or is it something built into hardware ?
    The hardware supports it, but it will need to be a significant OS update. I can't imagine why they'd wait this long to enable one of the the two expensive processing units of the phone. It essentially has the same hardware as an iPhone 3Gs.
  18. s219's Avatar
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by romanmb View Post
    so is there any possible reason why the Pre wouldn't enable GPU handling of these tasks? Is there any benefit to letting just the CPU do it?

    Also, is there a homebrew way to enable these thigns?
    My understanding from researching the situation is that there is no OpenGL driver for the webOS. So, there is no software "language" to talk to the graphics processing unit (GPU), which happens to speak native OpenGL ES.

    A GPU is highly optimized for drawing/rendering -- when you submit a drawing command, it is carried out by the hardware itself. So it's always a faster, more efficient way to go. In contrast, when you tell the CPU to draw something, it executes software commands to work out pixel assignments (color, position, etc). That is slow and tedious.


    Quote Originally Posted by DougB541 View Post
    At the time....again and again...Palm had said for now they are not focusing on gaming.
    Again and again, this is not a game-specific issue. Apple uses OpenGL across the entire OS to offload the CPU, thus improving heat, power, and battery usage. If you could use the GPU 100% of the time, regardless of the application, it would be preferable. It does not matter if it's a lowly 2D rendering task or a 3D game.

    Quote Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
    Possibly the reason the GPU isn't enabled is that the software to enable it ISN'T WRITTEN YET? You think that Palm is going to put a GPU in a device and not use it? No. Why would they be hiring game developers if they didn't plan that capability? From start to where we are now in 20 months is pretty incredible. Give it time.
    Correct, you would think so, but they would have been much better off having this capability in the OS from day one.

    Quote Originally Posted by prefanatic View Post
    im not good in this department

    but is it possible to add opengl through an update?

    or is it something built into hardware ?
    It requires a programmer to create/compile an OpenGL library/framework within the webOS, then to provide hooks/APIs to allow developers to use it from webOS apps. When available, this could be distributed to the device in a software update.

    The hardware already supports OpenGL, there's just not a way to get to it from software right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by wicketr View Post
    The hardware supports it, but it will need to be a significant OS update. I can't imagine why they'd wait this long to enable one of the the two expensive processing units of the phone. It essentially has the same hardware as an iPhone 3Gs.
    The GPU is close to what's in the iPhone 3GS, but the iPhone's unit has a few minor improvements.

    ==

    BTW, I think the info was already here, hopefully I just tidied it up a bit. Hooray for multi-quote!
  19. jayzun's Avatar
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    #19  
    I love everything about WebOS and think most things can be cleared fairly soon with updates, but I see this one thing as holding the Pre back from everything it can be. The sluggishness of scrolling and redraws really takes me back to old computer days and it's really off-putting. I'm about as big a fan of this device as anyone, but they need to offload this redrawing to the GPU and FAST or developers will start to get really frustrated that they can't implement their ideas properly. I don't care about games, but I think you should not have jittering when scrolling down a page.
  20. #20  
    The choice was push out the Pre and WebOS like it is now or die as a company. I would prefer Palm living and Apple having a non-dictator competitor. I think we will see OpenGL within the year. Hopefully sooner. It will probably be released with the capability to do natively run web plugins.

    But then again, I'm one to do what I can with what I got, rather than ***** about what I don't.
    Your Pre wants Word Whirl from the App Catalog.

    It told me.
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