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Moonlight Now Does GPU Acceleration

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  • Moonlight Now Does GPU Acceleration

    Phoronix: Moonlight Now Does GPU Acceleration

    In the off-hours of XDS Toulouse a few of us were wondering what David Reveman has been working on lately for Novell. David was the creator of the now-defunct XGL and has worked on Compiz, Glitz, and other Linux graphics projects, but lately his work really hasn't been publicized (nor has he been present at XDS, X@FOSDEM, etc) and even other SuSE/Novell employees have been unsure what his day-to-day activities are for Novell. It turns out at least one of his recent projects has been bringing GPU acceleration to Moonlight...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODgyMQ

  • #2
    MS sock puppet go away!

    We want Java not .NET! Oh wait, Java is now in the possession of the 'Oracle'...

    Man! What am I gonna use?!

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    • #3
      fucking Icaza got him. poor bastard.

      and, yeh, future of web doesn't seem bright with all those corporate vendor locking and monopolization, buying off big companies by bigger assholes. there is some rumors that MS wants to buy Adobe with their flash and graphic software. oh, how fucked will we be then.

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      • #4
        From what I've seen of MS and Adobe's products, I think MS owning Adobe would actually be an *improvement*. I'll take Silverlight over flash any day.

        Java has been dying for a long time, I don't think its coming back in a big way at this point.

        The future is in HTML5! You gotta thank Apple and Google for that one, everything has to run on the iPad, iPhone, and Android mobile devices now.

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        • #5
          What a waste of money and developer resources...

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          • #6
            Java applets are starting to not look so bad. Java has been able to do cross-platform hardware acceleration like this for ages. Running this kind of thing on the Java vm is a way less convoluted and more versatile way of implementing rich web applications than... lets see... using javascript to manipulate DOM elements from SVG and expecting browsers to magically hardware accelarate it, hacking some limited declarative animation system into CSS3, proprietary plugins, holy buckets what a mess, and people wonder why browsers are "slow" (except they aren't unless people try doing stupid things with them). HTML5 is all hyped up because people see a few shiny features and canvas demos and jump on the bandwagon.

            This Moonlight acceleration is pretty cool I suppose at least to allow accessibility to pages which unfortunately depend upon it.

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            • #7
              Java applets? That's so 1998.

              The world has moved on. Fortunately.

              Yes, "using javascript to manipulate DOM elements from SVG and expecting browsers to magically hardware accelarate it" is easily superior to loading a foreign process that hosts a VM, especially if it's one as insecure as Java or Flash.

              Hardware acceleration is pretty much a solved problem - all next-gen browsers will have it (apart from Opera whose software renderer is so fast it actually doesn't need it).

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              • #8
                Yes, "using javascript to manipulate DOM elements from SVG and expecting browsers to magically hardware accelarate it" is easily superior to loading a foreign process that hosts a VM, especially if it's one as insecure as Java or Flash.
                Javascript plus markup isn't powerful or extensible enough for general purpose development. You would never write a client application so stupidly so why a web application? I hate Java and Flash, and I wouldn't call either secure. Javascript as a language is actually not that bad. However the paradigm of general application development through manipulation of web documents is even more braindamaged. That's about the least ideal solution to the problem of high performance cross-platform networked computing I can imagine.

                That's why I see HTML5's specialized features as a stopgap measure and not a long-term solution. Plugins like Silverlight are marginally better, but then there's the problem of having each user install 3000 different incompatible plugin frameworks just to browse the web. The ultimate answer would be something like a standardized sandboxed bytecode interpreter, compiler-compiler, or perhaps llvm-like infrastructure targetable by arbitrary languages and capable of executing arbitrary code in any browser on any platform with acceptable performance. Java is currently the closest thing to that.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by phoronix View Post
                  turns out at least one of his recent projects has been bringing GPU acceleration to Moonlight
                  Adobe/Macromedia should have done the same thing to Flash 10 years ago but we still don't have a Flash version that accelerates its vector graphics via OpenGL.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Smorg View Post
                    Javascript plus markup isn't powerful or extensible enough for general purpose development. You would never write a client application so stupidly so why a web application?
                    You are quite mistaken. Gnome Shell and Unity3d both use Javascript on the desktop.

                    That's why I see HTML5's specialized features as a stopgap measure and not a long-term solution. Plugins like Silverlight are marginally better, but then there's the problem of having each user install 3000 different incompatible plugin frameworks just to browse the web. The ultimate answer would be something like a standardized sandboxed bytecode interpreter, compiler-compiler, or perhaps llvm-like infrastructure targetable by arbitrary languages and capable of executing arbitrary code in any browser on any platform with acceptable performance. Java is currently the closest thing to that.
                    Java applets are long dead and buried. Noone uses them anymore, and with good reason: they are slow, user-unfriendly and unsafe.

                    Silverlight would achieve what you propose (fast, safe and a model that is far superior to HTML+JS), but Microsoft fucked this one up from the get go. They should have standardized and open-sourced it from the beginning (with patent grant). Not that Apple and Linux zealots would have accepted that, but you never know.

                    NaCL from Google is promising, but it won't become viable for years.

                    As things stand, we'll be stuck with HTML/CSS/JS/SVG and half-assed <video> and <audio> for another decade at least. And IE6 refuses to die.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by not.sure View Post
                      What a waste of money and developer resources...
                      Yeah! If all this manpower had helped projects like gnash instead, we would be in a much better position today.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Apopas View Post
                        Yeah! If all this manpower had helped projects like gnash instead, we would be in a much better position today.
                        well gnash is dead, long live html5


                        As for moonlight, guess it still doesnt work with netflix...

                        netflix should had gone with flash, like hulu

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by madjr View Post
                          well gnash is dead, long live html5


                          As for moonlight, guess it still doesnt work with netflix...

                          netflix should had gone with flash, like hulu
                          So we'd have to rely on yet another DRM-laden binary blob with more security wholes than an old rag. Thanks, but no thanks. At least Moonlight is OSS.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                            So we'd have to rely on yet another DRM-laden binary blob with more security wholes than an old rag. Thanks, but no thanks. At least Moonlight is OSS.
                            it may be oss and thats great, but is not working for what people need it and thats: netflix.

                            netflix works on everything except desktop linux.

                            is like having an oss flash that cant load youtube videos... what would that be good for?

                            i dont see much future for this project, specially with html5.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by madjr View Post
                              it may be oss and thats great, but is not working for what people need it and thats: netflix.

                              netflix works on everything except desktop linux.

                              is like having an oss flash that cant load youtube videos... what would that be good for?

                              i dont see much future for this project, specially with html5.
                              Fortunately, netflix users are a tiny tiny minority of the world. Look at the big picture: 99.999% simply doesn't care one way or another. Some may actually find the lack of DRM refreshing.

                              Now, I agree that Silverlight/Moonlight doesn't have much of a future in the web. Microsoft is now pitching Silverlight as a platform for rich desktop and intranet applications, plus a content (video) delivery mechanism. For regular web development, they actually support HTML5+CSS3+JS+SVG now (which is a very surprising turn, given their past).

                              Personally speaking, I consider Silverlight/Moonlight as a low-cost way to build simple, cross-platform GUIs. It is a big step up from Swing/WinForms/WPF (which are the de-facto standards in the corporate world) and has a significantly lower development cost than Qt/GTK/Cocoa. Perfect for LOB applications.

                              I also consider the cross-platform nature of Silverlight an advantage. You will probably not see any Silverlight applications on your desktop, but Silverlight *can* influence a company's decision to move from Windows to Linux (if their day-to-day infrastructure is built on Silverlight then a Linux transition is possible. Think of Moonlight as a trojan horse into the Microsoft-held corporate world).

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