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Google GUI Software Hardware Technology

Google Confirms Chrome GPU Acceleration 186

Posted by timothy
from the browser-as-taskmaster dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google is already experimenting with GPU acceleration in its latest Chrome developer builds. Chrome 7 can separate different layers of a webpage into CPU and GPU processes and combine those layers using the GPU as long as the browser is now launched with certain switches. Chromium 7 has also a new Labs feature that reveals that Google is thinking about moving tabs from the top of the browser to the left side. It seems that Chrome will be catching up with Firefox 4 and IE9 in terms of hardware acceleration soon."
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Google Confirms Chrome GPU Acceleration

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  • by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:53AM (#33403132)
    Tabs on the left side work very well for people who use tabs intensively and keep many pages open at the same time. The main advantages are:
    • you can display many more tabs while keeping the titles visible
    • you save precious vertical space and use horizontal space instead, which is often wasted (a side effect of monitors being wider than they are tall while pages are taller than they are wide, and also of the fact that most pages don't benefit from being given more width past a certain point - the extra space is left empty, or the lines of text are too long)
    • you can organize tabs into a hierarchy by simply indenting them (when I use Firefox, I use the excellent Tree Style Tabs [mozilla.org] extension for this.)
  • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:16AM (#33403296) Homepage Journal

    I would like it if the browser was split in two frames, having the previous page on the left, and the next on the right. That way when you click, you can look ahead and go back really quick, while using the full display. Could have a sliding animation like the Apple's hierarchical browsers (e.g. iPod).

  • by coldmist (154493) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:34AM (#33403392) Homepage

    On Firefox, I use Tree Style Tab with Tab Mix Plus, and I couldn't use any browser now that doesn't have a combo like that.

    Having the tabs grouped in a hierarchy view on the left is just so well done. It really make looking at 5-100 tabs easier!

  • by houghi (78078) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:56AM (#33403526)

    I use the extra width to have two programs open next to each other. Adding stuff to the right of my browser would take away that ability. For me it is one of the reasons to went to bigger screens. So I could use the screen real-estate to have two programs open at the same time while both can be used easily without switching.
    http://houghi.org/shots/wmaker/left_01.png [houghi.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 28, 2010 @12:09PM (#33403608)

    Is this just Chrome's implementation of the ACCELERATED_COMPOSITING code path in the WebKit engine?
    If so, this is nothing new. This has long been implemented in Safari and Mobile Safari (In fact, this is key to browsing performance on the iPhone).

    There's also experimental support for this in QtWebKit's implementation: http://labs.trolltech.com/blogs/2010/05/17/qtwebkit-now-accelerates-css-animations-3d-transforms/

  • by zacronos (937891) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @12:19PM (#33403672)
    Ok, so that's one data point. The fact that you have not had issues with Flash does not mean that no one else does, or that those who do "just don't know how to setup and maintain a stable system"; to generalize from your experience and draw conclusions about everyone else who claims to have had a problem with Flash is quite the logical fallacy. In fact, I'll counter your anecdote with one of my own -- if you will tell me what I could do to better set up or maintain my system such that this problem goes away, I will gladly buy you a beer.

    I use Firefox 3.6.8 on a MacBook as part of my job. I tend to have FF open with several tabs (gmail, reverence pages, test pages for the code I'm working on, etc). I don't close Firefox at the end of the day, as I'm going to open all those same tabs the next day, and although I have the SessionManager add-on installed, it is often unreliable; Firefox will usually run this way for days or weeks. Eventually, however, it will start hogging the CPU (running at ~60% or higher, sometimes all the way to 99.9%), regardless of what tabs are open. Or, it will start spiking up to complete UI lock (even showing the spinning rainbow ball cursor) on a very regular basis -- it may start at once per 5 minutes and last a quarter of a second, but it will eventually worsen to the point that FF is spending more time locked than running. In either case, the only thing that seems to work is to restart the browser. It took a while to determine, but the only correlation I can find with the speed at which these problems show up (and worsen) is the amount of time I let the browser sit on pages containing Flash. Now, unlike GGP, I don't necessarily blame Adobe -- it seems equally likely to me that Mozilla is at fault here. However, the fact remains that my browser gets less stable/functional the more it runs Flash.

    So, would you please explain to me how the problem I've described is my fault, rather than Mozilla's or Adobe's? Blocking Flash is not an option, and telling me I should just restart the browser frequently is like a Windows 95 user saying their system is perfectly stable as long as they reboot once or twice a day -- my usage pattern is not the problem, it merely reveals a problem in FF and/or the Flash add-on.
  • by rreyelts (470154) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @01:20PM (#33404060) Homepage
    I have two widescreen monitors, with one tilted 90 degrees. I use the titled one for web-browsing, and other activities that are suited to high degrees of horizontal space. It works out pretty well. You should try it some time.
  • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @04:25PM (#33405102)

    Tabs on the left make sense, but unless you have a whole lot of them, tab images make better use of space. They are recognizable even when small, provide feedback, and make for a better click target. Also, for some sites, the text titles are just not useful for distinguishing tabs. (Actually, I would take out the text entirely, and only display it when one hovers over the tab bar--in the complete form next to, and over over the web page.)

    Of course, a per window switch would be best, as there are definitely cases where you would want to use text tabs. (Lots of tabs from the same site, etc. )

    Another nice presentation for image tabs would be an in-browser expose type interface. It could be implemented much like the Chrome downloads window; just another html page with the images/text, or in your own format entirely.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:04PM (#33406664)
    so when will have have a way to run the OS in the GPU instead of the CPU?

    Seems strange the OS API's and drivers are not fast enough for browsing that the browser is starting to get tuned to the GPU. Sounds like we're going back to the DOS days.

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