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02 January 2009, 09:08

Compiz in trouble?

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According to Kristian Lyngstol the Compiz project, which has brought compositing window effects, aka "wobbly windows and rotating desktops", is in trouble. Lyngstol points to a loss of developers on the project saying "we haven't seen a single new core developer that contributes significantly to master, since the merge". Lyngstol, one of the core Beryl developers, says a lack of project goals, inconsistent organisation and undocumented code, are among the reasons the project has stalled in "a constant alpha-stage". Beryl forked from Compiz in 2006 and re-merged with it in 2007 to create Compiz-Fusion, which provides many of the desktop visual effects seen in major Linux distributions. Compiz-Fusion is built on Compiz and integrates many plug-ins and tools which were originally developed for Beryl.

Lyngstol identifies one major problem that underlies the other problems saying "Compiz is a research project. Essentially, there's been very little work to bring Compiz into a state where it can be considered truly stable". There has been, as of writing, only one response from Sam Spilsbury that concurs with many of his points, but suggests that Compiz needs to be retain an experimental side to attract developers and that any major re-organisation would require synchronisation with the Compiz++ project, a C++ based version of Compiz.

A number of people have talked in the past about the Linux desktop experience and how to improve it, most recently Mark Shuttleworth was talking about a new Canonical team dealing with X, OpenGL, Gtk,Qt, GNOME and KDE.


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