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Morning Tech Bits

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8. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 14, 2012, 19:08 Kitkoan
 
Tom wrote on Dec 13, 2012, 23:31:
Kitkoan wrote on Dec 13, 2012, 23:02:
What would really help give vectors I push I think would be something like an MMX technology that is just for vectors or even a x87-style chip.

What do you think a GPU is?

Not dedicated vector graphics?

Your GPU handles much, MUCH more then vector work. Its like asking why have the x87 chip, what do you think the x86 chip does?

And more and more work is being thrown to the GPU, things like CUDA, which aren't a part of graphics in any form.
 
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7. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 14, 2012, 01:41 eRe4s3r
 
While true, your GPU is also always in 2d_low_mode when you are using your desktop. If you had svg's there it would need to render them in real-time constantly, and this doesn't sound like much until you realize that every desktop icon would be about 10 to 500 control points (the higher quality vectors would actually need to be very detailed indeed). At least 20 different shadings and gradients (Something extremely expensive to do in vector graphics). And now think how many desktop icons you currently have (for me, it's about 15) And rendering 15 vector images of that quality, including task-bar, window elements, notification bar icons, animated icons (volume control/clock) is not something you do in less than 10ms.

Or basically, it'd be a pretty huge waste of energy to use a fullly fledged GPU for vector graphics... Nvidia even did a demo of it and they couldn't even get beyond 100fps on a SINGLE complex (gradients, fillings, line AA etc) image (up to 4ms GPU processing time). And that was running their GPU hot. While you can use windows 7 or 8 with a 2D-Mode clocked GPU that never even spins up and runs cold. At near infinite FPS (because small sprites are literally "free" operations for a GPU.. it can handle more than 50k of them.

This little thing is basically why Windows RT does not enforce vectors. It'd drain the battery faster not to mention that the crappy POS that Intel calls GPU's could not render a complex vector image at ANY high frame rate.

This comment was edited on Dec 14, 2012, 01:51.
 
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6. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 13, 2012, 23:31 Tom
 
Kitkoan wrote on Dec 13, 2012, 23:02:
What would really help give vectors I push I think would be something like an MMX technology that is just for vectors or even a x87-style chip.

What do you think a GPU is?
 
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5. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 13, 2012, 23:02 Kitkoan
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Dec 13, 2012, 16:16:
a Windows version with no backwards support AT ALL. And I don't see any chance in hell MS is gonna do that.

Windows RT. They had the option and would have been an amazing idea with those tiles but from what I understand, they aren't vectors.

What would really help give vectors I push I think would be something like an MMX technology that is just for vectors or even a x87-style chip.

For those curious, MMX is a part of the CPU that tells the CPU when its going to be seeing the same math code to just keep the line in code and just change what is needed, ie x + 2. This was introduced in Pentiums way back way and was a godsend for compressed video and audio since the compression code never changed, only a little part for the current place in the music/video. Things like MP3's suddenly played a lot better with a lot less power compared to a mostly equal 486 system.

And the x87 chip is a extra chip that is now a part of your CPU and is solely a calculator to help speed up CPU number crunching. Before the 486 (or was it the 386?), the x87 chip was not a standard part and was sold as an extra part. Similar to your GPU, helps take code off the CPU to improve performance.
 
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4. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 13, 2012, 16:16 eRe4s3r
 
The problem isn't so much the performance I admit, as it is that making animated vectors is a pain in the ass. You will never get anyone to do it unless Windows pushes for it with a strict "No more sprite GUI" rule, and a VERY solid vector animation toolset and API...

The thing is, MS will never do that. All applications have sprite based icons. Only way for that to ever work is if there is a Windows version with no backwards support AT ALL. And I don't see any chance in hell MS is gonna do that.

I just don't see vectors ever getting on the desktop. Although I would hope for MS pushing for it. IF Ms offered a real viable vector GUI framework, I would even willingly learn how to do vector GUI's. Because it is so important for computing..... I wouldn't even CARE about performance
 
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3. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 13, 2012, 15:13 Tom
 
Microsoft created a GUI framework called WPF (Windows Presentation Framework) that is vector-based and contains the infrastructure needed to make a real GUI without requiring bitmapped images. Yes, it truly supports vector-based icons (and other "doohickeys") and will scale to any resolution, using 3D hardware acceleration. However, for various reasons, WPF was doomed to an early grave.

Modern 3D hardware acceleration - even Intel HD Graphics - is plenty powerful to render an entire OS worth of GUI using purely vector graphics. We're just waiting for software developers to stop being lazy and make it happen. That's really all that is necessary.

With high-DPI displays finally going mainstream, there's starting to be reasonable incentive to actually do the hard work to make it happen. For example, Surface Pro is a 1920x1080 10.6" screen. A good old 16x16 icon is going to be !@#$ing small on that screen. But vectors are too hard so we'll just make 10 versions of the same icon instead. Great plan.

As for animating vectors, what is the problem? Games are animating (3D) vector geometry in far more demanding ways than a regular old GUI. Do you think 2D is slower to render than 3D? No, the problem is purely in how software developers are making use of the hardware. And that is the usual bottleneck that holds back true progress.
 
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2. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 13, 2012, 12:55 eRe4s3r
 
Hehe On a more serious note.. this is incredible important research. You know why screen resolutions don't go up on the desktop? Because Windows (and Linux) can't handle full scaling up or full scaling down of ALL elements in a coherent fashion. Images, GUI elements, buttons.. all these are pixel sprites . They don't scale well. While you can increase fonts nowadays, the remaining GUI doesn't scale with it.

More interesting, because of that, the "click zones" don't scale either (They are depending on the sprite borders and a simple binary test (collision yes, no)) with vectors this becomes a bit trickier.

So by all that is holy. KILL THE DAMN PIXELS. For everything, everywhere.

But the reason nobody uses vectors in images is the insanely slow rendering speed. Yeah yeah, you can use a dozen vector images without problem, but try an entire OS with 400 buttons, doohickeys and elements in vector graphics. Also speaking of vectors... remember voxels? Same problem. Rendering speed is abysmal.

And if you wanted to animate vectors... well let's just say, I hope you want to make a slideshow.

This comment was edited on Dec 13, 2012, 13:05.
 
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1. Re: Morning Tech Bits Dec 13, 2012, 12:48 Creston
 
The British need to get with the times. I was killing pixels like fifteen years ago, in Doom!

*badum psshh*

Creston
 
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