Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 13th Aug 2007 15:38 UTC, submitted by anonymous
X11, Window Managers "This is the first development release of Compiz Fusion, the result of more than six months of work and polish. Compiz Fusion is the result of a merge between the Compiz community plugin set 'Compiz Extras' and the parts of the Beryl project that are independent of the window manager core. The two communities have re-united to create a user experience for Linux that rivals anything available on other platforms."
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RE[5]: Bit disappointing
by steviant on Tue 14th Aug 2007 07:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Bit disappointing"
steviant
Member since:
2006-01-11

Agree with you insofar as I find that Beryl is terrible "out of the box", with a garish theme that looks a bit like something out of a Flash Gordon comic, and all sorts of wrong-headed user interface gaffes, but it's heart is in the right place. Fortunately, with the level tweaking Beryl allows, it can be adapted to actually enhance usability, eg: the "inside cube" desktop switching method takes advantage of spatial memory by placing the user in the center of a virtual room.

It's easier to remember that the window you were just using is on the wall behind you than it is to remember that it's on adjacent virtual desktop two desktops to the right, because having to remember what is around you is natural.

Another note on the cube switching effect, or Apple's sliding effect in current pre-releases of Leopard; Usually if we clear all programs off our desktop, it's because we have finished with them (or because we temporarily want to access desktop items before bringing them all back again -a symptom of poor UI design for another day). Virtual desktops are for the exact opposite of the first situation, when you have too many tasks or the tasks on your desktop are too distracting. It is precisely because we want to work more that we need virtual desktops, so it's nice if the process of switching desktops is reassuringly different to the process of closing all the windows.

The alt-tab switcher in Beryl is vastly superior to that in any other window manager I've seen in Linux and I'm pretty sure I've seen most of them. Also, the ability to maximize windows horizontally and vertically as well as in both directions at once is more accessible in Beryl than in Metacity, it also provides the ability to maximize any window to fill the entire screen whether it provides that ability or not.

The expose like functionality in Beryl has a great usability gain over it's Mac counterpart, the ability to input into and even close the scaled down versions of the applications by using focus-follows-mouse. This is one of those rare occasions where the cheap knock-off is actually better than the original. I rarely bother with the feature on my PowerBook because it's not nearly as useful.

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