Beryl, the popular window manager forked from Compiz, has introduced its 0.1.3 release. This release is coming a little over a month after the Beryl 0.1.2 release. Among the new features in Beryl 0.1.3 are plugins for group, 3D world, input enabled zoom, annotate, and clone output. Aquamarine (the KDE window decorator) and GTK window decorator (Heliodor) have been included in this release. Some of the other new features for this release are new multicube modes, transparent cube modes, new zoom from center options for animations, drag and drop support in scale, blur cache functionality increased, pointer restrain on resize, allow minimized windows to show on scale, and negative windows have exclude list. Several bugs have also been addressed in this release. The release notes for Beryl version 0.1.3 can be read here. If you try it out, be sure to share your thoughts on the forums.
Coming out of Novell this week was the release of Compiz 0.3.4. New in Compiz version 0.3.4 is support for multiple desktops, improved multi-head support, basic support for internal events, and plug-in updates. The release announcement can be found here. A new Compiz road-map for the core has also been published.
The second release candidate (hopefully the last) in the Xfce 4.4 development series has been released. As highlighted by the release notes, Xfce 4.4 RC2 primarily fixes bugs and includes new optimizations. This release can be downloaded here.
Due to frustrations with Compiz when it comes to submitting patches, communicating with other Compiz developers, and distribution integration, a fork of Compiz has started. Beryl is this Compiz fork that seeks to offer more organization, improved documentation, bug fixing, and many more features. The announcement for the Beryl project can be found here.
With GNOME 2.16 and KDE 4.0 discussions heating up, the light-weight desktop environment known as Xfce has issued its first release candidate for the Xfce 4.4 branch. Several bugs were addressed and a few new features were implemented. The new Xarchiver v0.4.0 is included, trash support was added for Thunar and xfdesktop, and the overall memory usage was also reduced. The complete change log is available here -- download here.
After today's launch of the NVIDIA 1.0-8762 Linux/Solaris/FreeBSD display driver release, NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner has stated that GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap support will not come until the Rel90 (1.0-9XXX) drivers at an earliest. There have been some rumors with the NVIDIA ForceWare Windows Rel90 drivers that they may contain a new control panel interface among other new improvements. Support for GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap is needed to allow Accelerated Indirect GL X to run server-side GL, which is what Compiz or other compistors will then use with Render_from_pixmap. X.Org v7.1 final had shipped today with this extension. If NVIDIA continues in their current Linux driver release cycle, we will likely not see any new display drivers for four months -- or as we anticipate the August/September time-frame. In this time we do anticipate that the Windows drivers will reach their v9X.XX series. No word yet on when ATI intends on implementing support for this extension with their fglrx drivers. Aaron's statement can be read here.
Kombatant has updated the unofficial ATI Linux Driver Wiki with a short tutorial for running the latest XGL + Compiz 3D desktop effects when using a Radeon setup. The guide is also written for those running Ubuntu's 6.06 Dapper Drake distribution. This eight-step guide is fairly simple, however, it does stress the important points for achieving success with XGL and Compiz when using ATI's proprietary Linux drivers on an Ubuntu Dapper box. The Linux Wiki entry can be read here.
Xfce, the light-weight *NIX desktop environment that is often placed behind GNOME and KDE, has come out today with its version 4.4 Beta 1 release -- or also titled v188.8.131.52. The Xfce 4.4 branch includes various new tools and most prominently the new Thunar file manager. Significant improvements have also been made to the core Xfce components. The Xfce 4.4 Beta 1 release marks the first new version since the Xfce v184.108.40.206 release in November of last year. More on Xfce Desktop Environment is available from Xfce.
MacSlow, a blogger from Germany, has written up some code that uses NVIDIA's AddARGBGLXVisuals option (which was introduced last week in the 1.0-8756 drivers). As his video reveals, it is certainly a neat effect he has with Xorg 7.0 and the Composite extension is enabled. His code is freely available and his initial post can be found here. He already has updated the code to his ARGB-GLX example here.
As was mentioned previously in the Phoronix News, there were speculations AIGLX or Accelerated Indirect GL X could run atop Compiz/XGL. Rumors initially were that these were two impeding projects and would ultimately be Red Hat versus Novell competition, however, this is simply not the case. Christopher Blizzard has posted that Kristian has managed to get Compiz running on AIGLX from the Fedora Rendering Project. It did not require many modifications and more information is available on the Free Desktop mailing list.
Last month we had presented information in regards to XGL + Compiz as well as AIGLX or rather Accelerated Indirect GL X. With XGL being largely developed by Novell, and Accelerated Indirect GL X being conceived in the Fedora Rendering Project, there were initial speculations of competition between the two Linux desktop interface improvements. However, it seems as if AIGLX improvements will soon be found in XGL. Novell's David Reveman has agreed to implement a great deal of changes in the Fedora AIGLX project by Red Hat's Kristian Hodsberg. Certainly this non-partisan work is great for those who simply are looking forward to an improved Linux desktop environment.
In addition to the launch of Fedora Core 5 Test 3, Fedora has also released some information to one of their recent projects -- AIGLX or Accelerated Indirect GL X. Accelerated Indirect GL X is apart of the Fedora Rendering Project. The focus of AIGLX is to enable OpenGL-accelerated effects on a standard desktop. Fedora's AIGLX runs off a slightly modified X server, which includes a couple of additional extensions, updated Mesa package, and a version of Metacity with a composite manager. Cairo, Composite, GTK+, Metacity, OpenGL, Pango, and Luminocity are the core components to a functioning AIGLX environment. Sound familiar to Novell's Xgl? Well, here is an excerpt from the Fedora Wiki pertaining to the differences -- XGL is a different X server. This is a more incremental change which is slated to become part of Xorg. We don't believe that replacing the entire X server is the right path, and that improving it incrementally is a better way to modernize it. After talking to people at xdevconf, it felt like much of the upstream Xorg community shares this view. You can search [WWW] Adam Jackson's notes for "large work for Xgl" to get the blow-by-blow or NVidia's [WWW] presentation from XDevConf 2006 on using the existing model. Installation instructions for Fedora Core 5 Test 3 and AIGLX are also in the Wiki. We will cover more on Accelerated Indirect GL X and are looking at posting some initial Phoronix AIGLX images tomorrow.
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