Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Sep 2012 20:00 UTC, submitted by MOS6510
Mozilla & Gecko clones "Over the past year and a half I've been spending more and more of my time working with Mozilla's latest project, Firefox OS. During that time I've fallen in love with the project and what it stands for, in ways that I've never experienced with a technology platform before." I'm not convinced just yet. I hope it succeeds, but I just doubt it actually will.
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Comment by Luke McCarthy
by Luke McCarthy on Thu 13th Sep 2012 22:52 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

I welcome alternative and open OSes for mobile, but I'm not a fan of the "do everything with web technologies" approach. Despite the claims of this article, such an approach is always suboptimal. And the programming environment sucks in my opinion, I hate when I have to program anything for web browsers. I don't see how JavaScript applications are supposed to run faster than Android's Java apps. I would much prefer a system that runs native-compiled applications... like Moblin/Tizen/whatever. If and when Wayland is viable it would be a pretty nice base for a phone UI (since all phones have accelerated OpenGL ES now).

I would really like to see smartphones that are actually fully-fledged PCs that can be docked to a base station (like the Motorola Atrix) and run a full desktop... but not like that tacked-on system that runs inside Android, but the same exact system that runs on the phone (just a different UI on a different screen). Now add multi-monitor support and you have something very special.

ARM is missing a unified system-level platform like the PC/x86 enjoys, due to various different non-standard SoC implementations. ARM need to get their act together and create a common platform that SoC vendors can implement. Hopefully that's what HSA will lead to. Otherwise I fear Intel will catch up to them in power efficiency and beat them on flexibility, platform standardisation and openness.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Luke McCarthy
by ricegf on Fri 14th Sep 2012 12:28 in reply to "Comment by Luke McCarthy"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Suboptimal tech usually wins, unfortunately. Firefox was an anomaly, based on historical precedent we should all still be stuck in IE.

I still prefer a native Qt environment like MeeGo, but I'll sacrifice that for true freedom in Firefox OS. If lightning strikes twice, I'm a potential customer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Luke McCarthy
by adkilla on Sat 15th Sep 2012 05:26 in reply to "Comment by Luke McCarthy"
adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

I wouldn't want the stagnation that is happening in the x86 platform to extend to ARM SoCs. If it weren't for AMD, we would all be stuck with a 32-bit ISA on x86, with an overly costly and less than optimal upgrade path to Itanium. Unfortunately we've lost the 3rd party chipset market on x86 due to having too few CPU players.

I hope the ARM SoC market stays the way it is with even more competition and SoC options coming into it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Luke McCarthy
by Alfman on Sat 15th Sep 2012 17:48 in reply to "RE: Comment by Luke McCarthy"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

adkilla,

"I wouldn't want the stagnation that is happening in the x86 platform to extend to ARM SoCs. If it weren't for AMD, we would all be stuck with a 32-bit ISA on x86, with an overly costly and less than optimal upgrade path to Itanium. Unfortunately we've lost the 3rd party chipset market on x86 due to having too few CPU players."

Haha, I was actually very disappointed with AMD when they told the world they were going to extend the life of x86 with a 64bit variant of it. I sincerely thought that we would be migrated to better architectures by now if AMD hadn't anchored us right back to the x86 platform (albeit with some improvements). The AMD64 ISA still suffers from a lack of GP registers compared to alternatives, which necessitates complex hacks like register renaming. The opcodes are still highly inconsistent, increasing the amount of logic needed to parse them. The whole architecture is shrouded in subtle legacy designs.

I guess we have to wait for a newcomer to replace x86-64, but now that x86 is 64bit that could take a while (x86-64 could conceivably last a few decades like the x86 did).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Luke McCarthy
by zima on Sun 16th Sep 2012 14:11 in reply to "RE: Comment by Luke McCarthy"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't want the stagnation that is happening in the x86 platform to extend to ARM SoCs. If it weren't for AMD, we would all be stuck with a 32-bit ISA on x86, with an overly costly and less than optimal upgrade path to Itanium. Unfortunately we've lost the 3rd party chipset market on x86 due to having too few CPU players.

I guess MS would just save the day by forcing PAE in Vista/7, in that alternative reality (if Intel wouldn't wise up sooner) ...overall, probably not much of a difference to us.

And 3rd party chipsets were likely going out anyway, due to increasing integration of x86 platforms (so not exactly stagnation, and even similar in spirit to ARM SoCs). Anyway, if there would be more x86 chipsets thanks to there being more x86 CPU players ...those chipsets wouldn't really be 3rd party, wouldn't they :p (plus, while we might despair the loss of ULi or SiS, I won't miss VIA chipsets; but BTW SiS, x86, and SoCs... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex86 )

Edited 2012-09-16 14:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2