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Re: shiny desktop, anyone?

On Tue, 29 May 2007, David Nielsen wrote:

I'm not convinced Compiz is the key to winning users, sure it's
compelling at first glance but scrolling in your web browser is
painfully slow and it can't handle accelerated video playback so
fullscreen videos turn into a grainy slideshow. I think there are

I think that needs to be qualified a bit more: on some hardware it's horribly slow. On my Intel 945 GPU with 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo it runs full screen video (in X11shm mode, since Xvideo is broken) perfectly fast enough - I can play a full screen DVD with transparent windows stacked ontop of it whilest spinnign the desktop cube with no noticable slowdown (although it does chew all the CPU time on a whole core to do it).

Infact, for some reason on my nVidia based machines, gnome-terminal seems to run a lot faster under Beryl than under Metacity.

So with good capabilities detection, it would be acceptable to auto-enable Beryl/Compiz. But I can't help feeling that the detection would end up turning into a list of supported cards rather than truely detecting the capabilities of arbitrary devices.

As with technology like Beagle (or Tracker), the key is not enabling
them by default, it's making them useful. Beagle does nothing in our

This I agree with wholeheartedly (and I believe Beagle is now not installed by default on the F7 release?) The first impression after installing a Fedora system should not involve beagle thrashing the disk and absolutely destroying the performance of the machine.

What does Compiz do that
enhances the experience, for me generally it makes the desktop a bit
more fun but when push comes to shove the scale plugin is what I use the
most. I think we need to make Compiz do more useful stuff in addition to
the incredible cracktastic funfilled bling it does currently.

The bits on Beryl I find very useful are:

1. Real transparancy - I make a lot of use of being able to see through terminal windows to see what's going on in the window behind it. It effectively increases the amount of screen space I have and reduces the amount of window switching I need to do.

2. Transparent desktop cube (actually, pentaprism - I use 5 virtual desktops) - being able to see what's going on on other desktops and also hold the prism mid-rotation so I can see 2 desktops at once is very useful.

3. The ability to set buttons 6 and 7 on my mouse to raise/lower windows

4. Scale - very useful when I don't have access to my usual 7-button mouse.

Until I used Aero I had put down wobbly windows as just being eye-candy, but now I realise they really do make my computer _feel_ nicer to use - it makes the desktop "flow" and gives it personality.


 - Steve
   xmpp:steve nexusuk org   sip:steve nexusuk org   http://www.nexusuk.org/

     Servatis a periculum, servatis a maleficum - Whisper, Evanescence

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