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Canonical Continues To Talk Up Google's Flutter UI Toolkit

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  • #41
    Originally posted by unic0rn View Post
    i also disagree with the overall sentiment regarding web technologies (which flutter is not) - they're not that slow and are getting faster (webasm, webgpu). heck, even regular js with webgl can do wonders. it's less about the technology, more about what's done with it. take electron-based editors for example: atom is a memory-leaking resource hog, whereas vscode runs much, much better.
    The real problem isn't webtech itself. It's the fact that it's not integrated into the OS. Instead, it's implemented as it's entire own operating system, and each app you run boots its own OS. And each copy of the OS that's spawned is dynamically built, so there's next to no shared memory between apps - it's all anon memory. That means that even two copies of the same app running will thrash the CPU caches when they're on the same core because they have nothing in common.

    It's grossly inefficient - not because the tech itself is inefficient, but because the implementations are. And there's endless implementations. When you run Electron apps, each packages its own version of its OS, so even the small amount that could have been shared between instances is a complete one-off. It's worse than Docker, Snap, Flatpak, and AppImage. It's very much like firing up a copy of Windows 32-bit in VirtualBox for every app you run. Except even that would have more shared memory!!!

    And before you cry that it's not an OS, let me remind you that Netscape 2.0 was considered its own competing OS by all the major OS vendors. As is Java (for contrast, not for similarity). They manage their own processes. They implement their own runtimes and filesystems. Chromium, from which Electron is built, even implements its own device drivers.

    And that's why the amount of RAM and number of cores we need for a functioning desktop has ballooned faster than Moore's Law in the past few years. It's not because these apps are easier to code or providing superior functionality. It's not because they are grossly inefficient in and of themselves. It's because the implementations are grossly inefficient, and no 2 apps want the same release of the same implementation, because they're constantly evolving standards.

    It's great because each person gets to build apps in an environment they are comfortable with, and package up that entire environment with the app. Like Docker. Which is orders of magnitude more efficient. Maybe some day there will be a Docker for Web Apps. Maybe some day there will be a stable binary representation for Javascript which can be AOT-compiled, COW demand-paged like ELF binaries, and shared between Web Apps, so the 200MB required to show Hello World can at least be shared.

    This criticism doesn't come from a place of hate. It comes from a place of love and despair. I've been developing Web Apps for 17 years and been watching with marvel and dread at the directions things are going lol.

    As much as I dislike Apple's proprietary, vertical, Black Box mentality, I gotta say that their demands that no iOS app bring its own Web Engine to the platform, is worth applauding. It's a step in the right direction... but a step that will never ever happen on the desktop sadly.
    Last edited by linuxgeex; 19 March 2021, 06:37 PM.

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    • #42
      Originally posted by waitman View Post
      'Flutter is a truly cross-platform tool' is an overstatement? I don't believe it even runs on all Linux distributions. I've read it has a systemd requirement? I don't think it runs on any BSD or Unix systems, either. I think it's just windows, mac os, some Linux systems and chromeos and for mobile i guess ios and android. And is that just google's android or other people's android?
      They should change their headline from 'truly cross-platform' to 'platforms that matter'.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by chocolate View Post
        Classic 2011+ Canonical, always trying to disrupt the Linux ecosystem, always making the wrong choice (except when backtracking).
        Ubuntu high level feature work goes something like this:
        make a choice => whole linux universe is asking why => debian chooses a different path usually aligned with the 'universe' => ubuntu keeps choice (ufw, snap so far, ...) or reverts to debian (gnome, wayland, ...)

        PS. ubuntu devs do a ton of good work for Linux as a whole but sometimes ... 'ubuntu, w.t.h.?'
        Last edited by mppix; 19 March 2021, 06:26 PM.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by lowlands View Post
          Since Microsoft still has not bought Canonical I guess they are now trying with Google?
          I thought Canonical is preparing for an IPO, now that they are (slightly) profitable. The layoffs actually took place to make Canonical profitable and make it ready for an IPO, so that the company could expand.

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          • #45
            Originally posted by om26er View Post

            I thought Canonical is preparing for an IPO, now that they are (slightly) profitable. The layoffs actually took place to make Canonical profitable and make it ready for an IPO, so that the company could expand.
            just to end on the g-graveyard in 2 years?
            ubuntu is not even close to be profitable enough for google.. (unless the view it as AD platform similar to android but then it is not even close to popular enough)
            Last edited by mppix; 19 March 2021, 06:33 PM.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by mppix View Post

              just to end on the g-graveyard in 2 years?
              ubuntu is not even close to be profitable enough for google.. (unless the view it as AD platform similar to android but then it is not even close to popular enough)
              What part of the word IPO you didn't understand ? Why bring Google into the equation there ?

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              • #47
                Originally posted by chocolate View Post
                Classic 2011+ Canonical, always trying to disrupt the Linux ecosystem, always making the wrong choice (except when backtracking).
                Classic 2011 Canonical is the best thing that has ever happened to the Linux world. The wonderful days of Unity and Ubuntu One. Probably the best years of the Linux desktop, and an ever high popularity and market penetration, which ended up bringing the likes of Steam and Spotify to the whole Linux ecosystem. Since 2017, we are stuck with the lacklustre Gnome and the popularity and overall appeal of Linux has been going downhill, especially for Fedora.
                Snaps are horrible (but the lesser of two evils versus flatpacks), and I'm not saying Flutter is a good move, but whenever Canonical has been going its own way, its popularity has skyrocketed, since their visions is clearly very appealing to normal users, the majority. They need to pursue their vision (mistakes included) for the sake of the Linux desktop. For others, there is Red Hat, and it means we will have the choice. Choice is good.

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                • #48
                  Google Bad.
                  Canonical Bad.
                  Google Flutter UI Toolkit Bad.

                  If I could unsubscribe from anything with the keyword "Google" and "Canonical" I would be happier.

                  Originally posted by 60Hz View Post
                  Why would any developer care about anything Canonical says or recommends? They've proven themselves time and time again to be completely incompetent.
                  Somebody said wee-woo wee-woo wee-woo "TROLL BAIT" -- but honestly this banned user described exactly how I feel after a decade of watching Canonical.

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                  • #49
                    This is a really awkward mixture which honestly makes no sense to me at all outside to try to appeal to android devs to bring apps to their store and i don't think it will work well for them either

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by om26er View Post

                      They should change their headline from 'truly cross-platform' to 'platforms that matter'.
                      maybe? 'platforms that matter' is subjective I suppose. Tk is way more 'truly' cross-platform, relatively . AFAIK Flutter isn't 'truly' cross-platform.

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