[Sugar-devel] Vision

James Cameron quozl at laptop.org
Wed Apr 20 18:27:04 EDT 2016

On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 05:22:21PM -0400, Dave Crossland wrote:
> On 20 April 2016 at 16:46, James Cameron <[1]quozl at laptop.org> wrote:
>     the performance ratio between our low-cost
>     low-power hardware and the competition was already evident on Fedora
>     Linux; it didn't need Windows to expose it
> Sorry if this is an obvious question, but, can anything done to make
> Sugar feel faster on XO-1s today? 

Yes, and I've been doing some of that in the past few months.  With
13.2.7 you have my latest work, which added swap and removed several

Adding swap has mostly removed memory pressure.  Under memory
pressure, activity startup is roughly doubled, as the CPU spends time
thrashing in the memory management.  Disadvantage is higher power cost
and possibly decreased Flash endurance, although the endurance of a
set of heavily used XO-1 has shown no sign of the deterioration
expected by now.

Removing animations has allowed CPU cycles to be better spent on
responsiveness.  At one stage we had 50/50 competition between the
activity launch animation and the starting activity.  Instrumenting
the frame and transition box animations showed there was enough time
for only one or two intermediate animation states before the final
state; which turned out to the cost of handling the function key
release event.  Some of these changes are not in Sugar master yet, but
in an OLPC branch; one such was proposed, but immediately closed with
appeal to process;


As for what to do next; ideas are welcome, but here's a few;

- profiling, of startup, of interactive response, (i've used xdotool
  for interactive response tests),

- upgrade Gtk3, and GObject, to fix the memory leaks,

- record metrics of response, deidentify, aggregate, and report.

Although at this stage the interest in XO-1 should have degraded as
the units have degraded, and any return on investment is doubtful.

Plenty of people left who whinge about XO-1, but ask them to test a
patch or release and no response.

So it's more about people wanting their rainbow pooing unicorns.
Unrealistic expectations, polarised framing, denial, and consequent
unwillingness to be involved.

> [...]

James Cameron

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