GNOME Shell support in desktop-effects

Owen Taylor otaylor at
Thu Aug 27 16:18:41 UTC 2009

On Wed, 2009-08-26 at 23:08 +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 08/24/2009 09:06 AM, Owen Taylor wrote:
> > I just pushed a set of changes to the desktop-effects repository on
> > fedorahosted to add support for GNOME Shell.
> > 
> > The basic idea can be seen in the screenshot attached - instead of a
> > single "Enable Desktop Effects" button, the user is now presented
> > with a three-way choice of "Standard" "Compiz" and "GNOME Shell", with
> > short explanations for each. 
> Why isn't this part of the appearance capplet instead of cluttering the
> long preferences menu? My preference menu doesn't even fit on the screen
> and I have to scroll to see all the items which is clumsy.

Well, a big reason for not doing that is that the "desktop-effects"
functionality is not upstream and managing translations for something
that is added to an existing component in a patch is really hard.

It's much easier to simply have a separate repository and tarball (and
now a separate package) that the Fedora translators can translate.)

Why is it not upstream?

 - Neither Compiz nor GNOME Shell is part of a GNOME Release yet
 - Starting and configuring Compiz differs wildly between distributions,
   so coming up with a standard way to switch it has always been
   a problem.

But in addition, I'm just not sure it makes sense to merge it into the
appearance capplet: especially with the GNOME Shell addition to desktop
effects, it's not a visual tweak - it's not about the appearance of your
desktop; instead we are pretty fundamentally changing things about. So a
separate tool makes sense to me.

(And as people have said, it's temporary, while the appearance capplet
is something that's going to stick around.)

The name "Desktop Effects" obviously isn't very descriptive, but Fedora
users will already be used to it in the context of "how do I switch to
Compiz" and I don't immediately have a better name for what's going on.
It's pretty hard to explain what we are replacing in user-friendly
terms, since neither gnome-panel or the window manager is something that
the user has any real idea about.

- Owen

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