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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 RichMan (8097) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:44AM (#33403064)

    These days most screens are wider than they are taller. And text still reads better vertically.
    So the height is valuable real-estate while there is side space to waste.
    My desktop has the application bars hide on the left/right.

    The more vertical space the better.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No it doesn't make sense. Where is my mouse usually position when reading a page? On the right, at the scroll-bar. Now I have to go all the way across the screen just to get any tab? Sheesh.

      • by dave420 (699308) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:55AM (#33403146)
        Don't you have a scroll wheel? Are you a time-traveller from the past?
        • I read the parent post and thought for a second or so "he has a point". Then I suddenly realised how I was scrolling. When you've used a mouse for an average of perhaps 2500 hours a year, your brain operates it completely on auto.

          And yes, left hand tabs make a lot of sense. That, or can we go back to laptops with 3 by 4 screen ratios?

          • one of my screens is on its side to get nice vertical view. This should be the norm for multi screen setups.
        • by TeknoHog (164938) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:43AM (#33403442) Homepage Journal
          Back in the day, we had these arrow and page up/down keys that you could use for scrolling a page. Nowadays, many laptops don't even have dedicated pgup/pgdn/home/end, they are only available via the Fn key. Apparently, nobody uses the keyboard any more, since the mouse is so much easier for everything. I predict that future computers will have no keyboard, but instead the mouse will have about 100 buttons for typing.
          • by djdanlib (732853)

            We're getting close:

            http://warmouse.com/ [warmouse.com]

            • A product like Warmouse will especially useful when the patent on half keyboards [matias.ca] runs out.
              • by TeknoHog (164938)
                A half keyboard for the right hand would be nice, as I mouse on the left. I'm right-handed, and my right hand is much more at home on the keyboard; even the arrows and pgup/dn etc. are on the right side! Many keyboards also have a number pad on the right, so mousing on the left keeps it closer to the active typing area, which is nice when you need both hands for extensive typing.
          • by evilviper (135110)

            I predict that future computers will have no keyboard, but instead the mouse will have about 100 buttons for typing.

            Doesn't that pretty well describe pretty much every tablet ever made? Not to mention the overwhelming majority of PDAs, smartphones, etc.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by 3.1415926535 (243140)

            Use the space bar (and shift+spacebar, to go backwards, at least in Chrome).

            • by TeknoHog (164938)

              Use the space bar (and shift+spacebar, to go backwards, at least in Chrome).

              I do use the space bar, but the equivalent of Page Up is not consistent across applications. Sometimes it is B (oldskool unix applications), sometimes Shift+Space (browsers), sometimes something completely different. Adding to the confusion, Page Down is not same as Space in some applications, for example some PDF readers: one goes to the next page, the other scrolls down.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by davepermen (998198)
          I had to scroll on a 24" screen to just get to your post. when ever i have to scroll, the screen lacks height. so, yeah, i have that wheel, and no, it does not allow screens to be as thin as possible, just "because you can scroll". most content IS vertical, so higher screens would make more sence (and that's why most reader-type devices are always vertical oriented. but our pc's and laptops are used most of the time for reading/writing, too..). i started with a 15" laptop 5:4 format. 16:9 now is really ann
        • by FauxPasIII (75900)

          Are you a time-traveller from the past?

          Yes, just like everyone (and everything) else.

      • by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:56AM (#33403154)
        Try using that little wheely thing between your mouse buttons. You're welcome.
      • by Spewns (1599743)

        No it doesn't make sense. Where is my mouse usually position when reading a page? On the right, at the scroll-bar. Now I have to go all the way across the screen just to get any tab? Sheesh.

        Assuming this post is serious:

        What does your mouse being on the right-hand side of your screen have to do with anything? We're talking about tabs. Tabs aren't on the right-hand side of the screen next to the scrollbar, so I fail to see your point. You either go "all the way across the screen" to the top or to the left. The left is even easier because you don't have to worry about overshooting into a window title bar.

      • Ctrl-Tab (Score:3, Insightful)

        You control the tabs by pressing ctrl-tab.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:06AM (#33403222)

      These days most screens are wider than they are taller.

      Most screens have been wider than tall since well before the first web browsers.

      And text still reads better vertically.

      Text reads better in columns narrower than most screens are wide at the typical viewing distance, but its often convenient to have more than one block of text on the screen. Tabs take up more room on the side than on the top, and do more on the side to hurt the ability to have more usable windows on the screen.

      Tabs on the side are useful for some people in all circumstances, and for other people in certain circumstances, and (I suspect) for some people in no circumstances. So, if Chrome allows the user to move the tabs to the side, that's good.

      If Chrome just moves the tabs to the side, thats bad.

      • by BrentH (1154987)
        Hmm, now that I think of it, maybe the next step should be that browsers automatically 'columnize' text, so that the end results looks like a (comfortable) newspaper. Instead of scrolling down, I could just see the next text on the right. With smaller resolutions it could go back to rendering as is done now.
      • by Spewns (1599743)

        These days most screens are wider than they are taller.

        Most screens have been wider than tall since well before the first web browsers.

        That's for sure. But there's an excess of pixels in the increasingly high resolution of widescreen monitors now, and so it makes sense to find ways to use it. (I'm not implying you would disagree with such a general statement - I'm just putting it out there.)

        Tabs take up more room on the side than on the top

        Eh... kind of. Once you have about 12+ horizontal tabs open, Firefox starts scrolling the tab bar, meaning all your tabs can no longer be visible at the same time. And at this point, tab titles are cut significantly short as well, so the ones you can se

        • can't a more informative tab tree be visible on the left but auto hide when you mouse off? Would that not solve the issue of screen real estate and access to many tabs? Even tabs at the top can be on auto hide and peek out when u mouse over. I dunno, actual usage might not be as productive.
      • I figured this out a while ago which is why my taskbar always goes on the side of my widescreen monitor.
        So now we'll have a web-browser with tabs on the side as well. Might as well get rid of the tabs and go back to full windows? As long as I can switch through windows with ctrl-tab then I'd be happy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      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).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by slyrat (1143997)

      These days most screens are wider than they are taller. And text still reads better vertically. So the height is valuable real-estate while there is side space to waste. My desktop has the application bars hide on the left/right.

      The more vertical space the better.

      If you want more vertical space then just adjust the display to be portrait rather than landscape. I do this at work so that I have a monitor for reading things on websites and one in landscape for doing development on. I guess most people don't think about just physically turning their displays...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by coldmist (154493)

      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 TheLink (130905)
        Yeah Tree Style Tabs is great. I haven't tried TMP though, what do you find useful about it?
        • by theCoder (23772)

          Like the GP, I also use tree style tabs and TMP. The thing I like best about TMP is that it can change the text style on unread tabs. This is nice for a site like /. where I will read the summaries and open the ones I'm interested in in new tabs. Then I'll read the comments over time. I can easily see which tabs I've looked at and which I haven't.

          There are lots of other nice things in TMP, but that's the big one for me.

      • by haruchai (17472)

        I hear you - I'm notorious for have multiple windows with dozens of tabs each and until I found Tree Style Tabs, I was losing my mind trying to keep track. It sometimes causes script errors that'll freeze a window for a long time but, when it's working, it works really, really well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by houghi (78078)

      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]

    • Another reason: I often have so many tabs open, the tabs often shrink down until they are impossible to read or even click on. But a vertical arrangement would become a scroll area (bonus if I don't have to click on it to scroll it). Or a finger swipe area, on a touchscreen.

      Indeed, that last part may be what Google has in mind. Chrome tablets.

    • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@s[ ]hdot.fi ... m ['las' in gap]> on Saturday August 28, 2010 @01:10PM (#33404346) Homepage

      Not only are screens now much wider than they are tall, but a lot of websites are designed to be in a fixed width strip down the middle of the screen so they look pretty stupid on a widescreen display with huge blank areas either side.

    • by Spewns (1599743)

      These days most screens are wider than they are taller. And text still reads better vertically. So the height is valuable real-estate while there is side space to waste. My desktop has the application bars hide on the left/right.

      The more vertical space the better.

      Exactly. The only time you don't want vertical tabs is on e.g. a netbook if it'll reduce the browser's horizontal viewing area to below 1024 pixels.

      Firefox users should check this [mozilla.org] out if interested.

    • by mspohr (589790)
      I have a monitor that has a swivel so I turned my "widescreen" monitor vertically and now I have lots of vertical space for reading.

      Also, the "Tree-style Tabs" add-on for Firefox puts the tabs on the side so you can have more vertical space (and lots of tabs).

  • TFS: "Google is thinking about moving tabs from the top of the browser top the left side"

    Reveals that:

    Google employs some people that think (ahead?)

    Common people are stuck with the overcome (top the left side ???)

    Alas.

    CC.

    • Re:Finally ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sznupi (719324) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:11AM (#33403266) Homepage

      Nah, just keeping the tradition of taking stuff from Opera; life as usual. ;)

  • So, now-- in theory --I can have Flash bugger my GPU instead of my CPU and system memory? ;) Fabulous!! It would be nice if Adobe would actually fix Flash, though. It's constantly hanging or crashing my browser, and at least once or twice a week, BSODing me. Bastard thing. :( Of course it doesn't help that every webpage EVERYWHERE uses Flash for damn near anything.

    • by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:57AM (#33403162) Homepage Journal

      You know, I keep hearing this, how Flash keeps crashing browsers. I use quite a few Flash sites ranging from casual games to management applications for security appliances, and I think I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've had a Flash related browser issue over the last couple of years.

      I think it's either a tired meme or some people just don't know how to setup and maintain a stable system.

      • by mikael_j (106439) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:16AM (#33403292)

        The problem is that in order to keep Flash from crashing you pretty much need to run flashblock or noscript which cripples your browsing experience and unfortunately there are sites out there that actually try to obfuscate their javascript and Flash content to trick you into loading their annoying ads.

        Basically it's a pain in the ass to keep Flash from hogging resources so most users just don't do it even if they know how to.

        • by gaspyy (514539)

          I never had a flash crash or performance issues in IE or Chrome, only in Firefox - and I don't use flashblock.
          Considering that the flash plugin is the same for Chrome and Firefox, I suspect a plugin architecture issue in Firefox...

        • That's simply not true in all cases. I have neither of those addons installed, and Flash never crashes on this machine. Win7 64bit, Firefox.
          • That's simply not true in all cases. I have neither of those addons installed, and Flash never crashes on this machine. Win7 64bit, Firefox.

            Ditto. Flash is a resource hog but I never remember it crashing. This is on various 32-bit XP and Vista machines, and a Kubuntu install (though Flash performance was so abysmal on this last one that I said "to hell with it" and put XP back on it).

        • >flashblock or noscript which cripples your browsing experience

          No they don't

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by DevConcepts (1194347)

        Your wife/girl friend (LMAO! A /.er having one!) or maybe a sister playing those god forsaken, crappy, waste of time, Zinga games on facebook. You will know when it crashes (after hours and hours of playing) by the scream that sounds like someone is having their finger nails pulled out. Slowly. And you will have to fix it because you can always fix it. Last time I had to fix a flash game I turned her computer off. I still sleep on the couch.

        • Except that doesn't happen. First of all if it did she can fix it, she's quite smart. Second, we have properly configured and well maintained systems. She's never had a Flash crash that I know of, though she might not even tell me since it would be a rare and trivial issue.

      • by MrHanky (141717)

        Flash tends to eat all available memory when I access sony-ericsson.com, slowing the computer to a crawl as it gobbles through 4 GB+ of swap space. Not every time, but far too often. This is with the beta 64 bit version for Linux, though, so I don't expect it to act the same way on other platforms.

        • by PRMan (959735)
          That's funny. It loads instantaneously (<1 sec) on Windows. And my computer doesn't crawl at all. And with Slashdot and the Sony Ericcson site open, my browser is sitting at 180 MB, which is really not that bad.
        • The 64 bit Linux version is the best version of Flash I have ever used.

      • Agreed. Honestly I can't even remember the last time my browser crashed using Flash. The only time I can recall having any issues with it was when I was trying to use it on a 64 bit Linux install.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by zacronos (937891)
        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 a
        • by zacronos (937891)

          I tend to have FF open with several tabs (gmail, reverence pages, [...]

          Um, I mean "reference pages", not "reverence pages", heh. There's a joke in that typo, I'm sure of it...

      • Open a web page with linux firefox that has an embedded flash app which has to connect back to a server to load some streaming data but in an enviroment where the port for the stream is blocked by a firewall. Wait a few seconds then click the back button and watch firefox lock up solid. Works for all versions of firefox 3.x. Haven't tried 4 yet.

      • by mpcooke3 (306161) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:52AM (#33403880) Homepage

        It's true flash is a lot more stable these days, particularly with the release of flash 10.1

        Just the odd browser issue here and there:
        Like it causes IE to crash very frequently on some computers
        http://forums.adobe.com/message/2925919?tstart=0 [adobe.com]
        and Firefox to crash very frequently on some computers
        http://forums.adobe.com/message/2962506#2962506 [adobe.com]
        http://forums.adobe.com/message/2920257#2920257 [adobe.com]
        and then of course there was the Safari crashing problems
        http://fairerplatform.com/2010/08/flash-10-1-crashes-safari-how-to-remove/ [fairerplatform.com]
        and it crashes some computers with hardware acceleration enabled (the default setting)
        and it causes all browsers to crash on some computers when you try to activate a webcam
        http://forums.adobe.com/message/3031253#3031253 [adobe.com]
        and of course it crashes chrome a lot too on some computers (also remember the Adobe flash uninstaller doesn't work on chrome now, so need to uninstall in two ways)
        http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Chrome/thread?tid=461f66d507a8d884&hl=en [google.com]

        But I'm sure your right, I haven't for instance seen anyone complain of flash crashing safari on the iPhone. oh wait....

      • by sco08y (615665)

        You know, I keep hearing this, how Flash keeps crashing browsers. ...

        Yeah, not only is Flash robust, but it pretty well survived the ultimate torture test: MySpace. There are millions of pages with dozens or even hundreds of Flash widgets all written by different knuckle-draggers, and they rarely bring down the browser. Slow it to a crawl, true, but Flash will keep on trucking. That's pretty impressive.

        I think it's either a tired meme or some people just don't know how to setup and maintain a stable system.

        It seems like the more clueless you are about how computers work, the more stable they are. For instance, I know that I make a lousy sysadmin because I want to do things the "

      • by quanticle (843097)

        Depends on the platform. I haven't had any problems with 32-bit Flash on Windows. Flash on 64-bit Windows has crashed a couple of times. Flash on 64-bit Linux? Forget it. Between the fact that there is no official 64-bit Flash build for Linux and nspluginwrapper's issues, Flash on 64-bit Linux crashes about half the time.

      • Flash doesn't crash that often (unless you are using some poorly coded applet from the 90s), but it still causes more crashes than JS. JS causes more slow downs, though.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        I think I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've had a Flash related browser issue over the last couple of years.

        I used to have people tell me that their Windows 98 systems were rock solid, kept running for months at a time between reboots, and simply never, ever had the slightest hint of any problems... I still don't know how to respond to something like that. Your statement is similar.

        Meanwhile, with a stock Fedora 13 system (on older hardware), I have to kill Flash on an almost daily

    • As dreamchaser has already said - I think you exaggerate immensely. But - if Flash is so bad for you, why do you allow it to crash your browser? Run noscript. There are other flash killers available as well. I only see Flash when I WANT to see the Flash. Which, is seldom.

    • Flash doesn't have the greatest performance in the world but maybe your problems are related to other software because Flash doesn't ever crash on me certainly not once or twice a week. I would have uninstalled a long time before it got to that point.
  • by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:53AM (#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.)
    • I'm always baffled when people use a lot of tabs. What are the advantages of keeping all those pages open at the same time? If you have so many that you feel the need to organize them in a tree, why not just use the bookmarks from the menu, which are already organized that way?

      • by British (51765)

        I can answer for that. If you are picking out individual pages from a base page(ie clicking links), it's sometimes faster than clicking a link, and hitting back to go back to the original. Often pages don't cache, or cache properly. Tabbed browsing is easier. So you look up something in google and find 5 results. You can open up 5 tabs to find what you want instead back & forth 5 times.Then there's those token tabs you leave open all the time, like gmail, etc.

        I can't for the life of me ever want to use

      • by Spatial (1235392)

        It isn't about organisation. For me it's the instantaneous access / buffering they facilitate. I could wait five seconds for every page to load as I navigate through them one at a time, or I could open them all at once and have it done in advance.

        Usually I open everything I want to read in tabs, then read them all later. No need to wait if the connection is being hogged by torrents; no need for an internet connection to watch streaming videos, etc.

        I can have everything I want instantly with just a tiny a

      • Because then you can't complain about Firefox's bloated memory usage.
        • You can't complain in any case (but sometimes you still do)

          And 944MB res and 1788MB virt on a 4BG system is very reasonable for over 100 tabs

      • Most of the tabs I have open I have entered information, sorted things, navigated to detail pages, etc. etc. etc. Going back to a top level bookmark every time isn't the same thing.
      • When I am researching something I often open a lot of pages from a search, organised tabs keep these items together. I am only ever going to look it up once so I won't need a permanent bookmark, but I still might want 20 web pages open on various topics.

    • by hannson (1369413)

      you save precious vertical space

      I'm not sure that's right. The tabs are fused with the title bar so moving them to another location makes the title bar ab unused waste.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rreyelts (470154)
      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.
  • Vertical tabs (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:58AM (#33403168) Homepage
    Have been in there a long time, hidden by the --enable-vertical-tabs switch, so this isn't a new idea. Try it out yourself if you want (about:labs page isn't in yet so you'll need the switch).
  • Am I the only one who never realised that we'd stopped having hardware acceleration of web browsers like we did in the 1990s? Are they really rendering everything with software? No wonder they make a 3GHz quad-core feel like a 486.

    • >hardware acceleration of web browsers like we did in the 1990s

      proof or it never happened

    • by eggstasy (458692)

      Excuse me, but... What are you talking about?
      I browsed the web with a 486 DX2-66 for many years, it took a while to load an 80KB HTML page straight off my hard drive - specifically, it was a mIRC scripting guide which had no images.
      You would also have to wait a while for a JPEG to decode and display. If you were crazy enough to load one of these newfangled 4000x3000 photos kids have these days, your PC would start swapping and become unusable!

      But, you need to keep in mind that the early web was entirely mad

    • by BZ (40346)

      > like we did in the 1990s?

      Except back then we didn't...

      > Are they really rendering everything with software?

      Yes.

      > No wonder they make a 3GHz quad-core feel like a 486.

      I think you're remembering your 486 through rose-colored glasses... I remember how Really Fast it felt in 1992, and how slow the same exact machine felt doing the same tasks in 1997.

      But yes, between huge images, alpha blending, fixed-position backgrounds (requiring recomposite on every scroll movement), etc using the CPU for your com

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Am I the only one who never realised that we'd stopped having hardware acceleration of web browsers like we did in the 1990s?

      Web browsers generally have to do their own font rendering because the font rendering capabilities of the underlying OS, or of the video card+driver, are insufficient. This is pathetic but going further into it would be too much of an aside. The upshot is that in your basic browser the only stuff that's accelerated is the simple 2d stuff handled by the graphics card, like drawing lines, blitting on scroll, that kind of thing. Modern browsers are attempting to use the GPU for rendering more or less directly,

  • Tabs on any side? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stevenh2 (1853442)
    Why don't they let people choose what side the tabs are on. Look at the windows taskbar, you could drag it to be on any side of your screen, why can't the tab bar thing work like that?
  • Of course, there is a Firefox extension [mozilla.org] that does exactly that.

    • by Klinky (636952)

      Except you have to remove Tabs Mix Plus if you want to install it, also the color scheme looks like a unicorn dragged it's ass across the left side of my browser. I also don't like the nesting. I use VertTab, but even that lacks one of the nice features of Opera's tabs, where you can click to minimize the tab, great for toggling between two websites.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @12:27PM (#33404100) Homepage

    If you want to speed up your browser, just block the following domains:

    *.doubleclick.net
    *.polldaddy.com
    *.quantserve.com
    *.google-analytics.com
    *.scorecardresearch.com
    *.gravatar.com
    *.247realmedia.com
    *.likeme.net

    If you block the top 10 ad services, browsing speed improves substantially. Firefox BlockSite is useful for blocking, or you can edit HOSTS.TXT. This alone will make Slashdot pages load twice as fast. AdBlock isn't enough; it still loads the data, but doesn't display it. There's too much ad code out there which stalls page loading until the ad is served. So you get to wait for the ad servers. Sequentially.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tburke261 (981079)

      AFAIK adblock has been able to stop even loading data from blocked domains for a while.

    • by Spewns (1599743)

      AdBlock isn't enough; it still loads the data, but doesn't display it.

      Not true anymore. [slashdot.org] Although there's apparently some limitation in Chrome itself that isn't allowing full functionality of this yet even though it exists in Webkit.

    • by DaveGod (703167)

      Some sites slow down loading significantly if I block them. There are several sites that I can open and they appear to do nothing for a few moments before loading, yet if I disable AdBlock (in some cases rename hosts file and reboot) there is no initial pause. Granted, it's much better overall though.

      You should probably also have added the caveat that some site features like video will not work if you block the ads. AdBlock is useful over the hosts file here because you can disable it on individual pages an

  • Opera have allowed you to place tabs wherever you want since a long time. You can reorder/pin them and when on the sides, a dynamic thumbnail of the page is displayed.

  • I'm unsure if this dev release is out there for download, and I'm really not sure what would be the trusted site to get the (I hope) binary from. Can anyone help make this clear? Thanks :)
  • Back in the day we only needed powerful GPUs to play state of the art games. But it is really starting to look like you are also going to need it for browsing the world wide web.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by silviuc (676999)
      Today's GPUs are FAST and their power is wasted if not used. What's the harm in harnessing it ? It's not mandatory, browsers will use GPUs if they can, else they will fallback to the CPU. OTOH if you complain about the state of the web in that it requires GPU power to actually provide a faster experience, well partially I feel the same, but then again imagine being able to to all kinds of fancy content without writing one line of C/C++ code. Enabling more people to create. This is going to be awesome!
  • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @03:25PM (#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.

  • Wake up Adobe! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Burpmaster (598437)

    Google is putting Adobe to shame. The need for GPU acceleration is much greater with Flash and the difficulty should be similar, but Google's done the work and Adobe hasn't. To quote [slashdot.org] myself from earlier:

    The penguin.swf blog is just an endless stream of excuses. Adobe absolutely can accelerate YUV->RGB. It's standard practice in software development to create a special fast path for a common scenario when performance matters. They can fall back to the slow path if the swf is trying to do something incompatible with the fast path.

    Anyone writing a flash-based video player would opt for the fast path and follow whatever rules are necessary. But thanks to Adobe's laziness, that option isn't available. Flash is just a dinosaur that doesn't want to evolve.

    FYI, here's how to accelerate video: Flash draws the scene in layers, back to front. For alpha blending or anti-aliasing of edges, it must read the RGB value below the layer currently being drawn to blend it with the current color. This is the problem, and there's a fairly simple solution. After rendering a YUV layer, render the layers above to an RGBA surface that starts out 100% transparent. Then send the output layers (RGB below video, YUV video, RGBA above video) to the video card for final compositing. The only scenario where this wouldn't work is if the player uses filters above the video. Have you ever seen a flash-based player that uses filters?

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.

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