Monday, February 20, 2006

Some success with Xgl...

Well.. after messing up my system with broken packages and then fixing it by unmerging or recompiling them, I managed to get everything installed (thanks to the revdep-rebuild tool).

Once everything was working, I emerged gnome-light and then copy & pasted the startxgl script from the Gentoo HowTo. After running this script, within a few seconds, it loaded the Gnome desktop.

The first thing I noticed was the smooth bump effect to drop down menues and popup windows. Moving a window also had the rubber like effect, just as in Novell's demo video. Other effects such as macosX's expose like application switching worked beautifully and fast.

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2 3D switching of desktops was also supprisingly fast as so was moving a window across multiple desktops! Manual rotation of the desktop was also quite fast. Now the amazing thing is, all this was happening despite my 3D acceleration having being broken under Xgl! I know this because glxinfo says Directed Rending : No.

But I'd be lying if I said eveything worked. Unfortunately, as for my ATI IGP 340M card, Xgl isn't well supported. The main issue (besides the lack of 3D), is the ugly black window I keep getting. Clicking on an empty space redraws the window correctly, but scrolling will screw it again. Seems to be a problem with glitz package and how it uses OpenGL.

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Transparency effects also seem to work faster with compiz than compmgr (or kompmgr). This is all alpha quality software so you really can't complain much. But so far things are looking really good. This is exactly what the GNU/Linux desktop had been waiting for.

Desktop dominance is inevitable!

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