RIVER TRAIL – INTEL’S PARALLEL TO JAVASCRIPT

FUTURE: IMAGINE DOING PHOTOSHOP OR PLAYING CRYSIS ON WEB BROWSER

We live in a world where the need of Internet is felt on a daily basis.

NEARLY almost everything is done through it. Emphasis on ‘NEARLY’

That is because, while the use of web browsers have drastically changed over the years, doing heavy computing work e.g. photo-editing, gaming (not the FLASH kind) etc. is still requires one to leave the browsers and use a computer application.

This is not to say that web browsers are under-developed. From what I have read, a lot of investment has been done on improving the engine and speed. Yet, the ‘native applications’ have a upper hand in two aspects –

  1. They come with some form of vector extension that allows multiple operations simultaneously.
  2. Presence of multi-core processors.

Web browsers loose on both fronts as JavaScript, rightfully called the language behind the net, till now did not allow access to multi-core or vector instructions.

This is leading for top tech companies like Google to TRY replacing it with Dart. It’s time for Intel to upgrade JavaScript.

And it has – Enter River Trail, an open source parallel extension to JavaScript, which is currently being worked on in Intel labs. In simple words it does what exactly was lacking in web browsers – brings the processing power of Intel’s multi-core CPUs and their web extension to the web browsers.

This will make it possible to stay on the browser for heaving computing work from photo-editing to perhaps 3D gaming.

Now for understanding the ‘techie stuff’ behind the working of River Trail. This new open source code is made to feel as natural extension to JavaScript with just a simple ‘data-parallel modeling program’.

This is really the key – Parallel implementation is everything. It is WAY better than serial implementation. Think of it like electric circuit where parallel arrangement of batteries always gives more output.

The other cool top ups are –

  1. It works with upcoming HTML 5
  2. It uses OpenCL as an intermediate language (so can work on any hardware and not just Intel)
  3. It plays with WebGL (which brings 3D visualizations on web browsers)

And for the cautious or paranoid users – Don’t worry about the safety as River Trail was designed to inherit the security traits of JavaScript.

What does this mean in the future? Well, it definitely would not make ‘native applications’ obsolete but a complete new way of using browsers.

River Trail is already available on Firefox as an add-on. Let’s use it and see!

Read about it first on –

http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/09/16/1922243/River-Trail-mdash-Intels-Parallel-JavaScript

 

Further reads – 

https://github.com/RiverTrail/RiverTrail/wiki

http://blogs.intel.com/research/2011/09/pjs.php

http://www.i-programmer.info/news/167-javascript/3068-river-trail-intels-parallel-javascript.html

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4 responses to “RIVER TRAIL – INTEL’S PARALLEL TO JAVASCRIPT”

  1. mattrdlee says :

    Hi Anupriy,

    You have written many interesting posts in the last month that show your knowledge and interest in certain areas, but it is difficult to see how you are contextualising these within your own practice. Bring in the personal element.

    • anupriykanti says :

      Hey Matt, Yes, I was facing that problem of contextualizing a bit while selecting what to write and post. But over time, I guess I see a common thread in my style of writing and the approach to an issue or content.

      But how do I define my own practice? This is something I am having a lot of trouble. At one hand, I want to decide a scope and a set of techniques, to use and explore the world, hence creating my own ‘style’. On the other hand, I sometimes feel I should just acknowledge and act on all my interest, and let a common thread or recurring element emerge that can help me define it.

      Also, when you say bring in the personal element – do you mean I be more reflective subjectively?

  2. mattrdlee says :

    Hi Anupriy,

    Yes, there is a common thread in your recent writings, but at the moment they read like essays.

    You do not need to worry about defining your practice, that can wait – your practice is something that you are working through and it is continuously evolving and changing. Let it emerge through inquiry. However, you certainly want to centre yourself in the discussion more often. Where are you at now in this journey? What is it that interests you here and why? What is the common element? What tools or media can you use to interrogate certain ideas? Where is this taking you next?

    So yes, subjectivity and internalising this knowledge or these concepts is important. It will help you to follow an inquiry that is your own.

    Hope that makes sense.

    • anupriykanti says :

      Actually it makes a lot of sense. I shall try doing so from next blog posts, perhaps either embedded in the writing itself or a reflection below the post. Thanks Matt.

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