UI ideas/questions or can we animate things as smooth as iPhone?

Pedro Aguilar paguilar at junkerhq.net
Wed Jun 6 15:26:11 CEST 2007


An alternative could be DirectFB, it was designed specifically for
embedded systems, there is no overhead with any protocol or other things.

GDK has a DirectFB backend, so there is no problem running GTK+ apps over it.

It isn't easy to say how much the perfomance could improve, but it could
be a real alternative.

Pedro Aguilar

> 2007/6/6, Fabien <fleutot+openmoko at gmail.com>:
>> And I think openmoko can lead to real improvements in this domain, if:
> [...]
>> - some people with the right social skills make the UI improvement
>> effort
>> run smoothly.
> iPhone is fascinating because it's GUI is so responsive and so smooth.
> Unfortunately, current OpenMoko GUI running on GTA01 is exactly
> opposite - every icon tap causes lag, busy indicator isn't too
> reliable and user experience is hit by overall slowness.
> As we know, much less powered machines (like 7MHz Amiga with Workbench
> and even 1MHz C64 with Geos) had enough resources to provide rich and
> usable user interface. I mentioned PalmOS some time ago - it executed
> programs in-place so most apps started literally in half a second.
> Question to FIC Team an/or other embedded developers: is it possible
> to speed up OpenMoko GUI responsiveness by a factor of 10 or the
> guilty is too-multi-tiered architecture of Xorg/GTK/Matchbox set?
> If with GTK/Matchbox we cannot achieve such rich, fluid and, erm...,
> fluid GUI as iPhone, maybe it's not too late to drop GTK and choose
> other framework, designed for mobile devices and running quick
> framebuffer operations? GameBoy provided nice full-screen animations
> in 1989, eighteen years ago.
> I'm 100% sure nobody will cry after pure-X11 applications we loose
> this way. Almost every GTK application would require rewriting/porting
> to fit OpenMoko capabilities, so it's not great loss too. Not to
> mention font and other DPI-aware issues.
> If OpenMoko will be judged as "poor's man iPhone look and feel", it
> won't be attractive ever. To attract public attention we need at least
> one demo application which can animate elegant GUI with colorful
> widgets (e.g. album covers) as nice and smooth as we saw at iPhone
> commercials. If it cannot be done, it will be hard to advertise Neo,
> because youtube screencasts is today primary way people become
> acquainted with new device's user interfaces.
> --
> Tomek Z.
> tomasz.zielinski at gmail.com
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