Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Feb 2007 17:08 UTC, submitted by dumbkiwi
X11, Window Managers The Beryl project has often been criticised as being nothing more than eyecandy for the sake of eyecandy. However, there are numerous features in Beryl which could improve usability and workflow. In this series of three articles, some of the new usability features in Beryl 0.2.0 are highlighted and explained (article I, article II, and article III).
Order by: Score:
while alot of Beryl is just for looks...
by Devilotx on Thu 15th Feb 2007 18:17 UTC
Devilotx
Member since:
2005-07-06

I use it to improve my productivity,

The Scale plugin is the best thing out there for switching apps, applied Transparency works wonders, while I'm working on a document, I can transparent Writer and see my email below just in case I need to reference something and vice versa. I've never been able to use multiple desktops, the concept something I just couldn't wrap my head around, however the cube plugin gives me a 3d space that I can visualize much easier then the basic view ports setup.

while the wow effect is nice, at the end of the day I'm working, and if it doesn't help me work, I don't use it.

on my 2 stations, one has beryl, one doesn't when I'm doing heavy bash work, I use metacity/kwin, because the effects won't help, but on my laptop, beryl keeps me working faster and more efficient.

Reply Score: 4

FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

I've used multiple desktops for a while now. I've even used them on Windows with some Nvidia driver.

I actually think the Cube helps. Rather than just switching instantly to the next one, your eyes are given a visual cue to where you are, it kinda puts you in the scene. Then when you need to go back to a different desktop, you'll remember easier whether you need to go left or right one desktop because you were shown the relationship visually.

Reply Score: 2

scale
by MamiyaOtaru on Thu 15th Feb 2007 18:24 UTC
MamiyaOtaru
Member since:
2005-11-11

He mentions that while using scale (exposť clone) you can type in the scaled windows. To enable you to see what you are doing you can use superkey+mousewheel to zoom in on the whole screen. Alternatively, you can right click on any scaled window and it will be temporarily unscaled to its normal size. After typing, right click and it's back with the other scaled windows.

Of course, both methods raise the question of why he doesn't simply left click/select the window he wants to type in and then activate scale once more when he's done.

Anyway, input enabled zoom is nice, inverting the colors of a single app or the screen can be nice (sometimes helps with readability). Scale is nice, animating windows as they minimize to the taskbar is nice too, as newbs can see exactly what happens to it (so yeah, those last two come straight from OSX heh).

Of course, those features will never outweigh the excessive bling in some folks' eyes. It can all be turned off, but all that configurability draws out the anti excessive choices (bloat!) crowd. And of course some may prefer compiz to its offshoot.

Personally, I like beryl with the bling. It's fun. Of course it's probably telling that most of the time I use plain old kwin.

Reply Score: 3

RE: scale
by archiesteel on Thu 15th Feb 2007 19:28 UTC in reply to "scale"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

He mentions that while using scale (exposť clone) you can type in the scaled windows.

Yeah, I just learned about that functionality myself, that's really cool! I'm going to try it when I go back home tonight.

Reply Score: 2

Whats wrong with eyecandy?
by SlackerJack on Thu 15th Feb 2007 18:37 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

Does everyone really take there desktop seriously?, then turn the effect off. There is nothing like having fun with these type of effects and i'd rather have my windows do something different than the boring old minimize day in day out.

I think people should lighten up, after all we are not robots in a desktop production line.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Whats wrong with eyecandy?
by John Nilsson on Sun 18th Feb 2007 01:56 UTC in reply to "Whats wrong with eyecandy?"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

I think people should lighten up, after all we are not robots in a desktop production line.

Well, the desktop metaphor was invented to work for "robots in a desktop production line". Had the target user been somone else I hadly think "files", "folders", "dektop", "trash can" or any of those work related concepts would be part of the design.

Reply Score: 2

Raiders for the lost productivity
by Oliver on Thu 15th Feb 2007 19:28 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

It's obvious crap if you're seeing people gathering possible features which are maybe usable in terms of productivity. A really productive applications doesn't need such a search.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

It's obvious crap if you're seeing people gathering possible features which are maybe usable in terms of productivity. A really productive applications doesn't need such a search.

Have you even tried Beryl/Compiz?

The issue is not that people need to search to find usability in Beryl/Compiz, but rather that a lot of people have unfairly criticized it for only being "eye-candy". These articles set the record straight.

Reply Score: 4

subterrific Member since:
2005-07-10

And a lot of people might not know about certain features or realize how they can be used. That is one thing to criticize Beryl for, it isn't very user friendly yet. The config dialog is a swamp. However, just reading these comments I learned about several cool useful features.

Reply Score: 4

A bit offtopic but..
by reduz on Thu 15th Feb 2007 19:30 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

-Does anyone know what is faster? (XGL/AIGLX) for use with beryl? So far beryl+aiglx doesnt even come a little close to the performance i had with compiz+xgl on my geforce mx 4400, so i'm wondering if i'm doing something wrong.
-Does xvideo work in any way in xgl/aiglx? so far all videoplayers are extremely slow in fullscreen mode..

Reply Score: 1

RE: A bit offtopic but..
by archiesteel on Thu 15th Feb 2007 19:36 UTC in reply to "A bit offtopic but.."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Yeah, it seems that AIGLX *is* slower than XGL...at least that's the impression I get on my older desktop box. I'm not sure how it translates in numbers, to IIRC there is a "performance" plugin in Beryl that you can activate to get info on how well things are running.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A bit offtopic but..
by dumbkiwi on Thu 15th Feb 2007 19:57 UTC in reply to "A bit offtopic but.."
dumbkiwi Member since:
2006-01-02

In my experience, AIGLX has been much faster than XGL. On Intel graphics chipsets, it's no contest. AIGLX absolutely hums on Intel. On NVIDIA, as long as you've got the latest 9xxx series binary drivers, AIGLX works very nicely. I found moving from XGL to AIGLX on NVIDIA fixed all my video playback issues (including xv).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A bit offtopic but..
by archiesteel on Thu 15th Feb 2007 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE: A bit offtopic but.."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

On NVIDIA, as long as you've got the latest 9xxx series binary drivers, AIGLX works very nicely.

Are these the new beta drivers? I don't know, I'm using AIGLX with NVIDIA on my desktop, and it doesn't feel as fast as XGL on my laptop, but perhaps my setup is suboptimal. I'll check it out tonight (I barely use my desktop PC anymore, so I haven't taken the time to update it in a while).

Reply Score: 2

RE: A bit offtopic but..
by elsewhere on Fri 16th Feb 2007 15:18 UTC in reply to "A bit offtopic but.."
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Does anyone know what is faster? (XGL/AIGLX) for use with beryl? So far beryl+aiglx doesnt even come a little close to the performance i had with compiz+xgl on my geforce mx 4400, so i'm wondering if i'm doing something wrong.

Having used both, I say any perceptible performance difference in terms of desktop responsiveness is negligible.

Xgl does extract a penalty in terms of resources, but on modern machines, again it's probably imperceptible. On my old P3/1.13G laptop, I could measure it as being reported as an extra 8-9% CPU Utilization, with my Turion x2, it's maybe an extra 1% if that.

Where Xgl falls down compared to AIGLX is that it's implementation prevents GL applications from having direct access to the hardware. So any GL-based apps running under XGL have to use the indirect GL-X libraries for rendering, which is the reason anyone running glxinfo under an XGL desktop will find direct rendering disabled; this results in apps like GoogleEarth or even the openGL screensavers as being anywhere from unusable to roughly usable, depending upon hardware. For gaming, forget it. Many people that rely on GL-apps but want their Xgl have resorted to hacks and workarounds, such as launching a separate nested X server alongside Xgl for rendering GL apps. That starts to get really really ugly.

The AIGLX implementation doesn't interfere with the ability for GL-apps to render directly, so I've found the difference between using both to be night and day. Even if it's not an issue of the actual performance of the window rendering, it makes a monumental difference if you use any GL-based apps. The aforementioned GoogleEarth (I fall back to this because it's a reasonably intensive GL-based app and I'm not a gamer) works as well under my AIGLX-rendered desktops as standard X desktops.

Now, I should probably qualify that by pointing out I'm not actually using AIGLX, since beryl links directly to the nvidia driver libraries and not Xorg's, for rendering. I would expect that to lead to improved performance, but I'm not an engineer so am not qualified to say definitively.

The biggest advantage of Xgl over AIGLX that I can see is universality; theoretically Xgl should work with any graphics subsystem capable of accelerated 3d rendering in Xorg, while AIGLX requires special driver support. The biggest drawback is the current incompatibility with 3d-applications under Xgl. That's not an issue for many people though.

Just my 2c...

Reply Score: 3

Dunno
by Sphinx on Thu 15th Feb 2007 23:52 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Don't know if I need it but I know what I like.

Reply Score: 2

RE[X]: A bit offtopic but..
by nii_ on Fri 16th Feb 2007 03:08 UTC
nii_
Member since:
2005-07-11

AIGLX and XGL can be used together.

Ultimately, if running the application on the same machine as the dispaly (X-server and X-client are on the same machine), then XGL should ultimately be faster.
At the current time though, XGL runs on Xglx which is an in-between route to the goal of running it on Xegl. I needn't say more here, except for check out this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XGL .

However, when logging in and running the application on a remote machine with a display to the current machine (X-server and X-client are on the different machines), then AIGLX becomes very useful. You can run GL accelerated applications (3D apps etc) from remote machines with network transparency - way in advabnce of anything Microsfot has. Check out this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIGLX .

If you have a number of applications running, some on the local machine and some on the remote machine, and they want to use GL then they will be direct through XGL or AIGLX invisibly.

( *please let me know if my understanding of this is incorrect* ;) )

Edited 2007-02-16 03:12

Reply Score: 1

Please stop!
by gnumdk on Fri 16th Feb 2007 08:30 UTC
gnumdk
Member since:
2007-02-16

Nvidia drivers doesn't use Aiglx!!!

With nvidia drivers, you are using Nvidia implementation of Texture From Pixmap OpenGL extension!

Reply Score: 2

Beryl
by kefkathecruel on Fri 16th Feb 2007 19:18 UTC
kefkathecruel
Member since:
2006-01-17

Beryl is one of the very few USER centric aspects of Linux to be developed over the course of the last few years. But hey who needs eye candy? They should all have to edit their .conf files by hand in a text editor that lacks anti-aliasing. Note to Linux fanbois: beauty has a place, even in computing.

I think it says a great deal about social archetypes inherent in FOSS to see a number of people complaining about software that just tried to make things look better.

God knows Linux apps could use it. Like unix apps they look like somebody slapped them together with duct tape, superglue, and bubble gum. Seriously Linux needs all the beautification it can get if it is ever going to move into the desktop arena.

Reply Score: 1