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From Arnoud Bos <arn...@artim-interactive.nl>
Subject GPU / DisplayList / Future of Flex
Date Thu, 12 Jan 2012 09:26:57 GMT
Hi All,

First of all as a full time flex developer  i want to thank you all for putting so much energy
and effort in the startup of what i believe to be
the birth of a much  better Flex. I was really worried that after the recent announcements
of adobe, but you guys give me hope again.

On topic: I read all on this list and i'm especially interested in a future version that is
completely redone, more light, easier to cross compile etc.
The thing is i spoke with the flash player engineers art Adobe max about rendering future
versions of Flex on the GPU (That was a month before the announcement 
to donate it to Apache). What worried me is that Tinic  told me that the DisplayList is too
difficult to render on the GPU and that this is 
highly unlikely to going to happen in future versions of the flash player. Reason is that
it's too nested and that the mixing of data and display is in the way.

So i tend to think that Adobe dropped flex for this reason too (there are of course more reasons,
but this one is never outspoken). 
Performance might never come close to native as it's al based on the displaylist.

Now what Adobe did is create Starling (which is opensource too):

"The Starling Framework is a pure ActionScript 3 library that mimics the conventional Flash
display list architecture. In contrast to conventional display objects, however, all content
is rendered directly by the GPU — providing a rendering performance unlike anything seen
in the Flash Player before.
The familiar API ensures that you don't have to learn anything new. Simply exchange the native
Flash classes with their Starling equivalents, and you're done. Furthermore, Starling supports
many convenient new features, like bitmap fonts, sprite sheets or particle effects."

So i wonder could the future version of Flex use a similar approach? I think if we can pull
it of to render on the GPU it would be a massive performance gain. It would give Flex an extra
I know there are many people on this list with deeper understanding of the flash player so
please enlighten me. Is such an approach even possible for Flex?

All the best,

Arnoud Bos
Artim interactive
T +31 6 246 40 216
E arnoud@artim-interactive.nl

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