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IE9 Throws Down the Hardware Acceleration Gauntlet

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the oh-now-it's-on dept.

Internet Explorer 601

An anonymous reader writes "Over on Microsoft's IE blog they have an interesting comparison of browsers with regard to hardware accelerated page rendering. They write, 'One of our objectives with Internet Explorer 9 is taking full advantage of modern PC hardware to make the browser faster. We're excited about hardware acceleration because it fundamentally improves the performance of websites. The websites that you use every day become faster and more responsive, and developers can create new classes of web applications through standards based markup that were previously not possible. In this post, we take a closer look at how hardware acceleration improves the performance of the Flying Images sample on the IE9 test drive site. When you run Flying Images across different browsers you'll see that Internet Explorer 9 can handle hundreds of images at full speed while other browsers, including Internet Explorer 8, quickly come to a crawl.' Absent from the comparison is a nightly build of Firefox with Mozilla's forthcoming Direct2D acceleration enabled."

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Hey everyone, this is Microsoft! (2, Insightful)

V!NCENT (1105021) | about 4 years ago | (#31775678)

Instead of reducing the amount of computation we do in IE to make it faster, let's just look for more processing power instead!

Re:Hey everyone, this is Microsoft! (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#31776132)

not only that, but it's also proprietary, aka directX. So they're paving the way for, well, nothing.

why flamebait (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#31776310)

i would like to call the idiot who modded the above flamebait to come and fix the tag block level interpretation issue in ie8. their rendering engine is screwing up, and since it is proprietary, it cant be fixed by community. so we have to wait microsoft to get its ass up and fix their incompetence themselves in some far away point in future.

adding a proprietary directx to the mix will just increase these kind of hellholes, due to adding another dimension to watch out for. and since its proprietary, someone somewhere wont be able to produce a fix and publish it to relieve everyone.

so, the fool that modded the above flamebait, please, come and fix this rendering failure today.

Re:Hey everyone, this is Microsoft! (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | about 4 years ago | (#31776168)

Instead of reducing the amount of computation we do in IE to make it faster, let's just look for more processing power instead!

Let them try to get this one fixed, we'll laugh when they hit a wall. If not, we'll find ways to compete and get this battle back on par to get a better experience.

I've seen some graphs comparing the rendering of a page using parallell processing and it's been a nice showoff, making the standoff between browsers a bit more spicy and tense again. Lets improve the webexperience, I need 20 tabs open with image galleries of high resolution, flashmovies and heavy AJAX websites which now sortof lock up frequently.

Check their tests at IE9 testdrive [microsoft.com], I'm not certain if you can grab the preview from there, though.

Re:Hey everyone, this is Microsoft! (4, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 4 years ago | (#31776292)

Instead of reducing the amount of computation we do in IE to make it faster, let's just look for more processing power instead!

Did you look at the CPU graphs at the end of the article? If you look at the graphs for IE8 [winisp.net] and IE9 [winisp.net], it shows the CPU usage has been greatly reduced by offloading the tasks to the GPU. It went from 50% CPU usage to an average of 12%.

This is just a better use of the processing power available in the modern computer.

Re:Hey everyone, this is Microsoft! (0, Redundant)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 4 years ago | (#31776372)

Yes, but that power has just been offloaded to the GPU. From that graph it looks like the actual power savings were minor, if there were any at all.

Re:Hey everyone, this is Microsoft! (4, Informative)

jim_v2000 (818799) | about 4 years ago | (#31776324)

>reducing the amount of computation we do in IE

Apparently that's not working so hot for the other browsers in this case: "When you run Flying Images across different browsers you'll see that Internet Explorer 9 can handle hundreds of images at full speed while other browsers, including Internet Explorer 8, quickly come to a crawl."

This would be important (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 4 years ago | (#31775684)

If there was anything worth reading on hte Internet. Most of it is just gibberish, press releases, dumbness, jingoism and Italianism.

Re:This would be important (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776262)

If there was anything worth reading on hte Internet. Most of it is just gibberish, press releases, dumbness, jingoism and Italianism.

Thank you for providing such a clear example of exactly what you're complaining about.

I feel sad. (5, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | about 4 years ago | (#31775714)

I feel sad about it when hardware acceleration is needed for rendering, what, websites.

We live in interesting times indeed. I want my Web back.

Re:I feel sad. (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 4 years ago | (#31775740)

No doubt... Lets not clean up those overly complex websites. Lets not clean up the MASSIVE adds with popup movies embedded. Lets toss more hardware at it...

Re:I feel sad. (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | about 4 years ago | (#31776360)

Um...who do you propose is going to "clean up" those websites? The owners? Hardly...they're making money. That really doesn't leave anyone else.

Re:I feel sad. (5, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#31775776)

I don't see how anyone with a dial-up connection could do even casual browsing anymore...most websites nowadays push the 750k-1MB size, if not even bigger. (my own website linked in my sig is even guilty of this, despite my best efforts to keep things minimalistic)

Re:I feel sad. (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#31775904)

You can still encounter such speeds often, when using mobile access (3G not everywhere, overloaded network, EDGE not attaining it's max speed too, and so on)

Yeah, it's a bit frustrating...though, luckily, there are ways to make it much more smooth; such as Opera Turbo with disabled plugins.

Re:I feel sad. (2, Informative)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 years ago | (#31776368)

As someone with experience, a few years ago.

I would say excessive use of ad-blocker, blocking all unnecessary pictures/multimedia, really helps.
When a page is reduced to just its text, it might not look as good but it sure loads faster.

Re:I feel sad. (1)

tedgyz (515156) | about 4 years ago | (#31775816)

Given the complexity of modern websites, I see it as a necessary evil. We can't stop bad, bloated websites any more than we can stop the ocean tides.

Re:I feel sad. (-1, Troll)

jav1231 (539129) | about 4 years ago | (#31776034)

Exactly. And explain to me how a faster browser makes the "website" faster? Does this mean by using IE I can download faster? Wow! That's pretty cool! So my Speedtest.net scores should increase too! Forget about paying for faster bandwidth! Get the slowest speed, use IE 9, and pocket the savings! Marketing....Microsoft's primary business.

Re:I feel sad. (5, Insightful)

jridley (9305) | about 4 years ago | (#31776078)

Start with Slashdot. Of all the sites I visit (not all that many really, only about 30 or 40) Slashdot is the one that makes me wish I had a faster CPU. Clicking into an article with lots of contents on Slashdot will sometimes lock my browser entirely for many seconds, sometimes up to 30 seconds or so.

I'd be a lot happier with the old pre-AJAX version.

Re:I feel sad. (3, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 4 years ago | (#31776146)

Start with Slashdot. Of all the sites I visit (not all that many really, only about 30 or 40) Slashdot is the one that makes me wish I had a faster CPU. Clicking into an article with lots of contents on Slashdot will sometimes lock my browser entirely for many seconds, sometimes up to 30 seconds or so.

I'd be a lot happier with the old pre-AJAX version.

Fully quoted so I can agree strongly. Only a few add laden websites choke my system more than slashdot!

Re:I feel sad. (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about 4 years ago | (#31776354)

I find it sad that there are people in the world that consider web pages to still be static blocks of text with some images dotted around them.

We live in interesting times indeed. I want my web better.

What'll you bet... (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 4 years ago | (#31775718)

I'll bet that Chrome and Firefox will have this in production before IE9 is released.

Re:What'll you bet... (4, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 4 years ago | (#31775760)

But why? So I can support more flash adds on a page? Please, no...

Re:What'll you bet... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 4 years ago | (#31775874)

Oh bloo bloo bloo cry me a river. Disable flash if you want. Never mind all the rendering that HTML5 does.

Re:What'll you bet... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776076)

Never mind all the rendering that HTML5 does.

Ok. And how much marketshare does HTML5 have? How much support?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_layout_engines_(HTML_5) [wikipedia.org]

I still see a lot of "NO" in those comparison tables. Until HTML5 can be supported, have similar look and feel, across close to 90% of the market, people won't design for it. Flash has almost 99% market penetration, it is by far the most consistent experience for a user. I don't want to go back to the days when a site was "designed for IE4" and looked horrible on different browsers.

Flash isn't as annoying as it once was. People have become a little better at using it in moderation.

Re:What'll you bet... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 4 years ago | (#31776242)

People who bring up adoption rates of new core technology amuse me. Do you work for Intel? Tell me again how 64bit architecture isn't important on the consumer desktop. HA HA HA!

I mean seriously, we're talking about HTML here for chrissake. Wide-scale adoption is beyond inevitable, and it such a core technology that it will happen with extreme rapidity.

Re:What'll you bet... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 4 years ago | (#31776192)

I would love to. But too many websites use flash for FUCKING NAVIGATION BUTTONS! Between that and resizing my browser window "for me," I am glad the web designers are not within pistol range. I only have so much self control!

Re:What'll you bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776334)

Whoa whoa whoa, no "web designer" who has any idea what they're doing would EVER resize your browser for you. I think the phrase you were looking for was "web charlatan" or perhaps "web rapist". And using Flash purely for navigation is one of the first signs of dementia.

Re:What'll you bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31775856)

On my machine, IE8 was indeed a crawl at about 3 FPS.

Firefox 3.6.3 went to a "crawl" of 60 FPS.

I wish I had Chrome on this work pc to try it out...

Re:What'll you bet... (3, Funny)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 4 years ago | (#31776056)

Chrome is bitchin' fast. I know people complain about it being Google's evil eye of Sauron watching everything you do, but I don't care. It's bitchin' fast.

Re:What'll you bet... (1)

English French Man (1220122) | about 4 years ago | (#31776238)

Firefox 3.6.3 : 40 or so fps Chrome 4.1.249.1045 (42898) (dunno if this is old) : 1 - 2 fps Chromium 5.0.370.0 (43808) : 2 - 4 fps IE7 goes to 50 fps but doesn't react to the position of the mouse.

Re:What'll you bet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776306)

I thought Safari already has it.

http://lab.vodafone.com/css3d-anim/

What am I missing?

I don't want flying images in my browser (5, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | about 4 years ago | (#31775720)

What about those of us who don't want to see flying-rotating-3d-semitransparent-glowing-shaded adverts flying across our web pages.

I want fast clean loads of information. Not bloated pages full of shiny dodads designed to divert my attention from the information I am looking for.

Re:I don't want flying images in my browser (4, Funny)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 4 years ago | (#31775864)

What about those of us who don't want to see flying-rotating-3d-semitransparent-glowing-shaded adverts flying across our web pages.

Just use Lynx.

Re:I don't want flying images in my browser (-1, Flamebait)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 4 years ago | (#31775962)

Sorry... This is the decade of ignoring the majority and jamming what a few people want down the throats of the rest. Just look at government lately... Only half meant as a joke.

Re:I don't want flying images in my browser (2, Insightful)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about 4 years ago | (#31776282)

This is the decade of ignoring the majority and jamming what a few people want down the throats of the rest.

Since when did Slashdotters become the majority of internet users?

It's About Freedom. (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 4 years ago | (#31776214)

What about those of us who don't want to see flying-rotating-3d-semitransparent-glowing-shaded adverts flying across our web pages. I want fast clean loads of information. Not bloated pages full of shiny dodads designed to divert my attention from the information I am looking for.

The Interwebs are about freedom, and you are free not to view any site you feel is offensive in some way. Interweb freedom is about the freedom to choose. IE9 chooses certain voluntary standards, and not other voluntary standards, and even creates some of its own voluntary standards. All of which you are free not to use because of the freedom to choose a different browser. It's about freedom. Freedom to choose, not freedom to be restricted to RMS' view of how the Interweb should be.

Re:It's About Freedom. (1)

bberens (965711) | about 4 years ago | (#31776356)

I would like to see a "Firewall" built into browsers. "*click* I have found this site to be annoying. If I ever accidentally come here again make me jump through hoops in order to get it to load." I'm sure you can find/create a plugin for firefox that will simulate this ability, but I would like to see it as default behavior.

Re:I don't want flying images in my browser (0, Troll)

Antimatter3009 (886953) | about 4 years ago | (#31776338)

What about those of us who don't want to see flying-rotating-3d-semitransparent-glowing-shaded adverts flying across our web pages.

I want fast clean loads of information. Not bloated pages full of shiny dodads designed to divert my attention from the information I am looking for.

Then don't go to sites that don't give you what you want. Adding support for hardware acceleration is not going to suddenly make every site have flashy graphics, it's only going to allow sites to add flashy graphics. If you don't like it when they do, don't visit those sites. If enough people agree with you and the sites lose traffic, then they'll stop adding graphics. If not enough people agree then, well, sorry, but majority opinion will win out.

Why bother ... (2, Interesting)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 4 years ago | (#31775724)

I've never understood this 'my browser is faster than your browser' attention. Most people use their browser over the Internet, with download speeds that make any computer wait. There is a ton of time processing 3 or 4 threads simultaneously to still draw page components. I see pages show up in a couple of seconds, it takes far more than that to read them.

So a few web sites want to use some fancy graphics. I only see their fancy graphics ... once. When I first visit. Then they are discarded every time as I concentrate on the content of the web site.

Just make the browser work...it's fast enough already.

Re:Why bother ... (2, Informative)

leuk_he (194174) | about 4 years ago | (#31775866)

YOu just need a little bit of imagination.

-Playing Quake ET written in javascript in a browser at playable framerates.
-Those VR implementation (think google streetview 360) are finally working without plugins.
-Online games.
-Everything in a browser. (silly but it happens).

Forget those 1.0 websites with a little bit op powerpoint animation.

And best of all: you need a good graphics card to do your work. wink wink.

Re:Why bother ... (3, Funny)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | about 4 years ago | (#31775958)

You forgot a functional x86 emulator written in javascript so you can run Linux in Firefox in Linux in Firefox in Linux...

Re:Why bother ... (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 4 years ago | (#31775942)

I've never understood this 'my browser is faster than your browser' attention. Most people use their browser over the Internet, with download speeds that make any computer wait.

So you've completely missed the advent of Web applications? Little Web based games, chat, e-mail, social networking, word processing, image editing, and hundreds of other incredibly popular Web technologies are currently limited by the rendering speed as often as by bandwidth. People will wait for a Web app to load, but that doesn't mean they're okay with waiting for it to respond when they do something in it.

If you just use your computer to edit text, then the same could probably be said about OS's and computer hardware. Why bother improving their graphics capabilities? Of course to do so you have to willfully ignore how they are used by normal people today and the direction they have been developing. They don't develop things just for you.

Re:Why bother ... (1)

jav1231 (539129) | about 4 years ago | (#31776104)

Okay but given that the vast majority of enterprise PC's are not using fancy GPU's and such that IE 9 is essentially tagging onto to bolster it's speed, they are in fact targeting home users. I can assure you it will be at least 2 years before another desktop refresh for many companies so yeah, enjoy your hardware raping IE 9. Sorry, I just fall on the side of make better code. I'm not sure making the browser the applications launcher is a good idea.

Re:Why bother ... (1)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31776196)

Okay but given that the vast majority of enterprise PC's are not using fancy GPU

You don't need a fancy GPU for this. You just need a GPU. We're not talking about a GeForce GTX480 here, just something that can work with DirectX. Every computer sold in the last decade has such a chip on board.

Re:Why bother ... (0, Redundant)

stickytar (96286) | about 4 years ago | (#31776240)

But will it run Crysis? No mod points, but parent is right. Technology like this will move real games into the browser. I won't be long before the DirectX toolset it setup to render in HTML5. If Microsoft can grab this then their little netbooks with shared GPU could actually push out some decent gaming and graphic capabilities to you live in a browser (without the need for hard drives).

Re:Why bother ... (1)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31775964)

Just make the browser work...it's fast enough already

It's fast enough for websites. It's not, by far, fast enough for applications.

A part of me died a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31775732)

You patched up the wound but the scar will always be there.

Thank God! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31775748)

I'm often left sitting there for microseconds while the page is rendered in software. I'm sure having hardware accelerated rendering of web pages would change my life immeasurably.

BTW Microsoft, if hardware acceleration is so important why is the GDI not hardware accelerated in Vista and only partially accelerated in Windows 7 (about nine functions) even though it was fully accelerated in XP? Can we get some consistency here?

Oh Boy (-1, Troll)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | about 4 years ago | (#31775754)

In other words, "Our browser is so slow it needs hardware acceleration to look good."

PS: Yes I realize it's not that simple.

Who understands "throws down Gauntlet"? (0, Troll)

line-bundle (235965) | about 4 years ago | (#31775770)

Why do people keep using idioms which don't mean anything in the modern language any more?

On naive reading it would sound like IE9 is giving up.

Re:Who understands "throws down Gauntlet"? (3, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 4 years ago | (#31775840)

Why do people keep using idioms which don't mean anything in the modern language any more?

By definition, no idiom's meaning is apparent in modern language. Unless you don't know what a gauntlet is, this idiom is no different than any other. They are used because they are colorful and make our language more interesting.

Re:Who understands "throws down Gauntlet"? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 4 years ago | (#31776028)

That's the problem, exactly. Everyone knows what Gauntlet [wikipedia.org] is, and throwing it anywhere is an offense worthy of painful death.

We cannot abide such sacrilege!

Terrible idiom...

Re:Who understands "throws down Gauntlet"? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31775888)

Why do people keep using idioms which don't mean anything in the modern language any more?

On naive reading it would sound like IE9 is giving up.

Right, they're quitting because that stupid Elf keeps shooting all the food.

Re:Who understands "throws down Gauntlet"? (5, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 4 years ago | (#31775984)

The idioms do mean things in modern language, that's why they're used. What you're trying to say is that the actual practice from which the idiom is derived is no longer in use outside of Ren Fairs. That doesn't matter, because meaning is independent of literal reading, which is the whole foundation of idioms in the first place. An idiom is literally some word or phrase that cannot be understood by literal translation. The end. So basically you're asking why do we use idioms at all, as though you want a bland, flavorless, mechanistic language with no depth, no humor, no layers, etc. etc.

In short, you're a dolt.

Re:Who understands "throws down Gauntlet"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776224)

http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/throw+down+the+gauntlet.html

It means to challenge.

Standards? (0, Troll)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | about 4 years ago | (#31775800)

Are they talking about breaking standards in order to accomplish this?

Re:Standards? (2, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31776002)

No, they're using completely standard HTML, CSS and Javascript for this demo. The only difference is that the scripting they've created consumes a lot of CPU cycles, which makes the animation it produces choppy. In IE9 they've added hardware accelleration, which makes it less apparent you're running a really hefty Javascript, because both your CPU and GPU kick in to do the processing.

Re:Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776082)

There are no web standards for the method used to actually draw something on the screen. If there were, everything would be breaking it already since various browsers running on various OSs all use different methods and APIs for drawing. Getting the rendered visuals on the screen is independent of HTML, CSS and other web standards.

Shouldn't the OS handle this? (4, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 years ago | (#31775804)

Really shouldn't the Operating System be using hardware rendering for graphics calls?
Yes I know that they are probably using D2D or DirectX to handle this but don't the hardware graphics calls in Windows use hardware acceleration already?
I hope that Xwindows does I know that OpenGL does but over all an application shouldn't have to care about "hardware" at all! That is why we have Operating Systems.

Re:Shouldn't the OS handle this? (1)

dskzero (960168) | about 4 years ago | (#31776006)

I read all these comments and I'm seriously surprised. Why the hell do you all complain about something that makes it faster and better? We all know Firefox and Chrome are better, I don't see the need to bash MS for trying to get back in the competition. And I don't get why the OS should be handling that. PC games do have their own graphics routines, don't they?

Re:Shouldn't the OS handle this? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 4 years ago | (#31776110)

LWARCDR did not complain. He asked a technical question: should this acceleration be handled by the OS, or the browser? His question applies to IE, Firefox, and Chrome as well. There was no MS bashing in the post: the author includes XWindows as an example.

Re:Shouldn't the OS handle this? (1)

dskzero (960168) | about 4 years ago | (#31776288)

I understand that, I was wrong to post in this particular thread, the OP wasn't complaining at all. I just noted an slight aggressive point at the way acceleration is being publicly handled (perhaps affected by the post above, and I paraphrase "Our browser doesn't works, so add hardware acceleration!"). My apologies though. That said, the question stands.

Re:Shouldn't the OS handle this? (1)

robmv (855035) | about 4 years ago | (#31776130)

Grand parent has a point, for example when I write Java Swing code, Using Java2D, it does not matter to me which pipeline is Java using, OpenGL/Direct*/GDI, It is abstract to me.

The Basic Windows drawing routines should be abstract enough to be able to switch to hardware acceleration when possible,not at the application level (I am talking about basic 2D drawing operations)

Re:Shouldn't the OS handle this? (1, Troll)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 4 years ago | (#31776330)

"PC games do have their own graphics routines, don't they?"
Yes and no.
Games use DirectX which is part of the OS. But Games are not your typical application. They often go into a full screen mode and are not often run in a Window. They also have "game engines" but those tend to interface to DirectX, OpenGL, or what not.
A browser is not a video game.
It has to play nice with other applications and is rarely the primary user of CPU cycles.
Nobody cares how much memory a game uses or how many cycles it takes.
Browsers are applications and not games.
However even with games the OS should be handling this.
When I say draw a line, do a gradient fill, or render this font the OS should draw that line, do that fill, or render that font in the fastest way possible that is "safe". I shouldn't have to use some super wacked new API and I should never have to go right to hardware!
If Microsoft would make the effort to speed up the rendering calls of the OS then not only would IE render faster but EVERY PROGRAM ON YOUR SYSTEM would render faster.
Of course what could be happening is that MS does have some new graphics API that is faster and they are using it in IE and it is available to everybody. If so then the old APIs should just be stub code to the new APIs and still give very application a performance boost.
And to answer your question. "I don't see the need to bash MS for trying to get back in the competition. "
I am bashing MS for not speeding up their OS graphics calls so EVERY application I CHOOSE to run renders faster.

The whole reason we have big and complex OSs like Windows, Linux, and OS/X is so that our software doesn't have to deal with the hardware. It is abstracted so when new and faster hardware comes out every program can benefit from it.

Re:Shouldn't the OS handle this? (0, Redundant)

SWPadnos (191329) | about 4 years ago | (#31776364)

It's just the definition of an operating system, that's all.

The OS is there to provide a standardized (for that OS - not necessarily across OSes) interface to hardware resources. This includes memory, disk space, CPU time, and of course user interface hardware.

If there were no OSes, everyone would have to include e.g. filesystem software within any program that wanted to use the disk drive. The whole point of Windows was to insulate the programmer from the hardware - you use the same GDI calls whether you have a Diamond, 3dFX, Number Nine, or Matrox card (back in the old days). The driver and OS insulate the application from the specifics of talking to the hardware.

Video games are a bit of a special case, because they are the most performance-limited applications most people see. For most applications, there should be no need to know anything about the hardware implementation - only its capabilities (resolution, color depth, etc). The OS API should insulate the programmer from having to know the details of the underlying hardware. For specific applications though, where the highest performance is needed, the application needs to just reserve the hardware resources and ask the OS to get out of the way. Databases need this for memory and disk management, and video games need this for graphics hardware. There shouldn't be a need for a browser to get to this level.

Re:Shouldn't the OS handle this? (4, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 4 years ago | (#31776186)

I think the problem is that most applications use older APIs that aren't compatible with a hardware-accelerated rendering pipeline. They don't double buffer, they update parts of the screen at random, and they may even use controls that plot individual pixels. Those things are nearly impossible to accelerate.

WPF applications (and GDI+?) applications get acceleration provided by the OS. I suspect that IE uses good old Windows GDI, which has some bottlenecks on Vista and Windows 7 since it has to go through an extra layer now that the OS isn't using GDI under the hood.

Faster for awhile (1)

tie_guy_matt (176397) | about 4 years ago | (#31775812)

Yeah IE is faster, for awhile. It is faster right up to the point when someone uses one of the huge security holes to stick some serious malware onto your computer!

Re:Faster for awhile (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 4 years ago | (#31775940)

Bull. If IE was faster, people would use it on their phones. I know no one who does. And Windows Mobile 7 will be shipping with IE7 - a full two versions behind the supposed speedy version - which will only be noticeably speedier if you have heavy duty hardware.

And speed and energy efficiency, it must be noted, are very different things.

Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31775836)

IE's poor security will give malicious content providers direct hardware access to your video system.

OpenGL for other OS? (1)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | about 4 years ago | (#31775872)

Is there any work on OpenGL hardware acceleration paths for use of chrome, firefox etc. on non Windows platforms?

What hardware acceleration of web page rendering could/will android and chrome OS use? (OpenGL ES?)

Re:OpenGL for other OS? (1)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31776052)

On Mac OS X, browser developers could implement OpenCL [apple.com]. This would effectively do the same as the IE9 Team is currently doing, with the difference that OpenCL is not limited to calculations involving graphics, but can be used for all sorts of stuff.

throw hardware at the problem (1)

Tei (520358) | about 4 years ago | (#31775876)

He... It make sense, since "Hardware is cheap and programers are expensive".

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/12/hardware-is-cheap-programmers-are-expensive.html [codinghorror.com]

My main problem with IE is not speed, is rather fast. The real problem with IE is how broken, unsafe and unstandard is. Making it faster, will just make it faster to infect computers, show poorly rendered pages, and ignoring standard CSS3 keys.

Look at this tables, the support for CSS3:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc351024(VS.85).aspx [microsoft.com]

Re:throw hardware at the problem (2, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | about 4 years ago | (#31775978)

The hardware is already there, what's the point of NOT using it? If I have a gtx285 or something ridicilous and it's sitting there not being used that is WASTED. It's Win/Win for everyone.

Re:throw hardware at the problem (1)

dskzero (960168) | about 4 years ago | (#31776350)

Exactly. This whole discussion reminds me of the memory leak controversy weeks ago. Everyone screamed that 7 is using up all memory at all times until someone realized that memory not being used is memory being wasted and that, perhaps, good memory management was a good idea.

Re:throw hardware at the problem (1)

anss123 (985305) | about 4 years ago | (#31776040)

[quote]The real problem with IE is how broken, unsafe and unstandard is.[/quote] IE8 has a good track record for safety and is considered up there with Chrome as one of the safer browsers you can use, but that does not help IE6 and 7.

Re:throw hardware at the problem (2, Insightful)

leuk_he (194174) | about 4 years ago | (#31776136)

The "throw hardware at it" does make sense for business applications. However, that model fails at system hardware and mass production. If you manage to make a mainstream OS 1% faster, with the use of 1 coder working one year, 10 Million PC will get 1% faster. If you produce 100.000 washing machines, you cannot afford to put a 10 dollar CPU in each of them , you will have to optimize to run the OS on a 1 $ CPU.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31775878)

Ultimately, all software is hardware accelerated.

Dumb Term (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31775926)

Should be GPU acceleration instead of hardware acceleration. It's not like a separate device from your regular computer and not like all the software isn't running on hardware anyways.

VM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776022)

I hope this works well in vmware, because that's the only way I use IE.

Why don't they just use WebGL like everyone else? (1)

Benfea (1365845) | about 4 years ago | (#31776054)

Or am I not understanding what they're proposing?

Re:Why don't they just use WebGL like everyone els (1)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31776084)

You're not understanding. They aren't proposing any new standards, they're using hardware acceleration on existing standards. Rendering HTML, CSS and Javascript with help of your GPU, that's basically what it's about.

Yeah, sure, "Standards" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776064)

"developers can create new classes of web applications through standards based markup"

Yes, standards that MS create and try to enforce developers to use.

Re:Yeah, sure, "Standards" (1)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31776144)

I would be glad if Microsoft would offer some kind of way to implement things like CSS rounded borders. Standard compliant or not, at least you'll have something to work with instead of creating stupid little images of rounded corners again.

Re:Yeah, sure, "Standards" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776210)

Yes, rounded CSS borders will create a new class of web applications.

Missing the point (1)

Leolo (568145) | about 4 years ago | (#31776152)

How many websites have hundereds of flying images? None that I visit regularly.

Websites are slow because the internet is slow and Javascript is slow.

Hardware acceleration might be needed by Flash, but this wont provide that.

flying images on mac (2, Informative)

sandhitsu (137353) | about 4 years ago | (#31776160)

On my macbook pro, Safaris is the winner! 60 fps consistently. Firefox reached 45 fps. Sadly, Chrome is is my default browser now could only go upto 6 fps!
Who cares about IE9 anyway ?

Re:flying images on mac (3, Interesting)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31776244)

Wow, seriously? I just ran the demo on my iMac and couldn't get above 10 fps.

Maybe you're running Snow Leopard? I'm still on 10.5, which has no OpenCL on board. Could it be that the latest versions of Safari and Firefox use OpenCL to accelerate these sort of things already?

Re:flying images on mac (1)

sandhitsu (137353) | about 4 years ago | (#31776290)

yes i'm using snow leopard so OpenCL maybe helping out. google hasn't been keeping chrome's mac version up-to-date as much as I'd like them to, so that's a shame: not because of poor performance on this test, but other outstanding bugs not being fixed etc. I use it because it feels snappier (maybe Opera would do even better but haven't tried lately).

vod server - faster ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776176)

if this accelerates my web based video on demand streaming server then I am all up for it.

It wont make my progressive download faster though.

How is text rendering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776212)

All GPU accelerated text rendering I've ever seen sucks. I mostly read on the web, don't care much about animated GIFs and their modern equivalences.

They should fix their rendering code first (3, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#31776276)

for their shitty ie8 treats tag as a block level element. which means, you cant format or distribute long, populated forms properly with the use of divs, tables or any other form of structured output tag. adding "display : inline;" to a separate style declaration into the form tag doesnt fix it either. so, if you have any nested structure coexisting with the form, the tag acts like a or a

in regard to that structure in ie8. no other browser has this issue, not even ie6 has this issue.

this is a current hell, that i am in precisely at this second in time, and i have to fix their incompetence for my client.

so my advice to them is ; fix your browser before doing any 'acceleration'.

puddlestomper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31776358)

Well IE and Mozilla are currently getting a severe beating in the speed stakes from Chrome, so they have to do something!

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