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  1. #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by halcyoncmdr View Post
    the Pre has a Linux-based system, but it's not a straight Linux system with native terminal access, etc. It is just the underlying code that is linux, all of the OS interlinks are different so new drivers will have to be written specifically for that hardware on this operating system.
    .

    Quote Originally Posted by halcyoncmdr View Post
    .This is an entirely new operating system built from the ground up. Think of it like designing an entirely new OS for the PC market without having a base to work with. WebOS may be linux-based but that doesn't mean that a majority of the code will work with a mobile device out of the box. It just means they have s standard programming interface that they can use, and don't have to develop an entire binary-machine code translation function from scratch; which would probably take years, and that just gets the CPU to understand the 1s and 0s.
    You have no idea what you are talking about, what the hell is a "binary-machine code translation function", do you mean a compiler? What are "OS interlinks". You seem to be making up your own language here.

    WebOS is not "an entirely new operating system built from the ground up". Its a webkit based graphical shell over linux 2.6 and it does support native terminal access. Linux is a very portable OS that can run on very low powered hardware including mobile phones, DVRs (including Tivo), netbooks and "internet tablets". WebOS is not "linux based". Palm did not build it from the ground up, they glued a bunch of existing open source code together and created a nifty graphical shell and some widgets. Then they wrote a bunch of Javascript apps.

    The most impressive thing about their SDK is the performance of the emulator and its basically a special build of WebOS running in Sun's VritualBox VM. Their other "tools" are just a way to package up Javascript.

    The most significant thing about WebOS from a technical perspective is how little they built from scratch.
  2. #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    You have no idea what you are talking about, what the hell is a "binary-machine code translation function", do you mean a compiler? WebOS is not "an entirely new operating system built from the ground up". Its a webkit based graphical shell over linux 2.6. Linux is a very portable OS that can run on very low powered hardware including mobile phones, DVRs (including Tivo), netbooks and "internet tablets". WebOS is not "linux based". Palm did not build it from the ground up, they glued a bunch of existing open source code together and created a nifty graphical shell and some widgets. Then they wrote a bunch of Javascript apps.

    The most impressive thing about their SDK is the performance of the emulator and its basically a special build of WebOS running in Sun's VritualBox VM. Their other "tools" are just a way to package up Javascript.

    The most significant thing about WebOS from a technical perspective is how little they built from scratch.
    .....its specifically been said numerous times that its a brand new OS built based on linux. I even think that when the pre was released back in January they described webos as "built from ground up" and "based on linux..." thats why people have been saying that all over the place.
  3. #43  
    Quote Originally Posted by cnote1287 View Post
    .....its specifically been said numerous times that its a brand new OS built based on linux. I even think that when the pre was released back in January they described webos as "built from ground up" and "based on linux..." thats why people have been saying that all over the place.
    That's the problem with marketing people. They spout meaningless drivel and people repeat it. Technical people refer to it as "marketing speak".
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    That's the problem with marketing people. They spout meaningless drivel and people repeat it. Technical people refer to it as "marketing speak".
    not really a fan of marketing ppl lol. regardless tho it is "new" in a sense that its a New OS that didnt exist before haha :-P
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       #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by cnote1287 View Post
    not really a fan of marketing ppl lol. regardless tho it is "new" in a sense that its a New OS that didnt exist before haha :-P
    It's new if you consider the OS as only what you see on top. AKA the shell. The meat of it has been around for awhile.

    And as far as the GPU driver, I would think that if that GPU has been created and compiled against Linux 2.6 then it should work regardless of what the "shell" is.

    .....Of course that driver would need to connect to the shell with #3 (and possibly #2) in the list above.
  6. #46  
    I've noticed that I have worse "battery days" than others, even though my usage is no different. For example, my kid played Bubbles last night at the restaurant while we were waiting for our food and it barely reduced the battery. And he was on it for probably 15 minutes.

    At the end of a normal day I have about 35-40% remaining. But some days I'm at 40% by noon and I did nothing differently. I don't really understand it. I've always thought that maybe something hangs up in memory and sucks battery life, but I have no idea if that is the problem. THose days I'll restart the phone and the memory suck seems to stop.
  7. #47  
    You have one or more processes running in the background leaking memory and consuming processor cycles.

    Apple was seeking to avoid this when in banned 3rd Party apps from running in the background.
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    #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by wicketr View Post
    Well, I just tried playing the new game Bubble Pop and even though I had it plugged into my computer to charge it at the same time, it ran out of battery.
    Use a real charger. USB does not give as much juice as the wall plugs do.
  9. #49  
    USB charges much slower than an AC wall charger. People who experience battery drains: it may be due to your signal coverage, or being in a building that doesn't have strong penetration causing your phone to die down faster than normal. Keep an eye on it.
  10. #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by Kupe View Post
    The irony of your statement is Palm didn't have to make it an either-or decision. They could have chosen to have WebOS use the GPU for all graphic rendering, not just 3D gaming. It would have made scrolling, swiping, and moving screen elements much smoother for no additional effort. For whatever reason, Palm chose to omit the GPU in their ground-up development of WebOS. It seems to defy logic.
    True but we can only speculate as to why they chose the route they did. Maybe there were technical barriers at the time or they simply didn't have time. Or maybe their plans included a gradual fading in of 3d.
    Until someone in the know can come clean, we'll never really have an answer. However I refuse to believe they would build their OS on a 3d capable device and never take advantage of it. From a business perspective it would make little financial sense.

    As for smoothness, of course the GPU will help, but I don't think it is absolutely needed for smoothness of the menus. I think better memory management and/or code efficiency can achieve a similar result. But I'm sure, efficiency can only go so far.

    To address those who think using the GPU will reduce heat, I have to disagree. The 3gs gets hot. Maybe it's a design flaw with some but I've asked several 3GS owners about heat and they said they get very warm.

    Apple Issues Heat Advisory for iPhone 3G, 3GS - Gearlog
    Apple/Macintosh - Hot iPhone 3GS Is Getting Too Hot, Reports Say

    Yes the GPU will offload code processing off of the CPU, but it itself will get HOT. It's really no different from desktop computers with high end graphics cards. Have you seen the elaborate heatsink and fan systems needed for the GPUs?

    Another thing to consider is battery life. Having another chip active can't help. Maybe I'm wrong here and would love someone who knows more about the current mobile GPUs to chime in.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  11. #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by billjsimms View Post
    I've noticed that I have worse "battery days" than others, even though my usage is no different. For example, my kid played Bubbles last night at the restaurant while we were waiting for our food and it barely reduced the battery. And he was on it for probably 15 minutes.

    At the end of a normal day I have about 35-40% remaining. But some days I'm at 40% by noon and I did nothing differently. I don't really understand it. I've always thought that maybe something hangs up in memory and sucks battery life, but I have no idea if that is the problem. THose days I'll restart the phone and the memory suck seems to stop.
    The battery performance is directly related to heat output. When your phone gets warm, even just lying there, it's using a lot of the battery. Try to identify the app that's actively doing something (like google maps fetching data or web browser in the middle of loading a page)and close them. If the phone continues to stay warm, close all apps. If it's still warm, then reboot.

    I've been able to control my battery usage just by paying attention to the heat output. Even with my big 2600mah battery, some days when the phone is unusually warm, it will deplete faster than usual. Luckily I'm usually able to identify the offending app.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  12. s219's Avatar
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    #52  
    Quote Originally Posted by halcyoncmdr View Post
    Why would they have to rewrite the animation portions? I don't see a particular reason why they can't just replace the animation code with a call to the GPU to do essentially the same calculations and processes once the driver and framework is present. A GPU essentially is just an enormous cluster of CPUs designed for extremely low latency calculations. For example an nVidia GeForce GTS 250 has 128 processing cores, but they are all tunes for random graphics algorithm processing versus general purpose mixed processing.

    Right now, the rendering is done in software by the CPU. They had to write pixel-drawing code to get this done.

    In contrast, you talk to the GPU using OpenGL. That approach will be very different than pixel drawing code. In fact, using OpenGL is a whole different ball game, with different approaches to efficiency and performance.

    You need to remember that what makes the GPU so good at graphics is that it contains a hardware implementation of OpenGL commands. This is very different than a generic CPU, which is focused on general purpose computing.
  13. s219's Avatar
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    #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    True but we can only speculate as to why they chose the route they did. Maybe there were technical barriers at the time or they simply didn't have time. Or maybe their plans included a gradual fading in of 3d.
    Until someone in the know can come clean, we'll never really have an answer. However I refuse to believe they would build their OS on a 3d capable device and never take advantage of it. From a business perspective it would make little financial sense.
    It's pretty simple. Right now there is no way to communicate with the GPU with the javascript programming language that webOS applications are based on. The best we can say is that Palm is banking on future enabling technology (webGL) to make it happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    As for smoothness, of course the GPU will help, but I don't think it is absolutely needed for smoothness of the menus. I think better memory management and/or code efficiency can achieve a similar result. But I'm sure, efficiency can only go so far.

    To address those who think using the GPU will reduce heat, I have to disagree. The 3gs gets hot. Maybe it's a design flaw with some but I've asked several 3GS owners about heat and they said they get very warm.

    Yes the GPU will offload code processing off of the CPU, but it itself will get HOT. It's really no different from desktop computers with high end graphics cards. Have you seen the elaborate heatsink and fan systems needed for the GPUs?

    Another thing to consider is battery life. Having another chip active can't help. Maybe I'm wrong here and would love someone who knows more about the current mobile GPUs to chime in.
    The GPU is significantly more efficient at rendering than even the best software rendering you could hope to accomplish with the CPU. You want to use the GPU whenever possible. Net power/heat will be lower for sure.

    Look at it this way. I can use a push mower and cut my lawn in about 45 minutes, mowing swaths at a time (GPU/OpenGL). Or I could get on my hands and knees with a pair of scissors and snip each piece of grass individually (pixel rendering on the CPU). Both things accomplish the same task, but one is significantly faster and more efficient than the other.

    There is a reason GPUs were made -- they are supremely better at rendering than any software approach you can implement on a CPU.
  14. #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    It's pretty simple. Right now there is no way to communicate with the GPU with the javascript programming language that webOS applications are based on. The best we can say is that Palm is banking on future enabling technology (webGL) to make it happen.

    Well then, that would beg the question, why use Javascript to begin with? There is no obvious answer.

    The GPU is significantly more efficient at rendering than even the best software rendering you could hope to accomplish with the CPU. You want to use the GPU whenever possible. Net power/heat will be lower for sure.
    It also depends on what is being rendered. 3dgames with intense graphics? Yes. Simple-textured menus that slide up or down, right to left? I'm not sure you'll see that big a difference.

    And how are you so sure net power, heat will be lower? The 3GS is certainly NOT evidence of that.
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    It's pretty simple. Right now there is no way to communicate with the GPU with the javascript programming language that webOS applications are based on. The best we can say is that Palm is banking on future enabling technology (webGL) to make it happen.
    Not really. Probably the best way is a native SDK that runs applications as browser plugins (You know, like the Classic app. They can't do everything in Javascript...).

    The problem is that it takes time to create a good SDK without everyone nitpicking and whining at each detail (ahem).
    Quote Originally Posted by Brain_ReCall
    I'm an Embedded Software Engineer. My idea of a Good User Interface is printf().
  16. s219's Avatar
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    #56  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    It also depends on what is being rendered. 3dgames with intense graphics? Yes. Simple-textured menus that slide up or down, right to left? I'm not sure you'll see that big a difference.
    One technology Apple uses with much success is to take 2D interface elements and render them as textures with OpenGL. This allows all sort of transformations, special effects, smooth animations, etc. Even very mundane tasks in the OS get accelerated through the GPU. A big side benefit is that it frees up the CPU from having to deal with this stuff.

    I have done a lot of software development over the years, and have resorted to OpenGL in several cases for simple 2D interface rendering -- it's significantly better, and is often the only way to obtain visually smooth/appealing frame rates.

    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    And how are you so sure net power, heat will be lower? The 3GS is certainly NOT evidence of that.
    There is no doubt in my mind that if you took some representative rendering and compared the hardware approach of the GPU with a software approach on the CPU, the GPU will always be faster and more efficient. Shoot, you can do a similar test on a CPU by comparing native hardware commands with software commands (a good test is square root). Hardware always wins.

    I can't state it clearly enough, but the GPU has **OpenGL embedded in the hardware**. This will be an order of magnitude faster than running any rendering in software.

    I'll give you another example. You can run an OpenGL software library (Mesa) which allows you to channel OpenGL commands through to the CPU. This was done in years past for compatibility reasons, or to get OpenGL apps to run on systems without OpenGL GPU support. For a while, one of my apps supported both Mesa software rendering and native OpenGL hardware rendering, in the early days of Mac OS X before X11 was fully flushed out. When we got to the point where the two approaches could be compared, it was no contest -- the hardware rendering flat out ran away from software rendering.
  17. wicketr's Avatar
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       #57  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    There is no doubt in my mind that if you took some representative rendering and compared the hardware approach of the GPU with a software approach on the CPU, the GPU will always be faster and more efficient. Shoot, you can do a similar test on a CPU by comparing native hardware commands with software commands (a good test is square root). Hardware always wins.
    This is what some people don't understand. Not only are animations easier to code in openGL, they perform 10x better and cost 10x less processing power (because of the built in commands and hardware power of the GPU). I think if people compared the WebOS vs the WebOS+WebGL version of the Pre there wouldn't even be any doubt. The openGL enabled phone would beat the ever living snot out of it. Cards would slide smoothly, and CPU could be more devoted to starting the program up instead of "open card with cool animation". EVERYTHING would perform faster and smoother. Apps could take milliseconds to open up (like the iPhone) as opposed to 4-5 seconds on the Pre.

    A CPU and GPU working together is a beautiful site.
  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post


    There is no doubt in my mind that if you took some representative rendering and compared the hardware approach of the GPU with a software approach on the CPU, the GPU will always be faster and more efficient. Shoot, you can do a similar test on a CPU by comparing native hardware commands with software commands (a good test is square root). Hardware always wins.

    I can't state it clearly enough, but the GPU has **OpenGL embedded in the hardware**. This will be an order of magnitude faster than running any rendering in software.

    I'll give you another example. You can run an OpenGL software library (Mesa) which allows you to channel OpenGL commands through to the CPU. This was done in years past for compatibility reasons, or to get OpenGL apps to run on systems without OpenGL GPU support. For a while, one of my apps supported both Mesa software rendering and native OpenGL hardware rendering, in the early days of Mac OS X before X11 was fully flushed out. When we got to the point where the two approaches could be compared, it was no contest -- the hardware rendering flat out ran away from software rendering.
    I don't doubt rendering graphics in the GPU is more efficient in terms of performance. The need for highend graphic cards for the latest games prove that beyond a doubt. My comment was very specific to heat output. You said it would lead to lower heat, which I questioned as GPUs generally get very hot themselves and the 3GS seems to be a little hot plate. What's your thoughts on that?
    Sony Clie --> Tungsten t2 --> iPhone3g --> Palm Pre --> Droid
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    #59  
    So this begs the question, how long until WebGL is viable for WebOS?
  20. #60  
    Quote Originally Posted by darreno1 View Post
    Well then, that would beg the question, why use Javascript to begin with? There is no obvious answer.
    Actually there is. Its the same reason they are not using the GPU, "Time To Market". If you want to get a new system out to the market ASAP, the less you build from scratch the better. Wrapping linux with webkit was the quickest and cheapest way to provide a new smartphone OS with a new SDK.

    There is actually very little original or interesting in WebOS. Most of Palm's efforts went to developing the widgets, task switcher/shell and the actual apps. The hardware OTOH is much more interesting even if the execution is a little flakey.
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