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Old 09-20-2005, 01:04 PM   #1
Colin Dunstan
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Minimo incompatible with Axim X50v - here's why

Have you ever tried to run Minimo on a Dell Axim X50v? At best the browser pops up a cryptic error message, at worst nothing at all happens. Project leader Doug Turner tracked down the problem to the particular address space layout of the X50v:

The core of the problem is that on this device we run out of address space for some reason. Minimo (including support libraries) today is a bit over 10mb of code, data, text... The way I understand this failure is that executables and dll's load after (below) the last XIP ROM-based DLL. On the Dell Axim, the lowest such dll is apicore.dll which loads at 0x009d0000. This is about 9.8mb of address space. On the Imate Jam, this same library which is also lowest loads at 0x00F3000. This is about 15.19 mb of address space. So, clearly we can't load anything bigger then 9.8mb on the Dell.

Related:
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Old 09-20-2005, 07:01 PM   #2
TadW
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One thing seems clear to me now: Minimo is currently a memory eater and doesn't share the same lean characteristics of Firefox & co.
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
One thing seems clear to me now: Minimo is currently a memory eater and doesn't share the same lean characteristics of Firefox & co.
Erm, you seem to be missing the minor fact that Firefox is over twice that size... The only reason the installer is so small is that it's compressed.

Of course, it could be much smaller, as it's supposed to be Mini Mozilla... But it takes time to compress code down and trim out useless or unneeded code. Minimo is still at, basically, a pre-alpha stage, after all. So I guess you should be glad that it exists at all currently.

Or we can blame Dell for making such a badly designed way of managing it's address space. Yes... I love blaming Dell. Such a pathetic company... Wait for everyone else to solve all the problems, then copy at a cheaper price. Erm, and they have terrible tech support... And they don't exactly make quality laptops... Right... </semi-incoherant-rant>
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:22 PM   #4
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I meant Firefox in relation to other desktop-based browsers. Now if you compare Minimo to Opera Mini, NetFront, PIE even, it is still eating up a lot more memory than the rest.

Remember that it's HTC and not Dell who is really behind the design of the X50v. Minimo is also the very first Pocket PC application I've heard of that complains about the limited address space of the Axim.
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Old 09-20-2005, 11:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
I meant Firefox in relation to other desktop-based browsers. Now if you compare Minimo to Opera Mini, NetFront, PIE even, it is still eating up a lot more memory than the rest.
Good point... Although, when looking for a browser with a small size, I don't think a mini-port of a desktop app is what you're looking for. Because that's, more or less, what Minimo is. Netfront, Opera Mini, and (I think) Pocket IE are all more-or-less from-scratch apps, written for the PPC, including the rendering engine (especially Netfront - no desktop version of Netfront even), but Minimo is using Gecko...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TadW
Remember that it's HTC and not Dell who is really behind the design of the X50v. Minimo is also the very first Pocket PC application I've heard of that complains about the limited address space of the Axim.
Aww, ruin my fun Anit-Dell rant. Even if Minimo is the first one to have the problem, why can't the problem just not exist in the first place? (But oh well, I can't rant about Dell anymore... )
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Old 09-21-2005, 03:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos
Netfront, Opera Mini, and (I think) Pocket IE are all more-or-less from-scratch apps, written for the PPC, including the rendering engine (especially Netfront - no desktop version of Netfront even), but Minimo is using Gecko...
You hit the nail on the head there. Adapting Mozilla's rendering engine to run well within the constraints of a handheld environment is a huge task. It remains to be seen whether they will be succesful in this endeavour.
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:51 PM   #7
Alexander Turcic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos
Aww, ruin my fun Anit-Dell rant. Even if Minimo is the first one to have the problem, why can't the problem just not exist in the first place? (But oh well, I can't rant about Dell anymore... )
What... you dared to rant about the company who is selling my favorite handheld? Blasphemy!
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