Linked by Kroc Camen on Sat 26th Jun 2010 10:48 UTC
Internet Explorer Microsoft have released IE9 Platform Preview 3, an application that gives developers access to the IE9 rendering engine (it's not a full browser). In this update they have added hardware accelerated HTML5 Video, Canvas, Fonts (using WOFF) and big improvements in JavaScript with ES5, DOM Traversal, L2 and L3 events and 83/100 Acid3 score. It sits between Firefox and Chrome 6 on JavaScript speed, but outperforms every browser in real tests.
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RE[4]: Real tests
by lemur2 on Sat 26th Jun 2010 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Real tests"
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

It’s not about _need_, it’s about availability. If a GPU is there and it’s “only 14x faster” than the CPU, then why not use it, for everything; even text—which is a whole lot more taxing than most give it credit.


Why not simply use the GPU to accelerate the whole desktop, even text?

This way, all applications will equally benefit from accelerated performance, not just the browser ...

Oh, wait a minute, perhaps I see. Even your commercial competitor's application would benefit if you used the GPU to accelerate the whole desktop.

Not a problem for open source OSes, however ...

Reply Parent Score: -6

RE[5]: Real tests
by sukru on Sat 26th Jun 2010 14:12 in reply to "RE[4]: Real tests"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Yes, that's called Aero and Windows Presentation Framework.

Seriously, even after all these anti-trust sanctions, people still think MS is using hidden APIs for non-core OS functionality. The APIs are openly documented, they - legally - cannot use hidden ones.

Reply Parent Score: 10

v RE[6]: Real tests
by lemur2 on Sat 26th Jun 2010 14:34 in reply to "RE[5]: Real tests"
RE[5]: Real tests
by dpJudas on Sat 26th Jun 2010 14:26 in reply to "RE[4]: Real tests"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

What a silly conspiracy theory.

The hyped hardware acceleration in IE9 is nothing more than IE changing from using the GDI scanline renderer to the Direct2D renderer they added in Windows 7. This is a public API and so any competitor can also use this for their rendering if they so desire.

Just like any other modern windowing system, Windows Vista and Windows 7 stores each window in a texture on the GPU, regardless of what technology you use for the rendering. The windowing system then offers a series of different technologies to fill that texture with contents. In Windows those are GDI, DirectDraw, Direct3D, Direct2D and OpenGL.

What we are talking about here is simply a new interface that is more compatible with the way a modern GPU works. The original GDI graphics API makes some assumptions about the graphics card that isn't true anymore and therefore virtually everything in GDI has been running in software. Microsoft gave up on accelerating it and instead wrote Direct2D and now are bragging how fast IE gets if they use that instead.

If you wonder what is wrong with GDI, then its small subtle things like being able to render directly to the screen (which doesn't make sense when your display window manager does that) and the entire way bitmaps were designed.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[6]: Real tests
by lemur2 on Sat 26th Jun 2010 14:51 in reply to "RE[5]: Real tests"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The hyped hardware acceleration in IE9 is nothing more than IE changing from using the GDI scanline renderer to the Direct2D renderer they added in Windows 7. This is a public API and so any competitor can also use this for their rendering if they so desire.


Direct2D is Windows-only. If one writes an application to use Direct2D, then it is forever doomed to be a Windows-only application.

All of IE9's competition (that is, other competitive browsers, to whit: Opera, Firefox, Chrome and Safari) are all cross-platform applications. They all use APIs that are not going to doom them into being Windows-only applications.

OpenGL on Windows is crippleware. OpenGL or Xrender would be the APIs that other browsers would use, and not Direct2D. Firefox uses Cairo, for example, and hardware acceleration for Cairo is being done via OpenGL. This will work well everywhere except Windows.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Platform/GFX/HardwareAcceleration

The current plan to hardware accelerate Gecko and Firefox is to use OpenGL. This seems like a good starting point because it's supported (to varying degrees) on all the platforms we care about (including mobile platforms, in the form of OpenGL ES). (Note that it will be necessary to support both software and hardware render paths, because not all computers will be capable of GPU acceleration.)

Follow-on work for this might include making a Direct3D/Direct2D backend, especially if it's found that OpenGL stability/availability on Windows isn't sufficient.


So applications like Firefox for Windows have to write functionality like hardware acceleration twice. They have to write it once for most platforms using Xrender or OpenGL, and then they have to write it again for Direct2D, just for Windows:

http://www.basschouten.com/blog1.php/2010/03/02/presenting-direct2d...

It will happen, but it will take a bit longer. This is just another way for Microsoft to make other teams look slower, for Microsoft to write its applications to be Windows-only, and in general to create a software corpus which is harder to make cross-platform than it needs to be if Microsoft had stuck with standard APIs.

Edited 2010-06-26 15:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[5]: Real tests
by Nelson on Sat 26th Jun 2010 16:46 in reply to "RE[4]: Real tests"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


Why not simply use the GPU to accelerate the whole desktop, even text?


Windows comes dangerously close. At least on Windows7 GDI is more hardware accelerated than before, but not all the way. There is a real tradeoff between HW accelerating such an old API, and maintaining a decent memory footprint.


This way, all applications will equally benefit from accelerated performance, not just the browser ...

Oh, wait a minute, perhaps I see. Even your commercial competitor's application would benefit if you used the GPU to accelerate the whole desktop.


However, just the API has landed to do this on Windows Vista and Windows 7. It's called Direct2D.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: Real tests
by kaiwai on Sun 27th Jun 2010 10:15 in reply to "RE[5]: Real tests"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

However, just the API has landed to do this on Windows Vista and Windows 7. It's called Direct2D.


If I remember reading an article by a Microsoft developer - one of the questions I asked was regarding whether Microsoft could/would port GDI to Direct2D/DirectWrite so that GDI ran on top and merely relayed GDI calls through to Direct2D/DirectWrite. The reasoning he provided pretty much came down to two reasons; firstly they had limited time and would have loved to do it. Secondly the other problem is that it would have been very complex and very messy when one considers all the possibly variables one has to take into account.

I hope that with Windows 8 that full Direct2D and DirectWrite acceleration will come to the desktop but I have a feeling that that the grandparent (lemur2) to this thread is simply grasping at straws to justify his hate of Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 2

v RE[5]: Real tests
by dylansmrjones on Sun 27th Jun 2010 02:10 in reply to "RE[4]: Real tests"