shiny desktop, anyone?

Steve Hill steve at
Tue May 29 09:07:48 UTC 2007

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 

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 

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 at   sip:steve at

      Servatis a periculum, servatis a maleficum - Whisper, Evanescence

More information about the fedora-devel-list mailing list