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Raspberry Pi Gets a Brand New Browser

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the brand-new dept.

Software 107

sfcrazy writes The Raspberry Pi team has announced a new browser for Raspberry Pi. They had worked with Collabora to create an HTML5-capable, modern browser for Pi users. While announcing the new browser, Eben Upton said, "Eight months and a lot of hard work later, we're finally ready. Epiphany on Pi is now a plausible alternative to a desktop browser for all but the most JavaScript-heavy sites."

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not using your pi for minecraft server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802295)

You're doing it wrong.

Re:not using your pi for minecraft server? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 2 months ago | (#47805303)

Hehe, I first read "Microsoft server" and wondered WTF...

Re:not using your pi for minecraft server? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47809467)

I've actually installed the Minecraft server on my Raspberry Pi, and used it.

It can't support more than two simultaneous users. And the world is a very small one - my kids and I were looking at using it to build a California mission replica, and decided that the space was too small.

The browser isn't powerful enough to show more than a frame or so every few seconds of any video you may care to watch, on Youtube.

It's probably well suited to streaming music but I'd guess the upper limits on how many streams it could serve simultaneously could be counted with a single digit.

Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802321)

Anyone who uses their RbPi for web browsing is just asking for trouble. It's way underpowered for today's Web 3.0. In order to browse the web you need a lot more horsepower than this. (I never thought I'd see myself type those words. I think it means there's something seriously wrong with the WWW.)

Re:Not the correct application for this (5, Funny)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about 2 months ago | (#47802389)

No, it has nothing to do with the WWW. It has a lot to do with poorly designed web browsers written in C/C++ which leak memory like a sieve and treat memory like everything has unlimited quantities of it. A well designed web browser supporting ALL of the HTML, Javascript and other web standards could use a small fraction of what Firefox uses if it is written properly and in a better language like Ruby. With some quality programming, the web browsers could use a fraction of the CPU power they do now by storing off screen graphics in compressed formats, for instance, especially since ending up with disk caching due to using up the RAM is far more resource intensive than decompressing images. There is no reason, NO REASON that Firefox should eat up 1 GB of RAM. The Javascript and HTML engines supporting ALL of the latest standards and ALL legacy standards only take up a few MB of RAM. There is massive memory leakage going on these browsers of forgotten image and multimedia data. Observing the behaviour of Firefox it cannot be anything else, when you open 20 windows and then close all except the first one, memory never goes back down. If web browsers were written in say, Perl or Ruby, I gaurantee that you could easily have browsers that are many times faster than current browsers because the memory usage and swapping would be much less, plus would be much safer without all of the buffer overruns.

Re: Not the correct application for this (1)

Rhaban (987410) | about 2 months ago | (#47802407)

Had doubts wether trolling or not, but you got me at "perl".

Re: Not the correct application for this (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 2 months ago | (#47802453)

Not at the first mention of Ruby?

Re: Not the correct application for this (2)

Rhaban (987410) | about 2 months ago | (#47802479)

There are weird ruby lovers out there.

Re: Not the correct application for this (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47803627)

There are weird ruby lovers out there.

On such example:

http://alanwalkerart.com/wp/wp... [alanwalkerart.com]

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802469)

There is no reason, NO REASON that Firefox should eat up 1 GB of RAM.

And there's no reason it shouldn't if no other programs need the memory.

Re:Not the correct application for this (5, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 months ago | (#47802491)

There is no reason, NO REASON that Firefox should eat up 1 GB of RAM.

Firefox caches images and rendered pages so that things happen reasonably fast. A 1000x1000 colur image at 24 bit is already 3M. There is no way a modern page with an image or two would fit in a few M.

Once you have 800 tabs loaded (something I tend to do) all running JS and using images all over the place, memory vanishes fast.

There are basically several problems. Yeah firefox isn't perfect and could do with some optimization. But, many websites do pointless bloaty stuff and require scads of JS and huge images just to show some text. And then there's the browsing habits.

These days I run with NoScript, and a tab unloader, and I'm picky what scripts I allow. It makes firefox usable on my 1GB netbook. It's taking up 176M at the moment. Actually it's got a bit better recently. Even with those it needed restarting to clear the ram, but now it runs substantially longer.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

goarilla (908067) | about 2 months ago | (#47802747)

800 tabs. Hyperbole much but the question is how much. I guess maybe 80 tabs ?
Spill it, I need to know. What if I show you mine first: I'm currently at 17.
How bad is your tab hoarding ?

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47803011)

800 tabs. Hyperbole much

Horseshit. I've had 1300 open. I am over 400 a large proportion of time. Not everyone is an irrelevant lightweight.

Re:Not the correct application for this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803131)

Wow. You're such a big faggot for having so many tabs open at once!!!! Wowzerssws!!!!!
 
Just keep taking that cock up your ass and let the adults talk.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803375)

Do you have them open because "lulz look how many tabs I can have open"? Serious question. Because there must be tabs there you haven't looked at in months, and if they disappeared you'd never know.

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47804865)

I have over 9000....

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

goarilla (908067) | about 2 months ago | (#47805141)

How do you manage that: several windows dedicated to different purposes, a grouper plugin ?

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Xolotl (675282) | about 2 months ago | (#47805203)

843 today, over about 20 windows ... each window to different purpose, yes. Session Manager to save them reliably. Mostly it's documentation and stuff-to-read relating to various projects in parallel. Firefox's tab handling is awesome compared to e.g. Chrome ...

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47805253)

They invented this thing called a bookmark.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Xolotl (675282) | about 2 months ago | (#47805437)

I have in the high thousands of bookmarks, that's another thing FF shines at with the bookmarks sidebar and search, Chrome sucks at finding bookmarks. But it's much easier and quicker to open a bunch of tabs (right-click), keep them open and topically-grouped in one window while needed, and close them after, than bookmarking things which might never be returned to or might not turn out ot be useful, and then trying to find them.

Re:Not the correct application for this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802833)

A 1000x1000 colur image at 24 bit is already 3M.

WTF kind of web page is going to have a 1000x1000 image on it? Don't answer that. I know you'll actually have a real answer.

It looks like this is real problem: people are going to ridiculous web pages, and expecting the web browser to render them instead of telling the user the truth: "You don't want to see this page, my human master."

Over a dozen tabs sounds a little weird too. No browser I have ever tried (msie11, firefox31, chrome-whatever, safari 6.x) has ever had a decent user interface that made that "lots" (I realize it's a subjective number) of tabs truly work-withable. But that's also something under the human's control, so I think it's reasonable to predict that a Pi user wouldn't have a lot of tabs, if that turned out to cause them performance problems.

The whole point of tabs, I thought, was to be a convenient UI. How can more tabs than you can see, be useful? If you can't see them and are using some other abstraction (wtf, are you writing a SELECT statement to pick the "tab" you're searching for?) then is the word "tab" really appropriate?

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 2 months ago | (#47803153)

I have 19 open, organized by task (the last 3 are just general browsing, most of the rest are references for a project I'm working on). Related things are close together. 18 of the 19 are currently visible in the bar, with the titles legible. It's a little more convenient than having them down in the taskbar would be. If I have multiple activities that each need a large number of tabs, that's why God invented tab groups.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

gnite (3701059) | about 2 months ago | (#47804811)

With firefox + tree style tabs it's perfectly work-withable to have dozens, if not hundreds of tabs open. You can easily see at least 40 tabs on the screen at once + collapse trees that you don't need at the moment.

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802917)

+1 for noscript. I started using it years ago and I've never experienced any of the memory complaints everyone seem to have with firefox.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 2 months ago | (#47803033)

"Even with those it needed restarting to clear the ram"

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Re:Not the correct application for this (2)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47803605)

Firefox caches images and rendered pages so that things happen reasonably fast. A 1000x1000 colur image at 24 bit is already 3M.

Web pages don't usually have 1000x1000 images, with the exception of wallpaper sites, and people sure as hell don't keep 300 tabs open with those images, to justify Firefox using 1GB+ of memory and swapping to disk... Never mind the fact that Firefox could cache the compressed version of the images, and re-render that part of the page when the tab gains focus.

There is no way a modern page with an image or two would fit in a few M.

If we're going by Firefox, it seems there's no way a modern page or two will fit in a few GB.

many websites do pointless bloaty stuff and require scads of JS and huge images just to show some text.

Yes they do, but Firefox is smart enough to delay the loading of tabs until they gain focus, and could STOP the processing of all JS and unload decompressed images from cache when they lose focus again.

My browsing habits sure aren't to blame... I use NoScript and Adblock, too, and never have more than 20 tabs, and yet about every 8 hours I need to close Firefox because my 1GB of RAM is exhausted, and the swapping to disk is making my system unresponsive... This with the lightweight Fluxbox as my WM, and absolutely nothing else running.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

RoccamOccam (953524) | about 2 months ago | (#47803965)

You know, generally speaking, you can get back to a website even after you close a tab. You shouldn't be afraid of losing that page.

Why tab unloader if FF could implement a limit? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 2 months ago | (#47804703)

FireFox thus far have refused to implement a configuration feature where they themselves limit the amount of memory they use. They say it's already built in and auto-tuning based on the amount of memory the OS reports. It's about time that FireFox stop being so arrogant and just let me set a limit, because I don't want them to eat all memory that I want to use for other applications that now have to resort to swap because a browser eats over 2G of my ram.

Re:Why tab unloader if FF could implement a limit? (1)

Shirley Marquez (1753714) | about 2 months ago | (#47808795)

Your suggestion of letting the user set a limit is a good one. Firefox can't possibly know what the application mix of every user will be. If, for example, you load Firefox and a bunch of tabs and then launch Photoshop or Eclipse, Firefox is likely to have grabbed more of your RAM that it really should have. That's a likely usage pattern for somebody who uses webmail at work. You start your day by reading your email and checking your calendar, and then launch your work applications after you have gotten through it.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802517)

Let me get this straight.

- You suggest Ruby, which is known to be notoriously slow, would be a good choice of language to write a high-performance browser
- You suggest burning CPU cycles for compression/decompression helps save CPU cycles
- You have problems with the idea of a browser written in C/C++, but subsequently suggest using a language written in C/C++.

Either you're trolling or are so thick that you don't see your own doublethink.

 

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802569)

I think you might be too thick to notice the joke...

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802633)

I would have to agree with the Ruby poster, if Firefox is leaking then I will bet ruby will use less memory:

signed,
x86 asm programmer

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802539)

Maybe browsers aren't as efficient as they could be, but current "web design" practices are definitely to blame for the general slowness. For example, this page (Slashdot Classic) wants to load (mostly scripts) from eight additional domains. I have a couple of web sites of my own, and they all load instantly and scroll without a hitch, even though I use scripts to enhance the presentation too, but of course I learned web design and programming in the 90s, when computers with 200MHz CPUs were still around. Pages these days load scripts to show you social networking buttons (and track you), load scripts to show you adverts (and track you), load scripts to drop referral cookies (which help track you), load scripts to show you maps (and track you), load script libraries and scripts to show you pictures (and track you) and load scripts from at least three "analytics" services to track you. Pages like that take several seconds to load, and after they're done loading they're still slow, even on a multi-core, multi-GHz CPU. The web is FUBAR. I wouldn't use it without AdblockPlus. Major ad networks are blocked at the DNS level. Lately I've added the RequestPolicy addon to my defenses.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 2 months ago | (#47805197)

I recently stopped using AdblockPlus, for Ghostery+NoScript+Flashblock already block everything ABP would block otherwise

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 months ago | (#47802571)

1) Ever heard of caching? 2) Browsers do not need to support HTML standards, but real-world HTML practices, which is messy. Such as tested by Acid2.

Re:Not the correct application for this (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47802645)

which leak memory like a sieve and treat memory like everything has unlimited quantities of it.

You have no idea what a memory leak is. None. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard a layman use the term correctly. A memory leak would lead to the application using a hell of a lot more memory than Firefox ever could in just a few seconds, if not immediately, and lead to the application faulting. And, for a point of fact, modern computers start with 8gig of memory, and then there's the page file/swap space. Effectively memory is unlimited, at least in comparison to the paltry 1 gig of memory Firefox is using. Firefox is a browser meant for browsing... and if that's what you're doing with it, that 1gig of memory is nothing. What background apps are using up the other 7gig? If you're running it in the background to do something, you're using the wrong application. Pandora has its own lightweight app for example.

A well designed web browser supporting ALL of the HTML, Javascript and other web standards could use a small fraction of what Firefox uses if it is written properly and in a better language like Ruby.

Example? Why aren't we all using it? Firefoxes massive advertising budget?

There is no reason, NO REASON that Firefox should eat up 1 GB of RAM.

Of course there is. You seem to have this idea that memory is the be all end all of resources. This was true in the 70s and 80s. Memory was $$$ then and you gave up everything to save memory. But now memory is insanely cheap... so you can use more memory if it decreases load times, lowers CPU load... or in the case of firefox, if it reduces badnwidth usage. Now-a-days bandwidth is the $$$. Many people in the world are on capped internet connections or they get charged by the gig downloaded. So Firefox has made caching its #1 priority, You are saving money on you monthly internet bill at the expense of storing that data in memory.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802753)

You have no idea what a memory leak is. None. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard a layman use the term correctly. A memory leak would lead to the application using a hell of a lot more memory than Firefox ever could in just a few seconds, if not immediately, and lead to the application faulting.

Bullshit. Time is no factor in the mere question of whether something leaks memory or not. If a program fails to properly release memory then it's a memory leak, whether it's one gigabyte per second, or one byte per day.

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802797)

You have no idea what a memory leak is. None. In fact, I don't think I've ever heard a layman use the term correctly. A memory leak would lead to the application using a hell of a lot more memory than Firefox ever could in just a few seconds, if not immediately, and lead to the application faulting.

I'm afraid it is you that are wrong. A memory leak just means that it is not properly cleaning up after itself i.e. releasing memory when no longer required. It does not mean that the app needs to crash. It does not mean that the app needs to keep leaking until all memory is used and it crashes for it to be a leaky app. For example clicking on the back button or some other control may cause a few bytes to be consumed that are never released because of poor programming/memory handling. This is a leak. Will the app crash? On a modern machine it is not likely as you'd have to click a lot of times in order to consume enough memory. However it does not stop it being a memory leak. In the case of Firefox start with one tab. Check the memory usage. Open lots of different tabs, for instance, by opening links from your favourite iGoogle style dashboard. Note the memory usage. Leave them sit there for a while. Then go through closing them down. I guarantee you that you will not get back to anywhere near the starting level. That is a memory leak by definition. Whether it is caused directly by Firefox or by plugins and extensions being used is a moot point as far as the end user is concerned. I find it tends to occur on more JS heavy sites.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803205)

I'm afraid it is you that are wrong. A memory leak just means that it is not properly cleaning up after itself i.e. releasing memory when no longer required. It does not mean that the app needs to crash. It does not mean that the app needs to keep leaking until all memory is used and it crashes for it to be a leaky app. For example clicking on the back button or some other control may cause a few bytes to be consumed that are never released because of poor programming/memory handling. This is a leak. Will the app crash? On a modern machine it is not likely as you'd have to click a lot of times in order to consume enough memory. However it does not stop it being a memory leak.

Correct. The GP was wrong.

In the case of Firefox start with one tab. Check the memory usage. Open lots of different tabs, for instance, by opening links from your favourite iGoogle style dashboard. Note the memory usage. Leave them sit there for a while. Then go through closing them down. I guarantee you that you will not get back to anywhere near the starting level. That is a memory leak by definition.

No, it is not. You gave the correct definition earlier: the app is not releasing memory which was allocated but is no longer necessary.
Without knowing how Firefox works internally it's difficult to say that closing tabs should recover that memory, but I'm going on a limb and say that it shouldn't. For one thing, you can reopen closed tabs, and they'll come back essentially as they were left, including the ability to navigate using the back button. Where do you think this information is stored?
There are also other complex mechanisms involved in showing a page that might have an impact on memory even after tabs are closed. Image and other caches may be kept in memory for some time rather than being dumped to disk straight away; the JS engine may keep components loaded for faster access on subsequent runs; if you open a page with flash, the plugin will probably remain loaded even if you close all pages with flash content; etc.

A modern browser is a lot more than a HTML renderer. It's a complete platform, and honestly 1GB of RAM after heavy usage doesn't seem like all that much considering all it does.

Re: Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47807467)

This may have changed since I last looked at it, but if you're running ff or any other program on Linux, it will always keep all the pages it has ever allocated at its maximum memory usage point, because of how Linux malloc works. When you malloc a block of memory, it first looks at the free list to see if it has a chunk at least that big, and gives it to you if so. If not, it calls sbrk, and gets more pages from the os, adds them to malloc's free list, then gives you the memory you wanted. Last time I tried this it would sbrk 100m at a time. It never gives pages back to the os. When you're no longer using pages, they'll just become unused swapped out pages still owned by the app. I think, unless there's some kind of reclamation that Linus added. If it works like I think, then FF or any other program will always own the maximum memory that it has ever used, until you restart it. Not sure if it works the same in windows. On a machine with plenty of rotating disk, this behavior is only mildly annoying, because the swapped out ram is not really physical ram being used. Unless FF lets it fragment enough that most pages have to be physical (aop virtual), not sure. On a machine with limited ram and limited swap, this will require a restart after the mem usage peak to reclaim ram to the os. Note that this is not a FF design problem, it's how Linux malloc works, for all programs. Unless I'm wrong :-)

Not all PCs have 8 GB of RAM (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47803381)

modern computers start with 8gig of memory

Is the ASUS Transformer Book [microsoftstore.com] , a 10" convertible laptop computer, not "modern" because it ships with only 2 GB of RAM?

Besides, not all computers still in use are modern. I do most of my web browsing on a four-year-old Dell Inspiron mini 1012, a 10" laptop that came with only 1 GB of RAM and runs Xubuntu. Flashblock helps keeps Firefox below half a GB, after which point the bottleneck is not memory but the fact that Firefox uses only half of the CPU. Though an Atom has two-way simultaneous multithreading, Firefox is still single-threaded which brings a longer wait for complicated JavaScript and CSS to finish processing, especially on things like Cracked.com or Slashdot beta. My first-generation ASUS Nexus 7 tablet computer is stuck at 1 GB as well.

and then there's the page file/swap space.

A lot of computers without a rotating hard drive, such as my Nexus 7, can't afford to swap. Instead, they have a harsher OOM killer.

Firefox is a browser meant for browsing... and if that's what you're doing with it, that 1gig of memory is nothing. What background apps are using up the other 7gig?

I'm guessing that when no application is using part of the RAM, the chipset could power down unused RAM to prolong battery life.

Re:Not all PCs have 8 GB of RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47805261)

8 GB? Holy shit, I must be a luddite because I still use 2 GB of memory in this crusty old Thinkpad T61. I'm not a hardcore gamer or involved in professional video editing, so I have little need for extra memory beyond the occasional "hey, that would be nice". When you spend most of your time in a text editor, terminal, and browser with Pandora on in the background (Pithos FTW!), then the other 6 GB are sitting largely untouched.

Yes, I know. Clearly everyone needs 8 GB for Cocksucker Crush...

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 months ago | (#47805749)

A memory leak would lead to the application using a hell of a lot more memory than Firefox ever could in just a few seconds, if not immediately,

[citation needed]

It is perfectly possible to have a slow memory leak. Saying otherwise is dumb. If the leak is in an infrequently-called routine, or simply does not occur every time the leaky routine is called, then it won't happen the way you imagine that it will.

But now memory is insanely cheap...

...except on mobile platforms, where the power budget has to be considered along with the cost of the memory. And did I mention that DDR4 costs about twice as much as DDR3?

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Shirley Marquez (1753714) | about 2 months ago | (#47808851)

Memory may be cheap, though not as cheap as it was a couple of years ago; the street price of RAM has nearly doubled since then. But lots of low-end laptops have rather low limits on how much RAM you can install, like Bay Trail laptops with 4GB, and mobile devices like phones and tablets can't be upgraded at all and are likely to have a measly 2GB.

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802961)

visual basic?

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47803073)

I blame people who have no idea that sending a 1.8MB, 3000x2000 pixels PNG is a bad idea both for the size of the file and the RAM required to store the file and the RAM required to decompress the image in order to display it. And that's only the background image of a single page.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 months ago | (#47803295)

With Seamonkey you can still rightclick an image and select 'Block images from url.com' and bip! Sorry, web 'designer', you failed to impress. Firefox has gone over to the darkside and doesn't have this feature. It's nice to have the images from adservers blocked so the aren't even loaded.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 months ago | (#47803569)

With some quality programming, the web browsers could use a fraction of the CPU power they do now by storing off screen graphics in compressed formats, for instance, especially since ending up with disk caching due to using up the RAM is far more resource intensive than decompressing images.

While the rest of your comment may be sarcastic, this is actually a very good idea. First, it is actually many, many times faster to recompute a value than to pull it from memory:

Jim Gettys: "There seems to be a common fallacy among programmers that using memory is good: on current hardware it is often much faster to recompute values than to have to reference memory to get a precomputed value. A full cache miss can be hundreds of cycles, and hundreds of times the power consumption of an instruction that hits in the first level cache."
http://lwn.net/Articles/188060... [lwn.net]

Secondly, even if we're talking about content that isn't already available in compressed form (which most web content is), there are simple compression methods like LZOP, where the extra CPU overhead is still faster than the increased amount of I/O needed to transfer the equivalent amount of uncompressed data.

"lzop is usually IO-bound and not CPU-bound"
http://www.lzop.org/ [lzop.org]

Frankly, I'd be happy to turn off all Firefox caching if I could... I never open more than 20 tabs, and certainly not with huge images, yet on my 1GB system, Firefox starts causing swapping to disk after every 8 hours or so, and needs to be restarted, and I certainly don't buy the cop-out that my add-ons (Adblock and NoScript) are to blame, while Firefox would be perfect otherwise. And this is with the LTS/ESR version, which is supposed to be the super-stable version.

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

DamnOregonian (963763) | about 2 months ago | (#47804469)

At first I thought, "oh great. Fucking ruby nutball."

Then I got to "perl". Well done. Well fucking done.

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47805265)

It treads dangerously close to the cliffs of Poe's Law.

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47805565)

You had me at PERL as being a better choice than C/C++. Very funny :-)

Re:Not the correct application for this (1)

Shirley Marquez (1753714) | about 2 months ago | (#47808707)

That doesn't necessarily mean that Firefox is leaking memory. It could mean that it is keeping it for its own reuse rather than releasing it back to the system. If the expectation is that the browser user will soon need the memory again (perhaps by opening 19 new tabs), that is likely to be more efficient than releasing it to the system pool and then later asking for it again. On the other hand, if the user next needs all that memory to run something OTHER than Firefox it's not so good.

The Chrome model of using a separate process for each tab leads more naturally to release of memory to the system, as there is no alternative when the tab's process is terminated.

Not caching uncompressed graphics, as you are suggesting, is an interesting possibility for memory-limited systems. To see whether it is a net gain it would be necessary to build a browser that did it, preferably by doing a modification of an existing browser like Firefox (so you could compare apples to apples) rather than creating a completely new one.

Re:Not the correct application for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802391)

Although it can reply to Slashdot comments OK, that's not "Web 3.0" but handy all the same.

Awesome (0)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47802353)

So because they insisted on using a crappy 12-year-old design ARM11 CPU, they need a custom browser to compensate.

Why not make a Raspberry Pi model C, with a Cortex based CPU? If they used a modern A17 at 1.4Ghz, it would be just as low-power and have ~8x more performance.

Re:Awesome (5, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 months ago | (#47802431)

So because they insisted on using a crappy 12-year-old design ARM11 CPU, they need a custom browser to compensate.

Why not make a Raspberry Pi model C, with a Cortex based CPU? If they used a modern A17 at 1.4Ghz, it would be just as low-power and have ~8x more performance.

Because they like to sell their the Pi's at or below $35?

Re:Awesome (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47802909)

Considering you can buy [aliexpress.com] a 7" tablet with a 1.5GHz dual core Cortex A7 with 512MB ram and 8GB flash for $38, I don't see why the Raspberry Pi, with no flash, no battery and no screen couldn't be even cheaper than $35 with a different SOC.

Re:Awesome (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47803081)

Made in China vs made in UK?

Re:Awesome (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47803159)

At least the first 10,000 Raspberry Pi's were made in China.
They didn't even start manufacturing in UK until September 2012.
They were still manufacturing in China in December 2012.

Re:Awesome (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47803123)

Well I bought 3 things from Aliexpress:

A 32gb SD card which craps out if you copy more than 2gb on it.
A set of 3w garden lights which draw just over 1.5w at full power and burn out if you even slightly raise the voltage.
A Bluetooth speaker with the beats logo which has approximately 10 min battery life.

So yes you can make anything for any price, but I'd rather buy something which works rather than something unrealistically cheap.

Re:Awesome (1)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47803059)

That's not an answer. That just says they made a stupid choice. Face it. Anybody with half a brain buys the BeagleBone anyway. What's an extra $10-20? One or two pizzas.

Re:Awesome (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 2 months ago | (#47803099)

What's an extra $10-20? One or two pizzas.

Maybe I'd rather have the pizzas than waste money on something that I don't need?

Re:Awesome (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47803133)

What's an extra $10-20?

More than half the price of another raspberry pi.

People with brains buy a system to suit their needs. People with really good brains optimise that system to get maximum performance. Everybody else needlessly spends money on something more powerful than they need.

Horses for courses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803833)

People with really good brains optimise that system to get maximum performance. Everybody else needlessly spends money on something more powerful than they need.

Indeed. That's why nobody with good brains who has an embedded application would choose the Raspberry Pi for it, since the Raspberry Pi is 90% GPU + DSP (its VideoCore IV) with just a tiny old ARM11 core tucked in one corner. Unless you need video or OpenGL ES capability, this board is a waste of money on inappropriate functions and results in wasted high power consumption too.

That's why the Raspberry Pi is so good as a media centre, and so useless for embedding and hardware interfacing --- as you point out, it's the wrong choice for that.

Re:Awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803225)

What's an extra $10-20? One or two pizzas.

(a) For me, $10-$20 is no big deal, especially since I don't need many small board computers. What about a school district that is buying Pi's in bulk? A very poor school district?

If the BeagleBone is a better deal for you, then buy that. I plan to buy that (BeagleBone Black, thank you very much). But I don't think the RPi guys are "stupid" or "made a stupid choice".

(b) If you look at the history of how the RPi got made, it was always going to be a Broadcom SOC with that particular CPU core. The RPi guys didn't have total freedom to do any damn thing they wanted to do; the head RPi guy worked at Broadcom.

I for one am glad the RPi got made. And people are doing lots of cool stuff with them. At the price, they are being used for things that you might have used an Arduino for, because why not.

So don't moan about how the RPi isn't ideal for a desktop replacement. It has its place and it's not a "stupid" thing at all.

Re:Awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803407)

It has its place and it's not a "stupid" thing at all.

Keep in mind that this is Slashdot. As long as a product doesn't meet that autistic need for every little factor to be 100% compliant with one's personal tastes, it's a stupid waste of time.

Re:Awesome (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 months ago | (#47803653)

But he's clearly smarter than everybody who spent years thinking of and designing an enormously successful product.

Nah, he's really a fuckwit but thanks to Dunning-Kruger he doesn't know it.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47805273)

Not necessarily in this case, but I often find people citing Dunning-Kruger to be the very ones most susceptible to it. Geekoid comes to mind.

APK! APK! APK! I summon APK!

Re:Awesome (1)

jandrese (485) | about 2 months ago | (#47806547)

Having used both the Beaglebone and a Pi, I actually prefer the Pi. There is just more developer support and thinks work better. The BBB has a bunch of annoyances, like Angstrom Linux (blows), and that the on-board memory is just too damn small (2GB is not enough). Booting off of external SD works, but you have to go through this annoying contortion of holding down a button while plugging it in to make it work. Even once you get Debian booted off of the SD, it is missing stuff that the Pi has, like Google Chrome. Once you use the factory overclock option on the Pi, it is just as fast or faster too. In my benchmarks of a somewhat weird application I wrote the Pi with the standard OC (scale up to 1Ghz) was actually slightly faster than the BBB. I would overclock the BBB to make it more fair, but again there isn't the developer support and I didn't find a way to do it.

Add in that the BBB is like 60% more expensive on top of that and it's just not a good buy. If you need a bunch of PWM channels or it's far superior general I/O capabilities then yeah go for the BBB, but if you're looking for a small Linux box for more general use then the Pi is better.

Re:Awesome (1)

SIGBUS (8236) | about 2 months ago | (#47807387)

Recent versions of the BeagleBone Black have 4 GB of internal flash and come with Debian pre-installed.

That being said, I have a RPi, mainly for use as a media center (one of the best uses for it).

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802437)

I agree, their main goal was to keep the cost minimum. But I think they should now make RPi Pro with Cortex based SoC or even Snapdragon SoC.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802971)

BananaPi is like $10 more and has a much better SoC (A20, dual core A7, 1GHz) and twice as much RAM as the "big" Pi.
The Allwinner chips are quite nice to work with and are reasonably well documented. Pi really isn't that great unless your only intent is to teach their curriculum to school children; if you need a hardware platform for actually doing something there are much better choices for around the same price point.

CubieTech, Olimex, Merrii, BeagleBone, Freescale i.MX platforms...there are a ton of ARM SBCs in the sub-$100 price bracket with far better price/performance/docs/design than the Pi.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803453)

I bought a Cubieboard when they did their first Indiegogo campaign. The community was full of smug assholes, unwilling to help, but ready to deride you for not being a hardcore kernel hacker. The RasPi community is willing and patient to help people. On that factor alone, I'd rather tolerate the slower Pi than waste hours with Allwinner's esoteric configuration toolchain, and get called stupid for daring to ask how.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47804837)

If you're unwilling to put in the effort to learn a platform and you need schoolteachers holding your grown-ass hand the whole time, you must be a Pi fanboy.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47808705)

Wow, that was helpful, proving his point for him.

I guess you must be an evangelical smug asshole, not willing to merely be annoying on the official forums, but spreading the delight even further!

Thank you for saving many more people from wasting time on Cubieboard.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802445)

Because of the chipset, the Pi is basically a throwback to the single models of old. People have had to code to it, so if they change the SoC, nothing will be compatible* with it as is. They hacked up a chip that's not publicly documented to make it work.

*Mind you, it should be. However, from what I've seen of the development... it won't be. That's not because of the DIYers, but the way the Pi foundation has handled the chip/drivers.

Re:Awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802543)

It's a good thing.

Code of this lighter, faster browser for the Pi may end up in mainstream browsers, which will then be able to handle heavier, more complex, and more poorly-designed websites, which will in turn lead to an even faster, more efficient browser for the Pi.

The result after all this effort is that the Web will still be at least as slow as before, just the way we grumpy old gits like it.

Re:Awesome (1)

Zeio (325157) | about 2 months ago | (#47802591)

Agree. I think there should be something between Intel NUC and R-Pi. I think R-Pi has merit in that its just enough compute and memory to do almost everything, but I think in 2014 that more can be done with $35-$50.

Re:Awesome (3, Informative)

goarilla (908067) | about 2 months ago | (#47802783)

What about the Banana Pi http://www.bananapi.org/p/prod... [bananapi.org] .

Re:Awesome (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 months ago | (#47802977)

Apparently because the A20 boards are ~$50 they're not comparable to a Raspberry Pi, despite the Raspberry Pi being completely useless without an SD card that isn't included in the $35 because it has no onboard flash.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803471)

Worth it to avoid the clusterfuck that is linux-sunxi.

Re:Awesome (1)

savuporo (658486) | about 2 months ago | (#47802627)

Like this MIPS attempt ? http://www.pcworld.com/article... [pcworld.com]
Or any other or wannabe rpi competitors.

An improvement (5, Informative)

Rootbear (9274) | about 2 months ago | (#47802557)

I'm actually using Epiphany, the new browser, to post this. Slashdot was one of the first sites I visited and co-incidentally there was an article about it right at the top! So far, it does seem to be a nice upgrade to the previous Midori browser, which I found essentially unusable.

Re:An improvement (2)

colfer (619105) | about 2 months ago | (#47802629)

Seems WebKit will have a place after Chrome and Opera's split to Blink. (This new Pi browser is Webkit)

Re:An improvement (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 2 months ago | (#47803663)

It's unlikely Apple will go anywhere; Safari will keep using WebKit and it's a pretty good fraction of the mobile market.

Re:An improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803005)

Does it support webrtc?

Re:An improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47803841)

I used it to view a couple videos at youtube, it did good, a video of apples new HQ, And the end of Breaking Bad.

Re:An improvement (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 2 months ago | (#47805547)

I installed and used it and it's still slow as hell, Youtube doesn't work at all, the CPU still maxes out.
On a side note, I do have the 256mb rasb-pi, so maybe it requires the 512mb version to work well?

Oh well, I just went back to playing MAME and beat "The Punisher" arcade game instead :p

Re:An improvement (1)

jandrese (485) | about 2 months ago | (#47806575)

No doubt that Midori was horribly out of date and mostly worthless, but Pis have had Google Chrome in the repo forever now and it works just fine. Can you compare Chrome and Epiphany for functionality and speed? I do most of the browsing on the Pi with Chrome and other than needing a couple of seconds to render most pages it works just fine.

Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47802991)

Does it run Slashdot?

call it.. (1)

v4vijayakumar (925568) | about 2 months ago | (#47803703)

Rasome. (As in, Jhon Carter movie)

Lame name change (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 2 months ago | (#47804433)

It's no longer called "Epiphany". In what seems like an epiphany, the GNOME developers decided that it's much, much, easier to search for help for a browser called "Web". Great idea, there, guys. Was this intentional, to prevent intelligible bug reports from less sophisticated users?

One wonders whether they actually "eat their own dog food", or if they do, if they understand that the average user of GNOME isn't a GNOME developer.

Re:Lame name change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47808815)

Of course they use their own programs. And cut out any features they themselves do not use. It's the Gnome way.
Why else would they inflict such horrors on both their remaining users?

"It's too complicated, so I don't want to support it, so I cut it out. I don't use it anyway."

Lame name change (0)

Mathinker (909784) | about 2 months ago | (#47804439)

It's no longer called "Epiphany". In what seems like an epiphany, the GNOME developers decided that it's much, much, easier to search for help for a browser called "Web". Great idea, there, guys. Was this intentional, to prevent intelligible bug reports from less sophisticated users?

One wonders whether they actually "eat their own dog food", or if they do, if they understand that the average user of GNOME isn't a GNOME developer.

Raspberry Pi is not slow (4, Insightful)

ssam (2723487) | about 2 months ago | (#47804857)

People and programmers have been spoilt by multi-GHz multi-core CPUs. People used to edit video, design space ships, simulate physics, ray trace liquid metal and just about everything else on far weaker machines. It good to see that some people can achieve good performance on limited hardware. The raspberrypi foundation are funding work all over the free software stack, which will benifit plenty of people who have never seen or used a pi.

Re:Raspberry Pi is not slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47805291)

Yep. It's NICE to have these things available to us, but they are not the end-all and be-all of tools. That thing upstairs (your grey matter) is far more powerful for ill-defined problems. A computer is a glorified set of switches arranged in such a way as to represent a problem and perform rote operations upon it. It's just a tool. Losing sight of that means you lose sight of what YOU are capable of. Faster and faster consumer computers are an exercise in wankery as most people will barely give the silicon a warm-up in terms of what its capable of doing. We went to space on slide rules, after all. Enjoy the advanced tools, use them to whatever potential you're able to, but don't discount your own brain.

Not that I think wankery is bad. More cash for the manufacturers!

Re:Raspberry Pi is not slow (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 2 months ago | (#47805783)

The raspberrypi foundation are funding work all over the free software stack, which will benifit plenty of people who have never seen or used a pi.

Just a shame they dont promote C++. Instead, they choose Python and Scratch and blog it over everything else.

So they can optimize the OS for the Pi now, but 10 years down the line when the kids have grown up, its all for nothing.

And yes, i do agree with you, the Pi isnt slow. We are spoilt with high performance CPUs and choose to run programs made in Java/Python by amateurs who tell you that a i7 is needed.
We live in a world where simple and slow programming languages are the choice, instead of C++ and a little care and attention to whats being made.

Re:Raspberry Pi is not slow (1)

Shados (741919) | about 2 months ago | (#47805899)

We live in a world where there aren't enough "experts", and amateurs work for 125k/year on average in the big tech hubs.

At that point you end up having to do simple math. Is it worth it hiring the guy at 180k+/year who could do this in a way that it can run on modest hardware, or you hire the peanut gallery, who'll write maintainable code, but will do so with hardware requirements of $1000 instead of $100.

In that situation, the i7 cpu looks like a bargain.

Re:Raspberry Pi is not slow (1)

ssam (2723487) | about 2 months ago | (#47806985)

Having kids that can program at all is a very good thing. I think its good to teach programming concepts in simple languages instead of throwing them in at the deep end with C/C++.

Re:Raspberry Pi is not slow (1)

jandrese (485) | about 2 months ago | (#47806627)

For what its worth, I've been doing work where I have to run Wireshark, Libreoffice, and Chrome on a Pi all at once and it handles the job admirably. Everything is a little pokey like you might expect, but it's really quite usable. One thing I cannot recommend enough: Make sure you go back to the raspi-config program and make sure your board is configured for "max factory OC", which allows it to run at 1Ghz instead of the stock 700Mhz. My board has remained rock solid, and thanks to the OC also bumping the memory clock the board is nearly twice as fast. It makes a huge difference in day to day use.

One word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47805739)

Xombrero

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