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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 @10:44AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:52AM (#33403128)

    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 dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @10:57AM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:03AM (#33403208)

    Windows 7 implements a vertical taskbar better than any previous version of Windows, and that's the reason I use a vartical taskbar on my 1680 horizontal resolution monitor. I can fit a browser window between my taskbar on one side and any widgets or IM clients I might have on the other.

    The only problem I find is that Windows doesn't seem to tell many programs that the vertical taskbar should be respected in the same way as the horizontal one and many apps launch with part of their window underneath the taskbar.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:06AM (#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.

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

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

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

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:16AM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:24AM (#33403346)

    Then the problem is with the screen rather than the browser.

  • by slyrat (1143997) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:28AM (#33403364)

    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...

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

    by stevenh2 (1853442) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:32AM (#33403386)
    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?
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @01:27PM (#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.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bertNO@SPAMslashdot.firenzee.com> on Saturday August 28, 2010 @02:10PM (#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 davepermen (998198) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @03:48PM (#33404904)
    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 annoyingly loss of real estate to work on it. for movies, it's nice. but for movies, i have a fullhd projector, thanks.
  • by silviuc (676999) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @06:01PM (#33405540) Homepage
    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!
  • Wake up Adobe! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Burpmaster (598437) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @06:13PM (#33405614)

    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?

  • Ctrl-Tab (Score:3, Insightful)

    by electrosoccertux (874415) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @06:39PM (#33405770)

    You control the tabs by pressing ctrl-tab.

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