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I downloaded the new Kororaa Xgl demo Live CD and gave Xgl a try for the first time. I run Debian Unstable and it’s not yet available so the next best thing was to try it this way. It completely blew me away.

As far as I’m concerned, it beats the pants off anything available on a Mac OS X platform. I haven’t tried Vista yet but I’d wager that Microsoft would be hard pressed to come up with something as remotely beautiful as this. I love the window snapping effect and how the windows have to be torn away from edges they have gravitated to. The ALT-TAB system and the Exposé rip-off which can be accessed by pressing F12 are phenomenally useful tools. I can never keep my windows straight and it’s wonderful to be able to visually locate a window and raise it to the foreground.

I’m not sure how I feel about other features, though. The rotating cube desktops seems a bit overkill. Also the ability to freely rotate that cube seems rather useless right now.

Architecturally speaking, videos play wonderfully even when playing in the window manager´s ALT-TAB and Exposé mode. I did notice higher CPU utilization - likely due to the player blitting pixmaps of the frames to a texture surface. Hopefully some performance work can be done there. I´m also very much looking forward to the day when Cairo and Arthur have OpenGL backends so that the drawing of X11 primitives can be accelerated in the 3D hardware. But that´s a ways off.

Anyways, developments like this remind me that we are not so far from beating Microsoft at their own game. Today is a great day for Linux.


color, uphair, smile
Jason D. Clinton

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September 2011


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