Linked by John Mills on Tue 13th Feb 2007 21:49 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "The Ubuntu Technical Board has made two technical decisions of which we would like to inform the Ubuntu community. Both of these decisions concern the upcoming 7.04 release of Ubuntu, scheduled for mid-April." Ubuntu 7.04 will not activate binary video drivers by default, essentially meaning nothing will change from the previous releases. The second change is a major blow to the PowerPC architecture and thus owners of Apple PPC hardware: "The PowerPC edition of Ubuntu will be reclassified as unofficial. The PowerPC software itself and supporting infrastructure will continue to be available, and supported by a community team." Translation: Ubuntu PPC can shake hands with the dodo.
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RE: The quest for bling
by archiesteel on Wed 14th Feb 2007 03:15 UTC in reply to "The quest for bling"
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Perhaps if the developers spent less time trying to emulate pointless desktop special effects shown off by Mac users (or Sun engineers) with no real work to be getting on with, they'd realise that binary-only drivers aren't necessary in making a genuinely decent/innovative desktop experience.

I disagree. A hardware-accelerated desktop is *not* pointless. Some of the effects, such as the Expose clone, are *very* useful to a certain type of user (such as me).

As far as the "spinning cube" goes, it's a great way to visualize four different desktops...and it really impresses non-Linux users (I have yet to see anyone being indifferent to it).

Beryl/Compiz have been a great boost for Linux awareness. You might not feel it's important to you, but that doesn't mean it doesn't help Linux as a whole gain more mindshare.

Also, you should realize that the Ubuntu devs are not "spending time" on Beryl/Compiz...the work is done by the Beryl/Compiz devs, Ubuntu is simply benefitting from it. That's how things work in open-source - there's absolutely no guarantee that Beryl/Compiz devs would work on other, less blingy Linux stuff if they weren't working on the hardware-accelerated desktop.

Finally, I'd like to say that it's misleading to suggest that the quality of Ubuntu releases has been going down. In fact, I have to say that in my experience, it's been the other way around (apart from a few problems at the release of Dapper). Edgy is an excellent release, and I'm looking forward to installing Feisty once it's ready!

Edited 2007-02-14 03:16

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: The quest for bling
by sbergman27 on Wed 14th Feb 2007 03:54 in reply to "RE: The quest for bling"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

While I don't think that a 3D accelerated desktop is necessarily "pointless", I have yet to see anything that is useful in one.

Expose clone? Maybe. But does it really require 3D?

It always comes back to the spinning cube... and how it makes virtual desktops clear to stupid people. I think that is questionable.

As it happens, I have about 60 Linux desktop users that I support. Some of them pick up virtual desktops instantly. Others never will... no matter how many spinning cubes you put in front of them.

The spinning cube, more than anything, reminds me of the weapon reload animation in Quake and Doom. Its main function is to artificially slow you down.

The best argument I have ever heard in favor of 3D desktops under Linux is the argument that if Windows goes completely 3D, chip makers will drop the 2D API, leaving us in the lurch, as it were.

Which is a very bad thing for Linux. Because our OSS coverage of 3D chipsets is crap compared to the competition. Even in the case that the manufacturer makes the specs available, as with the Radeon 9200 and below.

And the situation is far worse when they don't.

I, for one, do not welcome our new 3D overlords.

Edited 2007-02-14 03:56

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: The quest for bling
by archiesteel on Wed 14th Feb 2007 04:28 in reply to "RE[2]: The quest for bling"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

While I don't think that a 3D accelerated desktop is necessarily "pointless", I have yet to see anything that is useful in one.

Expose clone? Maybe. But does it really require 3D?


It requires *hardware* acceleration, which is done by cards that also have 3D capabilities. A lot of the Beryl/Compiz effects have nothing to do with the spinning cube or 3D. The new Desktop Wall effect is pretty cool (and is a 2D way of dealing with desktops).

You have to understand that Beryl/Compiz is *not* a 3D desktop. It is a super-charged compositing manager that *allows* for 3D effets. However, the windows and desktop remains 2D objects.

It always comes back to the spinning cube... and how it makes virtual desktops clear to stupid people. I think that is questionable.

Hey, I *like* the 3D desktop, and I've understood the concept of virtual desktop a long time ago. I just like it, but I understand that other might not like it as much. The cool thing with Beryl is that if you don't like the 3D cube, you can opt for other desktop management, such as the aforementioned desktop wall effect. The expose effect is great for people who - for some reason or another - don't like multiple desktops. I find myself using it a lot. To each his own.

Hey, I often used alt-tab anyway, and I understand those who prefer this. Well, lo and behold, Beryl has eye-candy there too with a "Ring" window switcher (reminescent of the original Tomb Raider item switcher, for those who remember).

It's *not* just the spinning 3D cube. It's also true transparency, for those who want it, and hardware-rendered shadows for windows and menus. It's the "Group and Tab Windows" plugin...it's kinda hard to explain, you have to see it to get it (I'm beginning to get it, and find it quite useful!). It's the Snow plugin. (Yes, the snow plugin. I found that with the right background, it can be very relaxing and soothing when I need to think about something.)

It's the Interact Zoom plugin, which is *amazing* when you do photo retouching. It's the Widget Layer plugin, which allows Dashboard-like applets to be put on their own layer, which can be toggled on and off (I use the bottom left corner, since my panel is at the top). It's the screen annotations...ok, I haven't found much use for that yet, but it's kinda of an interesting concept. Anyway, you get the idea.

The spinning cube, more than anything, reminds me of the weapon reload animation in Quake and Doom. Its main function is to artificially slow you down.

Gee, do you switch desktop *so* often that a 0.25 second delay for the animation to play really slows you down?

Obviously you don't like the cube. That's okay, just don't use it. There are *lots* of other useful things in Beryl/Compiz, and lots more to come, too.

The best argument I have ever heard in favor of 3D desktops under Linux is the argument that if Windows goes completely 3D, chip makers will drop the 2D API, leaving us in the lurch, as it were.

I personally don't think that's a very strong argument, as it's certainly unlikely. Though in that case, yes, it would be a very good thing.

Which is a very bad thing for Linux. Because our OSS coverage of 3D chipsets is crap compared to the competition. Even in the case that the manufacturer makes the specs available, as with the Radeon 9200 and below.

It's not "crap", it's just a little behind. Nvidia drivers are quite good, and the ATI driver, as subpar as it is, does an honest job (and hopefully will get better). You have to remember that hardware-accelerated desktops don't require heavy 3D performance (at least not in poly counts - texture memory is obviously more important, but even then it's not *that* demanding). I'm getting excellent performance on my Compaq Laptop with the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset - not exactly a powerhouse!

I disagree that this is bad for Linux. This is *excellent* news for Linux, as it generates a lot of interest in the platform, in addition to providing us with a more advanced desktop. That can't be bad!

What matters the most for me, as a Linux user, is that *I* like it, and find it useful. Seeing the excitement Beryl/Compiz generates, I know the feeling is generalized, and that also can't be bad for Linux as a whole.

I, for one, do not welcome our new 3D overlords.

Don't see it as 3D, because it's not, really. See it as a supercharged, hardware-accelerated desktop.

Edited 2007-02-14 04:30

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: The quest for bling
by aent on Wed 14th Feb 2007 06:18 in reply to "RE[2]: The quest for bling"
aent Member since:
2006-01-25

There are also pure technical advantages. In programs that don't double buffer very well, a compositing window manager "fixed" that problem as the layer is moved on top of the other layer, and the area that would have been previously damaged is now part of the underlying layer. With a compositing manager, people who said performance of moving windows around sucked because of the tearing in the background if you had Firefox there will see a huge improvement. It also helps to offset the load from the CPU onto the GPU, and that has a noticable positive effect on my battery life and speed of my laptop (moving a window around previously would cause the CPU to scale up, thanks to it being on the GPU, it no longer does).
In addition, there really is a lot more polish on the Linux desktop when you're using a compositing manager. Instead of the stupid black bars when minimizing a window, the window actually is minimized, and instead of 20 of the same icons with the title when you have it highlighted, you can see the contents of the window as the icon (with the other icon there as well) and ALSO see where the window is when its selected, a HUGE gain for usability.

Also, for accessibility, the gnome-mag based magnifier feels a LOT better and more natural then the previous pixmap based solution. Other accessibility improvements have also been made possible thanks to the use of compositing. Other then the fact that some drivers have shit 3D support in Linux right now, what are the real disadvantages of going to a 3D composited desktop? If they become used for the basic desktop instead of just 3D rendering and games, then they're going to become a lot better faster, and for the hardware that can't support it (which my geforce 2 go can, and thats pretty old, so we're talking about real ancient hardware here), there still is the option of disabling compositing that would work on everyone's computer (with many usability improvements disabled)

Reply Parent Score: 2