Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 28th Jun 2008 22:09 UTC, submitted by diegocg
X11, Window Managers "Maybe I'm just naive, but designing a graphics API such that all image data had to be sent over a socket to another process every time the image needed to be drawn seems like complete idiocy. Unfortunately, that is precisely what the X Window System forces a program to do, and exactly what Cairo does when drawing images in Linux - a full copy of the image data, send to another process, no less, every time it is drawn. One would think there would be some room for improvement. Unsurprisingly, others felt the same way about X, and decided to write an extension, Xlib Shm or XShm for short, that allows images to placed in a shared memory segment from which the X server reads which allows the program to avoid the memory copy. GTK already makes use of the XShm extension, and it seems like a good idea to see if Gecko couldn't do the same."
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RE[2]: Comment by SomeGuy
by SomeGuy on Sun 29th Jun 2008 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by SomeGuy"
SomeGuy
Member since:
2006-03-20

Because if you can't move the pixmap to fast video ram for accelerated hardware operations, you've already lost. Although just using XShmPutImage can sometimes be a win, it isn't always, because chances are you'll be copying or moving the memory anyways.

The X SHM extension -- the way it's normally used -- makes it very hard to do this efficiently, if not entirely impossible, so Xshm beats traditional XPutImage if you only care about a single blit, but if you're reusing the pixmap it can be a net loss, depending on your drivers (the better the drivers, the more of a loss it is)

In fact, it's so much worse that Exa (the new Xorg acceleration architecture) actually disables parts of the extension (shared pixmaps) so that it can properly accelerate 2d stuff.

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