Acceleration demo unusable

For support of the Geminus screen acceleration feature
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SimonC
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Acceleration demo unusable

Post by SimonC » Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:44 am

I've just given this a try, but it makes a complete mess of redrawing, by apparently not redrawing, so, for example, I'm left with window outlines all over the screen when I drag a window. An F12 / Return gives me a picture without the pinboard, or any other background texture (e.g. iconbar is plain grey, as are filer windows). Scrollbars don't appear, although the title bar is there, and oddly enough still with its texture.

The display is in 16 million colours, but my poor little monitor only does 1024 x 768, although it's no different when I try to use 1280 x 1024.

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Post by admin » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:06 am

What OS version are you using? The symptoms you describe are akin to some problems we saw with RO5.09 which didn't set up the graphics memory correctly with certain NVIDIA cards*.

You could try Adjust-clicking on the Geminus icon so that the red cross appears, then run !GemConfig and click on 'Settings.' Alongside 'Other apps' (and making sure that there are no other entries in the list), tick just the leftmost option (sprite plotting) and Adjust click on 'Set' at the bottom of the window.

Does the desktop then render correctly?

If so, as I expect, tick the middle option (sprite cacheing) too, and again Adjust-click on 'Set.' This is where I think you'll start to see corruption if you redraw a fair bit of the desktop.

It's also worth noting that there are some known glitches (but fairly minor compared to your description) in 32K modes, at present, so please try it in a 16 million colour mode.

Please let me know what you discover.

(*Or at least I think that's what was happening; block copies to high addresses didn't work until 5.10 came along)

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Post by mikejs » Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:34 pm

Just for info, I'm seeing similar problems;

http://www.mikejs.com/tmp/geminus_redraw.gif

This is in a 16M colour mode (1280x1024). RISC OS 5.09, nvidia module is 0.17

That's a netsurf screenshot, but I get the same effect in filer windows and on the icon bar.

I've installed the beta into the boot sequence and rebooted, but all settings are at their default. Turning geminus off stops the problem. Some testing of the various options (on 'Other Apps', which is the only entry in the list), indicates that the problem occurs if redraw caching (the rightmost option) is enabled, with any combination of the other settings.

Will upgrading to 5.10 resolve this? (I've held back on this one after much discussion of problems on the Iyonix mailing list).

Mike

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Post by admin » Thu Nov 10, 2005 2:43 pm

I've only seen that problem on RO5.09, so I'd expect upgrading to solve it, yes.
It has, however, always been more difficult to recreate on my machine for some reason. The beta contains a workaround that was supposed to allow correct operation on 5.09 too. I've switched back to 5.09 now, and I'll let you know when I know a bit more.

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Post by mikejs » Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:41 pm

Meanwhile, I've bitten the bullet and upgraded to 5.10. No problems so far and the beta now works correctly (and looks very good too).

Mike

SimonC
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Post by SimonC » Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:20 am

I'd tried moving to 5.10 without the other tests, and it now appears to work (I'd been avoiding it due to restart problems, and then hadn't paid much attention to updates since the first version of 5.10).

I'm not having many plotting problems now, other than the occasional glitch in O2, but I still don't think it's working, mostly because I've not noticed any difference in speed. For example, having a largish JPEG background, which normally takes a noticeable time to re-render, still does - should it be cached? The old Artworks apple seems the same, too. I'd expected it to the first time, but redraws aren't noticeably quicker.

Finally, unless I run it straight out of the archive the Geminus crossed out icon doesn't appear - when it should I just get a blank space on the iconbar.

For the record, I'm now on Rel. 9 of RO 5.10, and the screen mode is 1024 x 768 in 16 million colours.

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Post by admin » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:41 am

JPEGs as pinboard backdrops are not accelerated by Geminus because they are rendered using the SpriteExtend JPEG decoding & plotting rather than sprite plotting. Whilst I'm certain the JPEG handling could be similarly improved upon it would be a lot of additional work.

If you converted that JPEG to a sprite (which admittedly uses more memory) then you should see that Geminus is able to plot it faster because it uses a DMA channel.

Re the Apple, the redraw cacheing code is incomplete and currently being improved (witness the reported problems with the TaskManager window). It's a bit fussy about large windows. If you open the Apple4 file in AWViewer so that it's at the front of the desktop and/or zoom out so that the Apple is about a quarter of the screen size, then press F12 & Return that should cause it to be cached and you can see what the cacheing code can achieve.

Of course, I still need to remove its fussiness and make it work better in normal use.

Re the crossed-out Geminus icon, indicating that one or more features is disabled for 'Other apps', it's just for the demo version and does currently require that !GemConfig has been seen by the Filer, yes.

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Post by aemulor » Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:00 am

Its also worth noting that I've seen the "red cross" used to disable the acceleration features (adjust-click on the Geminus icon bar icon) get out of sync with the acceleration state. Particularly noticable if you F12 then return to the desktop.

Cheers,


Neil
Aemulor - the 26 bit ARM emulator for XScale

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Post by admin » Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:31 pm

Neil, I think that was true of the Guildford Show code but has since been fixed. It can still cause confusion because it shows a cross if any of the acceleration options is disabled for 'Other apps', so much of the desktop may still be accelerated.

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Post by ksattic » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:11 pm

I only have "other apps" listed with all tick boxes on, so I assume everything is being accelerated. I noticed the red cross reappear after F12/return, and then when I right clicked on it to turn the cross off, it flickered off for a second, then came back on. I had to click a few times before it would disappear.

Also, I have noticed that if I load the Artworks apple and drag it quickly around the screen and resize a few times, Geminus will "give up" accelerating it.

Finally, I noticed a bit of corruption on an Oregano 2 window but I've been unable to reproduce it. It looks like a cached rectangle was plotted in the wrong place.

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Post by admin » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:54 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention that Adjust-clicking the Geminus icon to toggle the cross on and off doesn't alter the settings in the !GemConfig application so they can appear out of step. (The config app shows the settings as they will be when you hit 'Set' rather than what's actually being used.)

From your description it sounds as though you're seeing something else, though I've never seen it do that here! :(

It's resizing the ArtWorks window that's causing it to be evicted from the cache, because the algorithms are a bit simplistic at the moment. I'm more concerned with fixing the actual faults that lead to an incorrect display for now.



Of course, if you drag the ArtWorks window over something that's even more time-consuming to redraw then it may well be evicted from the cache for perfectly legitimate reasons.

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