While most of the Linux desktop talk these days is about Unity, KDE, and GNOME, advancing in a quiet but steadfast manner is Xfce. The next major release of Xfce, version 4.12, is due out in March. It's undecided at this time though whether Xfce 4.12 will use GTK2 or GTK3.
While there hasn't been a new release since February, like the Trinity KDE 3.5 fork, the Razor-qt desktop environment continues to be actively developed. Razor-qt 0.5.0 will be released soon.
The OpenGL ES 2.0 support branch has been merged into mainline Compiz. This allows the once-thriving compositing window manager to run on the PandaBoard ES and various other mobile/embedded devices that only support GLES for rendering.
The Xfce project on Saturday afternoon released Xfce 4.10 as the first major Xfce desktop feature release in about sixteen months.
GLX-Dock / Cairo-Dock, the popular open-source OpenGL dock available for the Linux desktop, has reached its 3.0 milestone with some significant changes.
For those unsatisfied with the state of GNOME 3.x Shell, Ubuntu's Unity interface, and other Linux desktop options, Xfce 4.10 is approaching with an official release planned for later this month.
Razor-Qt is a new Qt-based desktop environment for Linux systems.
In late 2009 we figured out Samsung has been sponsoring the development of Enlightenment, the stacking window manager popular with some Linux enthusiasts. Since then the Enlightenment project has been more open about the gratuity provided by Samsung, and this major electronics vendor keeps paying them. Enlightenment is used on some of their mobile devices. Separately, Enlightenment has found its way onto refrigerators. There's more good news today out of the Samsung-sponsored Enlightenment camp.
OpenBox, the window manager originally derived from Blackbox and is used by the LXDE desktop environment and other niche configurations, has just reached its version 3.5 milestone release.
Sam Spilsbury has just tagged Compiz 0.9.5 for release as the latest development milestone for this compositing window manager.
After a pre-releases came in November and then another in December, Xfce 4.8 has been officially released today.
It was barely a month ago that the first development snapshot of Xfce 4.8 arrived, but being released this Sunday is the second preview release of the forthcoming Xfce 4.8 desktop, expected to go gold in January.
While the GNOME developers are busy at work on GNOME 3.0 and the KDE developers are busy working on KDE SC 4.6 and changes that may lead to KDE5, the Xfce desktop environment is still out there and being developed.
Sam Spilsbury has just announced the release of Compiz 0.9.2 as the successor to Compiz 0.9.0, which was released in July of this year. We knew that Compiz 0.9.2 was on the way and that it would offer many improvements from new animations to plug-ins that would make you feel as though you are drunk or tripping by simulating hallucinogenic effects. Yes, really, but at least there's also useful changes like plug-ins for loading GLSL shaders for windows and GLSL shaders to be applied to an entire screen through an OpenGL Frame Buffer-Object.
KDE's KWin developers haven't been the only ones busy, but those working on Compiz have been active too and are currently preparing for the Compiz 0.9.2 release, which will succeed the belated Compiz 0.9 release that occurred back in July.
Martin Gräßlin, one of the KDE developers that works on the KWin window manager, when not working towards OpenGL 3.0 support for KWin in KDE SC 4.7 has been writing a draft specification for what he proposes as a unified specification for compositing window managers. Martin hopes for this to become a FreeDesktop.org specification and that KWin/Plasma, Compiz, and other compositing window managers would implement this common specification.
The first beta release of GLX-Dock 2.2 is now available for those looking to add a Mac OS X-like dock to their Linux desktop. The GLX-Dock 2.2 release is focusing upon improving four core areas of this open-source application dock: being unobtrusive yet useful and simple while also introducing a new panel view.
One of the Compiz developers has updated his blog about the ongoing work towards the Compiz 0.9.2 release now that Compiz 0.9 was finally released earlier this month.
For those not preoccupied by any Independence Day celebrations in the United States, the long overdue release of Compiz 0.9 is out and ready for testing! Compiz 0.9 represents a major rewrite and overhaul of this compositing manager.
Back in March we reported that the release of Compiz 0.9 was finally approaching. The Compiz 0.9.x branch is still developing, but now there is a call-out for testing of this newest compositing manager code by the community.
More than a year ago we first talked about some of the Compiz 0.9 plans that involved merging Nomad and Compiz++ into Compiz and a host of other changes after the future of Compiz was called into question. Compiz Fusion was dropped too and Compiz++ is the C++ rewrite and also brings several other changes, such as Compiz no longer being just a compositing window manager, but the different components have been separated out.
While Compiz 0.9 failed to make it out by Christmas and there still are no signs of an imminent release for this popular compositing manager, when it is released it will offer support for the KDE 4.4 Software Compilation. Committed to the Compiz Git code-base last night were KDE4 window decorator changes to make it compatible with this just-released desktop environment update that incorporates six months worth of work from the KDE development community.
It's been a while since last talking about the Compiz project as they simply haven't had any new releases or major developments in a while. Early this year the developers did announce that Nomad and Compiz++ would merge into Compiz and that Compiz Fusion would be dropped and other changes planned. In late August Compiz 0.9 went into beta, which carried some of this work, but since then there haven't been any new snapshots of this next major Compiz release.
Compiz 0.9 still isn't out yet (though it should be coming soon) with its Nomad and Compiz++ integration and Compiz Fusion dropping, but in the meantime Compiz 0.8.4 has been pushed out this afternoon.
It has been a while since last talking about the Compiz compositing manager with their last v0.8 release coming some six months ago, but in fact things have remained busy and now they are finally approaching the 0.9 release in the coming months. As we reported last year and at the start of this year, Compiz Fusion is being dropped, Compiz++ came about as a rewrite of Compiz in C++ and also separated out the compositing and window management responsibilities, and then it was agreed upon that Compiz++ and NOMAD would merge into Compiz. Well, most of this work is nearing completion and soon the first Compiz 0.9 Beta will be available.
For those that missed it, Xfce 4.6.1 was released this week. It features a series of bug-fixes and minor improvements atop the recently released Xfce 4.6.0 code-base. The announcement regarding Xfce 4.6.1 can be read here.
While GNOME 2.26 and KDE 4.2 have been receiving much of the attention when it comes to the Linux desktop, the Xfce developers have announced the release of version 4.6 for their desktop.
Compiz 0.8 was branched from master back in November, but only today do we now have the v0.8.0 release of Compiz. Since that point the future of Compiz was called into question and Compiz++ had emerged as a C++ rewrite of Compiz that also brings a separation of the Composite and OpenGL layers, a new plug-in design, and other changes.
With a new day comes new announcements from the Compiz development community. Earlier this week it was announced that Nomad and Compiz++ would merge back into Compiz and then yesterday it was made known that Compiz Fusion will be dropped and other changes are coming down the road for this compositing window manager. Kristian Lyngstol has today shared the release plans for Compiz 0.8.0.
Yesterday we shared that Compiz++ and Nomad would be merged back into Compiz and today there are even more announcements coming out of the Compiz camp. With Compiz not having a clear road-map, a Compiz council has been established to begin charting the future of this compositing window manager. Besides merging Compiz++ and Nomad back into the mainline Compiz code-base, this five-member council has also agreed to merge Compiz and Compiz Fusion together into a single system as well.
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