"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cross Platform Performance

Ted Patrick makes some important points about the meaning of "cross platform", especially when it comes to browsers and performance...

It is great that things work on different operating systems but performance needs to be similar. It is a poor user experience for an application to run 50% faster on a specific platform than another. I know for a fact that lots of engineering work goes into making sure Flash Player performs similarly across different operating systems and browsers. Actually we implemented incremental garbage collection in Flash Player because browsers differ wildly in how and when they allocate memory to a plug-in. On some browsers memory is handed out like candy while on others it is given in 256Kb chunks up to a ceiling of 10MB total. Regardless of the browser in use Flash Player tries to make sure all application behave the same both in start-up time and during use.


chromatic said...

Ted should have added a footnote or a parenthetical remark that what Adobe means by "cross-platform support" is very different from what people who actually use several different platforms might mean.

There's no GNU/Linux client now, so one demerit there.

Given the inability of the GNU/Linux Flash client to run on anything more exotic than 32-bit x86 chips, I'll throw in two more demerits. I get the impression that Adobe sees "Linux" as something akin to a different shell for Windows.

Patrick Logan said...

Yeah, Adobe has been lagging on Linux, but they do have the latest Flash now. At least for x86.

AIR is now in a limited beta for Linux x86.

I shouldn't argue too strenuously for Adobe, but they are gradually opening more and more. I think they "get it" and are figuring out how to open up what and maintain their commercial advantages in media, esp. media creation.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.