GUI responsiveness (was Re: SHR first impression : it's slow ?)

HouYu Li karadog at
Wed Feb 25 02:19:37 CET 2009

Sounds amazing. But where can we get the serenity.edj theme???

On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 5:18 AM, Joel Newkirk <freerunner at> wrote:

> On Tue, 24 Feb 2009 12:32:09 +0100
> Helge Hafting <helge.hafting at> wrote:
> > Yorick Moko wrote:
> > >> I (and surely others) am working on a leaner, faster theme - any
> > >> eye-candy that distinctly impacts the user experience should NOT be
> > >> default, and in this case we desperately need a simple and fast
> > >> theme as the default or the immediate impression users will get
> > >> is: "Damn, this is slow!"
> > >>
> > >
> > > nice to hear that
> > > ugly and fast beats pretty and damn slow any day for me
> > > (pretty and fast would also be acceptable ;-))
> >
> > Pretty and fast should be possible then.
> >
> > There is no need for multiple layers of transparent icons. They can
> > be collapsed into one layer with a single transparent icon, looking
> > _exactly_ the same.
> >
> > Effects when a icon is actually selected is another story, but that
> > sort of thing should not need to impact scrolling.
> >
> > Helge Hafting
> Therein lies the problem, in a sense.  (or a large part of it)
> With the default.edj theme (Illume doesn't override it for Fileman,
> which includes Illume icons) every icon on the 'desktop' initially
> displays just the icon image, be it png, jpg, animated edj, whatever.
> When you touch the screen to scroll it, it will highlight the touched
> icon even if you don't actually select it.  When it highlights it, it
> makes visible a 'background' png behind the icon, and two or three
> layers of transparent pngs on top of the icon, to give the 'glass
> button with an icon embedded in it' effect. Even when not visible (IE,
> on at least all but one icon at a time) those extra pngs are there,
> their positions are calculated AFAIK and their bitmaps are loaded.
> (again, AFAIK - those two are internals of Enlightenment and I'm
> guessing)
> But to make the user experience worse, whenever those extra pngs are
> made visible or invisible, it uses an animated fade-in/fade-out.  So
> every time you drag to scroll, it's busy animating a fade-out on the
> previously highlighted icon, animating a fade-in on the one under your
> finger, and scrolling all the transparent and invisible PNGs.  The
> effect is quite attractive, if only the FR had the horsepower to manage
> it while running a phone, GPS, and frameworkd. :(
> With the present state of my altered Illume theme (serenity.edj) I've
> trimmed the icons down to just the 'icon' image itself and a single png
> that appears behind it when highlighted.  Outside the theme itself I've
> disabled dropshadows and changed rendering, and disabled the battery
> applet display (pending debugging - it sucks CPU apparently) and it
> reduced Enlightenment cpu usage dramatically.
> But I found significant further savings by tweaking icons.  I've been
> using some Oxygen icons, and because I always have the launcher at
> 'extra large' (3 icons across in portrait) I started out with the
> 256x256 oxygen icons.  Which are beautiful, but suck resources like
> crazy. I figured changing to 128x128 would help but the problem was
> almost exactly the same, while it looked worse on screen. So I did some
> investigating and testing and found that if I prescale my icons to the
> actual displayed size on the FR it responds great.  In this case,
> that's 116x116 pixels.  (that's the icon itself at 'extra large' -
> Illume displays the name below that, and the two of them are in IIRC a
> 162x142 tile)
> So by prescaling to 116x116 pixel icons in Gimp I get the same memory
> and CPU (hence UI responsiveness) as with much smaller (blotchier
> after scaling) images.  'Large' launcher icons appear to be 76x76, and
> 'medium' 36x36.  This is theme-dependent though, as well as preferences
> dependent - within the edje theme they can be scaled or resized or
> whatever.  So a prepackaged icon theme would probably need to be scaled
> to match a particular Illume theme's resulting sizes...  Even then, if
> the user has utilized the useful 'scaling' settings it will probably
> differ.  Still pondering the best answer here.
> So right now, with the rescaled icons, removing excess icon adornments,
> and disabling dropshadows and battery the SHR Illume is /almost/ as
> smooth scrolling as 2008.x.  I also found that disabling animation of
> the slipshelf drop-down etc helped significantly in making it feel more
> responsive.  Overall, it feels like a completely different phone when I
> switch back to the Illume theme.
> j
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Best Regards

HouYu Li, Karajan

karajan_ii (at)
karadog (at)
lihouyu (at)

PHP Programmer
Red Hat Certified Engineer

15th Feb, 2008
Shanghai, China
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