Intel has rapped the knuckles of executives who this week hammered the iPhone for not being able to show the internet as well as a PC can. They were talking out of turn, the chip giant said. No less a personage than Intel's mobility chief, Anand Chandrasekher - who this week showed off the first working version of the next …
More bull from Intel
OK, the apology in unexpected - although it's probably more of a sop to Apple than a genuine apology - but there's still plenty of FUD in them there Intel comments. Most off the shelf operating systems likely to be on a small computing device do run on the ARM architecture - Symbian, Linux and the various BSD's. There's also a number of browser cores based on Mozilla's Gecko and the WebKit that underpins Apple's Safari, which compile fine on ARM based architectures. As for Flash, the lack of support is not really critical for a handheld device like a phone, as most websites that use it assume a much bigger screen.
There is an open source flash player called gnash. AFAIK, it is coded in C, so will run on ARM, MIPS and all the other architectures gcc supports. I have not tried it as I would prefer websites not to use proprietary formats. Thankyou Gootube for taking a step in the right direction.
I used one of those laptops. I remember having to use my elite hacker skills to crack the 4 digit, infinite guesses pin-code set on it.
It was 4 0's, and even then it wasn't worth the effort.
I suspect apple will eventually produce a netbook. It'll basically be an MSI wind with a multi touch screen, in an aluminum case. It will cost at LEAST £600, and be lauded as the best netbook ever made by everyone in the tech industry.
A FUD too far.
We've had 30 years of the same old, same old Intel Compatibility mantra they had to cook up for the original back-of-an-envelope x86 design; because they weren't able to design a truly new architecture in the 1980s. Or is just envy, because a small team of Brits did an order of magnitude better job than an army of Yanks ;-) ?
Anyway, the whole point of compiled languages, scripts, open media formats and the internet is that it gives us architecture independence. So to trumpet something that takes us away from that is exactly what the industry doesn't need now or in the future. And to back it up by saying Flash is tweaked for x86 is really saying Adobe has anti-competitive market bias: they're more interested in running Flash on hundreds of millions of x86 desktops than billions of phones. That's the real question shareholders should ask.
But let's recap on reality. Flash has run on ARM for years and Adobe has made (or did make) an effort to port it properly:
I know, I was the lead developer for the Symbian OS application News Express, and it ran OK several years ago.
Which I guess brings us back to the beginning. Rapping non x86 CPUs because they didn't run your code was a working argument 20 years ago; mocking them because they run code slower fosters a certain amount of healthy competition; deriding your clients for trying to be fair is a FUD too far even for the Intel CEO.
Or is it just envy ;-) ?
-cheers from Julz @P
(S. Jobs, because he never FUDs an issue :-) )
I'd almost forgotten those! Actually, I rather liked it, except for the odd case. That was a loooong time ago! They seemed to disappear around the same time as Xemplar, probably when Acorn went bye-bye and Apple had to tighten its belt prior to the iMac saving their collective arses.
As for AC's assertions about what an Apple netbook will be like, it will probably be lauded as the best because that will probably be true, but it won't stop Apple charging through the nose for it. £600 is probably a low estimate!
And yes, Gnash, I agree with you. Proprietory interfaces have no place on the internet, IMHO.
... Adobe have already finished porting Flash to the iPhone. They just need to get Apple's agreement to integrate it. I'd love to see flash on my iPhone when firmware 2.2 ships.
Funnily enough a version of Java has been available for months and is running on cracked iPhones.
So, exactly how does the lack of an x86 processor prevent you from running two platform-independent products? Simple, it doesn't.
Pure bad blood from Intel that they don't have a processor in the iPhone, and with Apple puchasing their own chip company, thats not about to change either.
Don't get the appeal of a netbook
Ok, obviously I'm not the target audience since netbooks make no sense to me.
Can someone explain why they would want a netbook? They are bigger then my phone which will let me pull up maps, check email, and surf the web as needed but not powerful enough to do any of the software coding or video editing I use my laptop for.
I just don't get it.
This Dell is perfect for me though:
Java apps are (nominally) platform-independent, but the runtime environments they operate in are not. At some point the bytecode has to be turned into instructions for the local processor, and the code to do that is very hardware-dependent.
Adobe Flash and ARM (+ ARM customers)
Pirates for sinking Intel's legacy X86 monopolistic marketing flagship spin ...
SAN JOSE, Calif. — May 1, 2008 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the Open Screen Project, supported by a group of industry leaders, including ARM, Chunghwa Telecom, Cisco, Intel, LG Electronics Inc., Marvell, Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Verizon Wireless. The project is dedicated to driving rich Internet experiences across televisions, personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics. Also supporting the Open Screen Project are leading content providers, including BBC, MTV Networks, and NBC Universal, who want to reliably deliver rich Web and video experiences live and on-demand across a variety of devices.
“Delivering a highly responsive, uncompromised Web and rich media experience to consumer devices and the digital home is a key focus for ARM and our partners,” said Warren East, CEO, ARM. “The Open Screen Project with Adobe enables ARM and our partners to optimize and deploy Flash Player and Adobe AIR across billions of ARM Powered® devices and unlocks the ability for hardware optimizations on future ARM® processors.”
May 2nd 2008:
Adobe has said it will remove licensing fees for next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR, remove restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications and publish the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player.
Companies endorsing the plan to make mobiles "just like a PC in your hand", through what Adobe calls its Open Screen Project, include ARM, Cisco, Intel, LG Electronics, Marvell, Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson.
Also behind the move are content providers such as the BBC, MTV Networks and NBC Universal.
The move was welcomed by ARM marketing v-p, Ian Drew: “It will transform mobile applications and it removes the claim that the desktop controls the Internet.”
28 August 2007
Adobe Flash Player To Include MainConcept ARM Codec
Adobe has confirmed that it is to integrate ARM versions of MainConcept’s H.264 and AAC technologies into the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.
Adobe has licensed ARM versions of MainConcept’s H.264 and AAC decoders along with the x86 and PowerPC.
Intel is off wandering in the woods here.
A handful of netbooks already are built around ARM processors. At least one is a MIPS. There's a stripped-down desktop running a FreeScale PPC (CherryPal).
Macromedia versions of Flash (authoring and playback) run just fine on PPC Apple machines. I don't see why Adobe wouldn't be able to maintain that type of performance. Flash Player 10 is available for OS X on PowerPC. Flash Viewer for Flash MX 2004 ran on Solaris on x86 and Sparc (and maybe newer versions, but I haven't checked). Linux is now a day-one platform for the Flash player. So what we have here is an application that runs on a number of operating systems and at least three chip families... but wait.
Adobe has Flash Player for Microsoft Pocket PC/Windows Mobile. Many Windows Mobile devices run Freescale MX series processors, which are ARM. The Intel XScale line which has been used for many of them (now sold to Marvell) used ARM coprocessors for lots of important functions and was based in part on ARM itself. Lots of portables have used FreeScale DragonBall processors, which are portable versions of the Motorola 68000 series. I'm not sure Flash ever supporte the 68k, but Flash versions as recent as Flash MX and MX 2004 support 600MHz G3 and G4 processors.
QuallComm and Adobe have put Flash Lite Player on BREW. The phones supported include the Motorola Razr line (all ARM based) as old as the v3c. I don't know the speed or core version on the v3c, but the v3m I've seen reported as a 100-mhz ARM9. Flash Lite 3 runs on the Nokia n95 which is built around an OMAP2420 (ARM11-based) processor at 332 Mhz (two of them, actually).
I very seriously doubt any lack of Flash on ARM-based processors caused Apple any headaches. There is Flash on ARM, after all.
But wait again..
It runs slow as shit, even on standard OS X desktop Adobe's so-called properly ported flash runs 10 times slower than on Windows. And yet you want Apple to accept and approve such half-assed ports?
Thank god you are not in the product release department though you would fit fine in the marketing department.
The absence of Flash is a feature, not a bug
I disable Flash and Java in my browser, and I'd rather not have that ad vector infecting my iPhone, thank you very much.
Re: But wait again..
Exactly. I do not know about Symbian or other embedded OSes.
However, as far as Flash on non-Windows desktop OS-es is concerned it is horribly slow. 10 times is a fair guesstimate.
My 6 year old is a big fan of the BBC flash games and I did a couple of experiments to see what it will really take to start rendering them on Linux as smooth as on Windows. The results were shocking. It was taking at least a 1GHz dual CPU system with a gamer-class video rig for it to render tolerably. A machine that could easily render Quake in 1024x768 was struggling to cope on a simple platform game. Yuck... Total yuck...
Ok, some of that is not Adobe's fault. It is actually mozilla's fault, but none the less, this is not "Rich Internet" applications. It is equipment torture.
NetBook & ARM
Contradicting the article: there isn't any particularly good reason why the iPhone OS can't be ported to another chip.
If iPhone OS is, as claimed, Darwin under the bonnet, then Apple already have 99.9% of the porting job to x86 done - it's OS X. No surprise that the iPhone emulator runs so well. It would merely remain to merge the platform differences and recompile, or (more likely) maintain something like an integration tree (what we used to call a Vendor Branch) for the hybrid offspring. Or whatever Apple's SCM equivalent is.
Maybe not a trivial job - but well within the capabilities of even a small UNIX kernel hacking group. The rest, then, is UI development - also well within Apple's capabilities.
Java's absence, a deal stopper
The iPhone not supporting Java is an immediate deal-stopper for me. Mind you, it isn't just int the iPhone, but I don't know of any other device that doesn't support Java just out of arrogance.
That said ... I really like that the mobile smartphone market isn't dominated by x86. I thought we would all be runing RISC-based hardware by now...
"Ok, some of that is not Adobe's fault. It is actually mozilla's fault"
Sorry, you clearly have no idea how a browser plugin works. The fault is entirely Adobes (and before them Macromedia), as the web browser simply provides a canvas and starting thread for the the plugin author to run his or code on. That's it. Performance is down to crap code and lack of optimisation in the plugin, which is why Flash can bring a browser to its knees and is also why Google went down the discrete process rather than threads route with Chrome.
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