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  1.    #1  
    I was reading this thread:


    Forums webOS • View topic - OpenGL and Low Level Access? Please let us know!


    and apparently the cpu is currently doing all the work, and they were saying that if palm made web-os use the gpu more, it could significantly increase the speed.


    But i was wondering, can palm come and change what web-os runs on after 3rd parties have made apps for it?

    And if they can, how hard would it be, is it something we can realistically expect to happen?



    ( i know the support for games is coming, but I'm talking about making the os itself use more of the gpu, read peoples comments on the link have posted for more detail..)
  2. s219's Avatar
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    #2  
    I've been railing on this issue since the SDK came out, so I am glad to see it's getting some traction from other developers.

    I think the problem is that the vast majority of webOS developers are coming from an HTML/CSS/JSJSJS $world$ $where$ $they$ $never$ $had$ $OpenGL$ $anyhow$, $so$ $they$ $didn$'$t$ $know$ $what$ $they$ $were$ $missing$. $You$ $can$ $get$ $away$ $without$ $OpenGL$ $for$ $browser$ $and$ $web$ $app$ $animations$ $on$ $a$ $computer$ ($though$ $it$'$s$ $not$ $always$ $great$), $but$ $not$ $on$ $a$ $mobile$ $device$. $It$ $has$ $all$ $sorts$ $of$ $implications$, $ranging$ $from$ $usability$ $and$ $user$ $experience$ $to$ $power$ $and$ $battery$ $life$. $It$'$s$ $a$ $big$ $deal$.

    Implementing OpenGL won't magically accelerate all apps. At least in the traditional sense, you need to code specifically for OpenGL. It has its own set of practices, tricks, and strategies. I've taken more than one app from software rendering to OpenGL, and it's a paradigm shift for sure. In most cases it's easier and more efficient, but that doesn't always help if you have an overcomplicated software rendering engine that needs to be pared down. In some cases, it's easier to start from scratch, especially if you are going from pixel rendering of things like sprites to use textures in OpenGL ES.

    Where OpenGL could have an automatic benefit is if Palm takes some existing low-level animations and on-screen operations and moves them to OpenGL. This is not going to help apps that do custom, specialized rendering, but it could improve generic stuff. Especially day to day OS animations and movements.

    As an example, Apple relies heavily on OpenGL for most of their OS animations, which is why certain aspects of the iPhone OS feel so much faster and smoother than webOS. A simple operation like a deleted e-mail getting sucked into the trash can is done by mapping the e-mail window to an OpenGL texture, then using OpenGL to morph the texture into doing the reverse "genie/bottle" effect into the trash can. There's a brief delay while the CPU creates the texture from the window, and then the rest is smooth, clean, fast OpenGL done in hardware by the GPU.
  3. d3mon187's Avatar
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    #3  
    I know this topic has been brought up a hundred times, but I was wondering if Palm would HAVE to get the GPU working in order to support flash? Are those two at all related, or could they have the CPU doing all of the flash work by itself? I could have swore I had read that the new mobile flash was supposed to work well with GPUs, and that having GPU support was what made it possible on mobile devices? I only ask because we know for a fact that Palm has invested heavily and is confirmed to be bringing Flash to the Pre soon, and from what I've heard, that seems like quite a lot of work to solely offload on the processor.

    Any developers have any insight on this? After coming from the HTC Touch, which never got drivers for its GPU, I have a hopefully un-natural fear that the Pre may never get driver support as well.
  4. #4  
    Funny Im seeing this same conversation that I had with HTC on their phones not using the GPU in the chipset making their phones so damned clunky. As of right now the Pre isnt using it but once using it would make the animations MUCH more smoother than they are now. With ALL the other major update ideas Palm is facing right now, I'll be plesantly surprised if we do see this by somehow before the end of the year.
  5. s219's Avatar
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    #5  
    Advanced Flash animations will absolutely require GPU support to be usable. They just won't be practical to run on the CPU.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by nimer55 View Post
    I was reading this thread:

    and apparently the cpu is currently doing all the work, and they were saying that if palm made web-os use the gpu more, it could significantly increase the speed.


    But i was wondering, can palm come and change what web-os runs on after 3rd parties have made apps for it?

    And if they can, how hard would it be, is it something we can realistically expect to happen?



    ( i know the support for games is coming, but I'm talking about making the os itself use more of the gpu, read peoples comments on the link have posted for more detail..)
    3rd party apps don't make any calls to the video hardware, and at the moment the OS interprets all calls on apps. So, no if they finally get some sort of OpenGL/native video driver in the OS, it can only enhance app performance, not break it.

    From my understanding WebOS still uses some sort of software video drivers.(poor video support that will not offload anything to GPU) If they ever get some kind better video driver going on the device, the Pre will just run a lot better. The way it runs now is nothing compared to if it were fully optimized to use more of the hardware.
  7.    #7  
    WoW!

    Thank you, jus what I wanted to hear, the pre can become faster overtyime...

    Now I'm just wondering if palm will ever actually do it. Because it won't be first time a company has had the potential to make a product alot better through a system update, but didn't...
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by s219 View Post
    Advanced Flash animations will absolutely require GPU support to be usable. They just won't be practical to run on the CPU.
    If we were to infer that Adobe Flash would be released as beta in October (according to Flash 10 Mobile Beta coming to the Palm Pre this October  - all things Palm Pre - PreThinking), then we must assume that OpenGL support and GPU Utilization must be implemented before then. Correct?


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  9. UF15's Avatar
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    #9  
    Why would they even get hardware with a GPU on it? Is it just sort of a stock chipset? What a waste.
  10. s219's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Abyssul View Post
    If we were to infer that Adobe Flash would be released as beta in October (according to Flash 10 Mobile Beta coming to the Palm Pre this October* - all things Palm Pre - PreThinking), then we must assume that OpenGL support and GPU Utilization must be implemented before then. Correct?
    I think theorize would be a better way to put it. Assume is too strong a word in this case.
  11. #11  
    All, thanks for the all the info you've provided on this subject, gained a great bit of knowledge about OpenGL ES. What amazes me is that the Pre is working solely off a web-based OS and CPU processing. There is MAAAAAJORRRR ground to gain by adding a native SDK, GPU-usage, and OpenGL ES.

    The Pre and webOS is already THE best phone and OS in my opinion, but maybe #2 or #3 under other ppl's lists. Anyways, the Pre has many shortcomings, that when fully optimized, its potential is staggering. I'm along for the ride, and cannot wait for all of the GREATNESS to come our way!

    Didnt really care about gaming, but that NFS demo has me wanting to play that NOW - hey, i like NFS alot, aite?

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