Home > X11 > Metisse – New Looking Glass Alternative Metisse – New Looking Glass Alternative Eugenia Loli 2004-06-30 X11 24 Comments From Slashdot: Metisse is a special X build and window environment working with OpenGL and accelerated graphics. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 24 Comments 2004-06-30 7:50 am … compared to Sun’s Looking Glass. 1) There is no Java cruff. 2) It integrates in a simple manner with the window manager (in the sample implementation, with FVWM). Hopefully we could get a KDE implementation in the future. 3) It’s small (3.1 MB tarball). 4) GPL version 2 license (need I say more?). 2004-06-30 8:26 am 5) It looks good too! 2004-06-30 8:28 am Yes your four points about Metisse are valid, but it doesn’t have the feel of a usable desktop. The windows randomly rotate, there is no unified approach to how to organise the desktop, it’s an experimental X windowing system, so its not intuitive. And yes, whilst it avoids Java3D it does totally miss any sensible interface Sun could have given it. I agree a KDE implementation would be a nice thing, but lets wait and see what impact Sun’s desktop has. By the way.. I’ve played with Lonhorn’s 3D whistles and bells, and it sucks… 2004-06-30 9:30 am Looking at the images, it seems odd and uncomfortable. When I read a book or a newspaper, I hold it in front of me, not at some random angle. When I watch a performance of something, on TV or live, the best seats are front row center. 2004-06-30 9:46 am I get the feeling from both this, and Looking Glass, that if someone is truly going to come up with a decent mechanism for using 3d on the desktop (Aside from MacOS style hardware acceleration) then they really need to throw away the entire 2d desktop paradigm and come up with something completely different. Consider if instead of scrolling upwards the Star Wars intro text had just been presented all at once on the screen. Perspective just doesn’t make sense for day to day text use, or for that matter anything else that’s naturally 2d (Care to draw a circle in a non-flat window Michelangelo?). Definitely time for a rethink industry wide IMHO if they are going to pursue this 3D stuff, but still a nice toy. 2004-06-30 10:54 am What wrong with Java3D, its a wrapper around OpenGL if you run Linux. Anything built on top of that should be very fast provided you have a good hardware graphics acceleration. 2004-06-30 10:55 am So many people keeps comparing Looking Glass to Quartz and whatever-it’s-called-on-Longhorn, and this is just firewroks without any thought on how it can improve anyone’s workflow. Expose, for instance, is quite more usable (until somehow proves me wrong) limiting itself to pure 2D than doing any fancy 3D. I am not saying fancy candy is not good. I am just saying that I do not see any usability reasoning behind the purpose of having a 3D desktop (and I do believe there could be some, such as like grouping icons in a window/desktop and pushing them forward/backward to have them bigger or smaller depending on what the user wants to have more accessible). For the time being, Looking Glass, Metisse and all clones are pointless things that get in the way. 2004-06-30 10:58 am Just to clear up. I meant I see no reasoning in usability behind LG and Matisse, not that there cannot be any in the concept of 3d desktops. I just think that those 2 projects are starting from the end of the process (first you build the technology and then you wonder what you want to use it for…). 2004-06-30 11:09 am Even though many people don’t like such stuff the second they see a screenshot with windows aligned in a non-flat angle I think it has great potential in the OSX-like-accelerated-2D-way. Sad there aren’t any KDE guys starting some work on a 3D-compatible KWin/KDE to take advantage of some of these effects. 2004-06-30 11:11 am I am sure more useful use of 3d will be found. Flipping through photos for example, instead of scrolling through thumbnails. It’ll take a couple of years for 20″ screens to be reasonably priced. That + looking glass type window management….. I can’t wait. 2004-06-30 11:53 am It’s still to be proved that 3d desktops are useful but this software could provide some cool effect to a standard linux desktop, for example expose-like windows selection (while they are still updating, no still snapshot of the windows, but real window scaled) it’s eye candy by now, butr in the future it could provide a different approach 2004-06-30 12:49 pm Couldn’t agree more. Now i hope it is portable. Because that’s a Looking Glass strength. 2004-06-30 1:02 pm 3D interfaces don’t really have much evidence in their favour. They have been researched for many years (since the 1980’s I believe), but with any task-based evaluation, task completion time tends to be bother higher and less accurately achieved. There is also the very real problem that people get lost in these types of interfaces. They’ve been around for a while (SGI produced the first commercial version I think back in the 80’s), so there is little that is really innovative. However, they do look “kewl” which might be a selling point. It’s just that they aren’t as usable as the existing metaphor (or others such as the 2.5D “zooming” desktop which does show benefits). 2004-06-30 1:42 pm Typical response. Open source = automatically good. Sun = automatically bad. I’m so tired of this mindset. Compared to the preview of Looking Glass, Metisse looks like a ugly, kludgy hack (and keep in mind that Looking Glass is only a tech. preview!). 2004-06-30 1:48 pm The exisiting metaphore is already 3d : windows are either on top or below of others, shading effect helps improve that perception. It’s just not fully done. How long did it take for windowed interfaces to rule most computer screens ? SGI’s implementation was probably out of reach for anyone anyway…. If it becomes available, I’ll use it ! 2004-06-30 2:41 pm 5) It looks good too! Sorry but I beg to differ. The widgets used there look Motif-esque (though I assume the widget set doesn’t matter), and the window manager is fvwm, a wm that people have long said looks like a bad flashback to the 80’s. Call me when I can get Gnome in 3D. 2004-06-30 2:53 pm …for wearable computing. Imagine a pair of “eye-glasses” that uses high resolution inertial/eye/sight tracking to seamlessly enhance what you see. So far, that’s the only use I can think of that’s just begging for a 3D interface. Now if we only had the horsepower to implement that today… 2004-06-30 3:03 pm I am sure more useful use of 3d will be found. Flipping through photos for example, instead of scrolling through thumbnails. Digikam already do that through one of its excellent plugins. http://digikam.sourceforge.net/ 2004-06-30 4:48 pm “Call me when I can get Gnome in 3D.” One got Metisse working with KDE. Makes you wonder wether it works with GNOME as well, huh? http://www.directfb.org http://www.freedesktop.org http://www.pycage.de/software_expocity.html http://www.thegraveyard.org/skippy.php http://insitu.lri.fr/~chapuis/metisse Looking Glass …and many others. 2004-06-30 5:06 pm Sorry but I beg to differ. The widgets used there look Motif-esque (though I assume the widget set doesn’t matter), and the window manager is fvwm, a wm that people have long said looks like a bad flashback to the 80’s. Well fvwm has also been said to be the most configurable wm out there. It doesn’t have to look bad at all: http://ikaro.dk/snapshots/pages/2004-02-29_1600x1200_jpg.htm 2004-06-30 6:14 pm One got Metisse working with KDE. Makes you wonder wether it works with GNOME as well, huh? Hmm – somehow I missed that. If the link has been posted here I’m jsut to blind to see… Can you give me a hint where I can information about Metisse+KDE? 2004-06-30 6:31 pm what about performance ? 2004-06-30 9:50 pm you got it with KDE? sounds cool. got any screenshots? 2004-07-01 1:36 pm Well i read 1 or 2 comments regarding it on the Slashdot thread. I don’t run KDE myself.