Resizing, Menus, Scrolling, Etc.

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
When are resizing, dragging of multiple items, menu activation and scrolling going to become more responsive? What systems can or will be put in place to achieve improvements?



X's unresponsivity in these areas really grates and it is the most annoying weakness of the OS that I can think of -- moreover, it is a weakness that the versions of Windows I have used have never been afflicted by. I messed around with my friends laptop yesterday (an *old* brick-type one, running ME no less) and I was powerfully reminded how painless window resizing once was...



I've been reading John Siracusa's article on Mac OS X 10.1 from Ars Technica and it seems these "features" were as much lamented back in 2001 with early releases of X as I think they may be now -- or does this not bother anyone else? Siracusa talks about "Menus, Scrolling, Etc." at the bottom of this page.



I understand (I think I understand) that these problems stem from the fact that OS X makes the CPU do the gruntwork as regards re-drawing screen images rather than offloading it to the graphics card (ie 100% CPU loads if you scroll down a long document!). But all I can say as someone who is at a loss appreciating these technicalities is: so friggin' what! Why doesn't someone damn well fix this?! What is needed? A new Quartz whatsymajig? A new Velocity Smocity Engine?



On a final note, I am a bit confused: moving windows and using Exposé All Windows, does not seem to be affected much by lag. Can anyone explain why this is? Exposé in particular seems to be a complicated visual process yet works fine on my 15" PB. Resizing, Menus, Scrolling, Etc., on the other hand, do not.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    cowerdcowerd Posts: 579member
    use. teh. search. function.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    pbpb Posts: 4,228member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SonOfSylvanus

    Why doesn't someone damn well fix this?! What is needed? A new Quartz whatsymajig? A new Velocity Smocity Engine?





    New graphics hardware. The Ars articles on OS X imply something like that (if they don't say it directly).



    Today's GPUs don't seem to understand Quartz language. There was some time ago a discsussion in Ars forums on this and how the situation could be improved by means of pixel/vertex shaders on the more advanced GPUs. When their forums become again available (there is maintenace now), I will try to find it.



    Ironically, our only real hope to see this new graphics hardware, is the adoption of similar techologies by... Microsoft. Read advent of Longhorn.



    Quote:



    On a final note, I am a bit confused: moving windows and using Exposé All Windows, does not seem to be affected much by lag. Can anyone explain why this is? Exposé in particular seems to be a complicated visual process yet works fine on my 15" PB. Resizing, Menus, Scrolling, Etc., on the other hand, do not.







    Scrolling is performed by the graphics card (10.2 and higher). See here. It is not clear how well optimised is this.



    Expos? and moving windows are compositing operations and can be perfectly performed by the GPU (see the previous pdf about compositing). That's why they do work flawlessly. On the other hand, Quartz 2D, responsible for the rest of 2D drawing operations, still remains a CPU task.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    pbpb Posts: 4,228member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    There was some time ago a discsussion in Ars forums on this and how the situation could be improved by means of pixel/vertex shaders on the more advanced GPUs. When their forums become again available (there is maintenace now), I will try to find it.



    Alright, here it is. Old thread, but still interesting reading.
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