Version 1 (modified by, 13 years ago) (diff)


Tiling with QtWebKit

On touch-based mobile devices a feature known as tiling is often used. It is used due to the interaction model (touch) as well as a scrolling "optimization".

Tiling basically means that the viewport is separated into a grid of tiles, so that when you update some area, instead of just updating the area you actually update the whole tile. This gives a few advantages for scrolling as when you scroll you do not need to repaint the new visible area for each scroll step, as you update a row of tiles each time; tiles that are often only partly on the screen. This minimized all the paint calls that we have to do and makes it possible to make nicely kinetic scrolling a possibility.

Loading, layouting etc are blocking operations. Though barely noticable on a Desktop machines, these operations can block for a long time on a mobile device, letting the user believe the application has become unresponsive and died. Scrolling which is done by using fingers will also stall and give a bad user experience.

One way to over come this issue, is to do all loading, layouting and painting (basically all non-UI related work) in another thread or process, and just blit the result from the web process/thread to the UI. When using tiles, you can blit any tile available when scrolling. When no tile is available you can show a checkerboard tile instead, not letting the scrolling wait for the tiles to be updated. This results in a responsive interface, with the only disadvantage that you from time to time might see checkerboard tiles.

Tiles also helps with zooming. Repainting at each zoom level change during a zoom animation is basically impossible on a mobile device (or desktop for that sake) and thus with tiling, you can stop the tiles from being updates and just scale the already existing tiles, and then at the end of the animation update tiles on top of the scaled ones.