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Novell Makes Public Release of Xgl Code

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the walking-the-walk dept.

Novell 339

hamfactorial writes "Novell has announced the public availability of the Xgl code, an openGL accelerated X server layer. Available binaries ought to be coming soon for distributions running the modular X.org 7.0 release (possibly 6.9, though unconfirmed). A temporary page for Xgl information is up at the openSUSE website. This is the same code that was running in the Novell Linux Desktop 10 preview videos as seen earlier. Further information is also available at Miguel De Icaza's blog."

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339 comments

first (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667644)

first post motherfuckers

Re:first (0, Offtopic)

sumi-manga (948999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667660)

why? you suck... you should have left your title word out of your post, obviously!

Novell (0, Offtopic)

MarkChovain (952233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667671)

Novell is still spreading. Slowly but surely, it will really be betting my business plan on that employee's ability to re-open closed tabs.

Re:Novell (0, Offtopic)

kclittle (625128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667686)

Here, take your meds and go back to your room, ok? No, no, your rooms over there...

Re:Novell (0, Offtopic)

MarkChovain (952233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667718)

My room while on their site. Otherwise, you'll see a roughly consistent set of newly developed programs within the transaction completed, or it didn't happen at all.

Re:Novell (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667740)

Yes, you have successfully gotten past my built-in Bayesian filter. *Now* will you go to your room? :)

Re:Novell (0, Offtopic)

MarkChovain (952233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667752)

sure if it's a good living building, fixing, and networking MS DOS systems and went through this, but for me to be detained for anything.

Re:Novell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14668108)

User ID: MarkChovain
I suspect a bot based on Markov Chains. Or maybe he just like to talk randomly.

OMG XINERAMA PLEASE! (0, Flamebait)

orthonovum (952811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667685)

sorry for the caps.. but C'MON ill lay $500.00 on this not working with xinerama. xinaerama/multiscreen users always seem to get the shaft with the fun stuff like this >

Re:OMG XINERAMA PLEASE! (5, Insightful)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667732)

The project is fresh out development and your already whining for what it might not have.

And to think when the news first broke that this would be initially developed in house there was outrage, but you comment exemplifies why they started development away from the "community".

Question is are you going to do anything to help the project?

Re:OMG XINERAMA PLEASE! (2, Informative)

ooze (307871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668038)

You are aware that your sig line is originally attributed to Diogenes of Sinope. And Tyler and Diogenes have really really much in common (to the point where you could say Chuck wanted to create a Diogenes with a masterplan and cool fighting skills). Except that Diogenes was a real person (in both senses, he wasn't the imaginary evil twin of anyone and also not a character in some fictional work). At least there are more indications for Diogenes to have actually existed than for Jesus.

Not to take anything away from the movie...

Re:OMG XINERAMA PLEASE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667777)

Atleast with Ati:s cards the resolution of two screens is to high for 3D to work (max width of the r9800 is 1600pixels in windows and linux, if I remember correctly). Tried to find the specs for the 1800/1900 but ati does not want to share them.

-ati_widedesktop_user

Window manager land (4, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667687)

Should I kill my fluxbox and use compiz as my default window manager ? Or can compiz actually live along side a normal windowmanager which has about half a year of short-cuts that I use heavily ?

I would love if someone could actually tell me if fluxbox (or indeed xfwm4) will work with XGl out of the box.

Re:Window manager land (2, Interesting)

hamfactorial (857057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667920)

Compiz is just a compositing manager. As I understand it, it exists independently of Metacity or any other window manager you choose to use. Compiz should be similar in functionality to xcompmgr or the compositing manager built into xfwm. I don't think it will require shortcuts or much hackery to function on non-GNOME desktops. The window manager demoed appears to be Metacity, and as such, I can't see why Novell would be pushing for even more fragmentation in the Linux world. If anything, they would be in favor of easy-to-use interfaces that will serve to promote their Novell Linux Desktop 10 product, or whatever it will be called. Indirectly, that benefits us, and you as the non-GNOME user.

Re:Window manager land (4, Informative)

nathanh (1214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667968)

Compiz is just a compositing manager. As I understand it, it exists independently of Metacity or any other window manager you choose to use.

You understand incorrectly. Compiz is both a window manager and a compositing manager. There were technical reasons as to why it was done this way. Metacity will also be incorporating composite code directly rather than have a separate userspace process.

Re:Window manager land (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667927)

It's an X.org extension. It's in no way like a window manager at all. At least you don't use gnome or kde, I suppose...

Videos? (1)

moriya (195881) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667696)

This is the same code that was running in the Novell Linux Desktop 10 preview videos as seen earlier

Could someone post the URL where these videos are available?

Re:Videos? (5, Informative)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667706)

Can't be bothered to check the article links hey? Check the Novell link.

http://www.novell.com/linux/xglrelease/ [novell.com]

Re:Videos? (1)

moriya (195881) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667799)

The line I quoted implied it was mentioned elsewhere so thus I did not check. And nowhere in the paragraph did it say that the videos are also on there. If the blurb was worded differently, then I might have checked the page already.

Eye candy can make sense (4, Interesting)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667698)

Most people who dislike eye candy do so because it slows things down or clutters the UI. Watching these videos and seeing what Apple has done with OS X made me realize that eye candy can make the interface more intuitive when done right. The virtual destop cube -thingy really looked like something usable for a change.

I suspect the possibilities created by hardware accelerated UIs will lay the groundwork for a whole new set of UI paradigms, but the real implications are probably still years away.

Re:Eye candy can make sense (5, Insightful)

ardor (673957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667754)

I agree. Furthermore, the current state actually does not make much sense. Considering that, for example, nvidia-chips do not have a dedicated 2D core anymore, the driver has to emulate 2D for the legacy 2D APIs that have been used until now. Essentially, dedicated 2D development is dead; its nonsense to have a 2D core since the 3D one can do everything 2D-related much faster and with extras like blending or shaders.

So right now we have an artificial distinction between 2D and 3D. The vendors have to deal with composite stuff AND with opengl acceleration, sometimes simultaneously. Using OpenGL as the base for everything is much better, since opengl already has a client/server-architecture, driver development gets easier, X as a whole becomes leaner, responsiveness and look-n-feel of X improve, and the CPU does not have to deal with fake transparency stuff.

So its all about moving the 2D/3D-distinction away from the driver into the X server.

Re:Eye candy can make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667801)

"Desktop Manager" on OS X had these cube-transitions (among other transitions) when changing virtual desktops. It was nice for a while, but I think that most users ended up turning the animation speed up as fast as it could go, or turning the animations off. I certainly did.

Eyecandy is nice, but it should not slow down interaction with the GUI.

Re:Eye candy can make sense (-1, Troll)

Burz (138833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667872)

What bothers me is that the FOSS community didn't seem to take this technology seriously until Microsoft announced it was going into Vista.

Here's hoping the result isn't half-baked.

Re:Eye candy can make sense (1)

VON-MAN (621853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668009)

What bothers me is that the FOSS community didn't seem to take this technology seriously until Microsoft announced it was going into Vista.

You're forgiven because you said "seem". Don't be bothered, the discussion over eyecandy in the FOSS community is as old as the GUI. Heck, for some the GUI alone is eyecandy.

Here's hoping the result isn't half-baked.

Why would the result be half-baked?

Re:Eye candy can make sense (4, Interesting)

nathanh (1214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668015)

What bothers me is that the FOSS community didn't seem to take this technology seriously until Microsoft announced it was going into Vista.

What bothers me is that you can make such statements with such conviction when they are entirely untrue. The FOSS community have been working on features like this since at least early 2004. The Xorg/XFree86 split was partially due to arguments over the Composite and Render extensions that are necessary foundations for this demo.

This technology hasn't appeared on your radar because you aren't looking at the right places. If you read xorg-devel, or planet gnome, or freedesktop, then you would be aware that this technology has been treated seriously. The Novell demo came from out of the blue but the FOSS community has been working on the technology for ages.

Re:Eye candy can make sense (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668082)

What bothers me is that the FOSS community didn't seem to take this technology seriously until Microsoft announced it was going into Vista.

The FOSS community _has_ been taking this technology seriously, it's just not hit the main-stream. (Seems to be the case with most FOSS GUI stuff that Apple and Microsoft get there first with the shiny bits.)

From the screen shots I've seen of Vista it looks like the 3D UI features (e.g. 3D windows, etc) are ripped off Project Looking Glass and OS-X, both of which have been around for a long time. As usual, Microsoft are just taking someone else's work and putting it in a system that's already main-stream.

My immediate questions really are how long until:
1. XGL ships as standard with Fedora Core
2. Enlightenment DR0.17 supports all the shiny XGL functionality. Is XGL fundamentally compatable with E17's existing composite system?

Re:Eye candy can make sense (1)

joebebel (923241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667905)

Exactly - except that the people who use linux all the time tend to abhor too much eye candy. A lot of *nix users think KDE or Gnome is too much already. A lot of people who like fancy, useful 3d user interfaces have already got their macs too :)

Re:Eye candy can make sense (1, Insightful)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668012)

As someone that's spent way to much time trying to get work done on OS X I absolutely disagree. OS X is fine for users trying to run two or three windows but for serious users that run ten or twenty programs at once it just is in the way.

I'm fine with eye candy if it does something useful but if it doesn't then it doesn't belong, as a default, on my desktop. This thing looks cool but I don't see it being useful in of itself. Maybe someone will use it to create something useful though. I see 3D as being a good tool for looking at complex relationships but just replacing workspaces with a 3D cube seems pointless.

Finally! (4, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667709)

Real Transparency! But who's providing the hardware accel? This is still kinda sticky, right now your choices boil down to nvidia's closed source driver (not that I have a problem with that), ATI's bug fest (sorry, but it's true), or a really old Radeon. Oh yeah, while I'm idly wondering, what are the odds of this making it into mainstream desktops ( stock gnome/kde )?

Re:Finally! (2, Informative)

sumi-manga (948999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667814)

I believe [linuxedge.org] it can be installed on gnome.

What kind of hardware is used? (0)

Henk Poley (308046) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667879)

I'd like to know what kind of hardware they used to create the demo's. From my experience the nvidia drivers aren't very stable.

Re:What kind of hardware is used? (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667892)

They've always been rock solid (not to mention easy to install) for me, across multiple GeForce generations. This is on Red Hat and multiple incarnations of Fedora with SMP systems. Many, many hours of gaming, with FSAA and all effects on. I think I may have had what appeared to be a graphics hang *once* in all the time I've used them (about three years).

Re:What kind of hardware is used? (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668100)

Rock solid on Ubuntu all version of drivers : from GeForce to FX5700. NVIDIA was actually chosen consistently for upgrades because it had stable linux accelerated drivers.

Re:What kind of hardware is used? (2, Informative)

Sterling Christensen (694675) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667967)

From my experience the nvidia drivers aren't very stable.

That's odd. What card(s)/motherboard(s)/kernel version(s)/nVidia driver version(s)?

They've always been perfectly stable with my GeForce 4 MX and GeForce FX 5700. A motherboard with Via AGP and an nForce 2 motherboard (all nVidia chipsets, nVidia AGP etc). Stable on Arch Linux, Gentoo Linux, kernels compiled with GCC 3.3.x, 3.4.x, and now 4.1 beta, and stable with both the kernel's AGP driver and the nVidia driver's built in driver.

The only trouble I remember was console framebuffer not working on the 4 MX, and nVidia drivers at the time (not a problem now) not being compatible with the 4K stacks option introduced in kernel 2.6.6.

Here's a good place for nVidia Linux driver help:
NVIDIA Linux Forum @ NVnews.net [nvnews.net]

Re:What kind of hardware is used? (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668028)

I found that hardware acceleration on X.org with a 5900 worked flawlessly, whilst a much older card (300 or something) crashed after only 5 minutes of hardware acceleration being switched on. There does seem to be stability issues with older NVidia cards.

Re:What kind of hardware is used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14668107)

That seems to be true of both Nvidia's Windows and Linux drivers, and not just with the absolute latest drivers.

I have a system with a GeForce 3, supported by Nvidia's latest drivers, which crashes almost immediately unless you use drivers that are over a year old. That one runs Windows. Another system has a TNT2 in it, and again crashes immediately if you use version 5xxx drivers or above, but works beautifully with version 4xxx drivers. That one runs on Linux. A couple of years back, the GeForce 2 MX I used to have crashed with the then-current driver, but worked fine with drivers that were two or three releases old.

Yet newer graphics cards invariably work perfectly. One would almost think it were some kind of conspiracy. Maybe they just don't test the drivers on old cards as well.

Re:What kind of hardware is used? (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668105)

I'd like to know what kind of hardware they used to create the demo's. From my experience the nvidia drivers aren't very stable.

I belive it's the problem with your hardware, since I had similar issues. My max. uptime was 19 days after that a total freeze of the system (or at least X lockup). After one or two months my GeForce6600 got badly damaged http://janek.kozicki.pl/z/karta.jpg [kozicki.pl] , and the reseller had replaced it. But my system still was unstable, and after some investigation the power supply was replaced (possibly the power supply had damaged my graphics card). And now - current uptime is 75 days, and everything seems to be fine.

Re:What kind of hardware is used? (2, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668122)

I'd like to know what kind of hardware they used to create the demo's. From my experience the nvidia drivers aren't very stable.

In my experience, stability hasn't been a problem for nVidia drivers released over the past few years (it was a problem 4 or 5 years ago but they seem to have sorted it). There are still some niggling bugs (not usually stability related) which would've been fixed a long time ago if the drivers were open though... I think a public bugzilla would also help so we can see the progress of our bug reports.

Re:Finally! (3, Informative)

crwl (802043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667880)

The open source R300 drivers (http://r300.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] - now part of Mesa/DRM + X.Org source trees) for the 9600 and 9800 series of ATi Radeons seem to be currently at least somewhat usable.

I mean, at least Planet Penguin Racer (ex-Tuxracer) seemed to work fine, 3D acceleration and all..! :P

Re:Finally! (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668102)

I have played with those drivers (actually, I'm kinda stuck with the new xorg ati drivers and dri because the kernel I use doesn't work well with the 'old' dri module).

They are nice, tho fairly incomplete as far as r300 support goes. It is a real step forward tho, and the difference with pure software rendering is huge.

For those with slightly older cards, the difference is quite substantial as well. For the first time I have seen a 9200 perform at least good enough to be usable for things like enemy territory on linux (something that has never been a problem on anything from nvidia that is more recent then a tnt2 really, with their proprietary drivers that is, while the proprietary ATI drivers have always given me huge problems, preventing them from being usable alltogether for me). Depending on the application you can see upto some 40% increase in performance for 3D work.

I haven't used them enough with a 9600 to say anything about stability with that hardware, but stability with the 9200 I'm using right now (well, a 9600SE actually, but that is pretty much a 9200 for as far as drivers go) is excelent.

All in all, for 'low-end' 3D graphics on Linux, ATI has become a more serious contender with those drivers. The fact that they are open source makes them the prefered choice now unless I want something for more serious gaming on Linux (or FreeBSD usually in my case).

Use on thin clinets? (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668098)

What it means is that neither of my laptops (running the SIS 513 video chip series) will be able to deal with anything. Heck, glxgears gets a whopping 2-3 frames per second on this chip.

On another note, I wonder what impact this will have on remote X use: Will old clients still be able to connect and Xgl go ununsed if 3d acceleration is not available?

Re:Use on thin clients? (1)

drnlm (533500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668132)

Xgl -> an Xserver running ontop of OpenGL. i.e. all the X11 drawing calls are converted to OpenGl calls executed on the underlying 3D hardware of the display. It's still just an xserver, so any remote client will still be able to connect and run.

Re:Finally! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14668157)

I think Nat Friedman was using a Centrino Vaio laptop with 512 mb of RAM and a GeForce 6xxx card for his preview demo of Novell Linux Desktop 10 at the Linux Solutions show last week in Paris (and it was pretty fluid). I don't know which driver he used though.

Whoa (5, Funny)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667710)

This is a great advertisement for Novell here - their servers have lasted something like ten minutes already after posting 4 videos on Slashdot!

A little preemptive. (5, Informative)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667724)

"Xgl has already been checked into the public repositories, Compiz will be checked in after David Reveman's presentation at the X conference."

Which is Feb, 8th at 10am PST. [x.org] . Also the XGL code has been available for some time. Browse the CVS [freedesktop.org] . I'm somewhat expecting an update of the code tomorrow too.

Re:A little preemptive. (1)

linds.r (895980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667889)

As far as I understand it, the public version of XGL was very out of date for a long long time, much to the dismay of people trying to use it. Essentially, they were dealing with bugs they had seen fixed in public demonstrations. I'm fairly sure this marks the successful merge of some recent XGL into a fork of X.org, for the most part done by the X.org/DRI maintainers.

At least this marks a step toward the future of X rendering for 2 of the 3 available visions (to my knowledge). They all seem to be going for very similar visual/functional features, with only implementational differences (whether you run gl as a special, all encompassing yet sub X context, run X on GL, or change X such that it direct renders GL contexts). Facts may be in error.

Whatever wins out, I'm glad we will one day soon leave behind the flicker. It will not be missed.

FYI (1)

sumi-manga (948999) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667725)

It appears David has been working [freedesktop.org] hard [freedesktop.org] over there at Novell to get this into the community quickly perhaps. With some rapid development, I hope this helps people decide next year between Vista "A" $200, "B" $350, or "C" $500 and openSUSE $0.00 + shipping.

Debian (5, Funny)

Saxophonist (937341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667729)

Wow! I can't wait until this hits Debian stable, probably in the Debian 15.8 release in 2028.

Re:Debian (2, Funny)

1310nm (687270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667807)

You give them too much credit.

I predict version 5 by that time, and Xgl will still be in an unstable apt repo.

Re:Debian (1)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667922)

By the time it gets stable in the Fedora repositories, we will be talking about FC 15.

Seriously any idea when I will be able to yum those xGL rpms?

Re:Debian (2, Informative)

Karora (214807) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668064)

<TrollFodder>

Clearly this is contradictory. If you "can't wait" until it hist Debian stable then you are looking for a release which is less stable than Debian stable.

The reality is, of course much simpler. Odds are that given it's optional "runs on top of Xorg" nature it will be available in Debian testing within 3 months and will consequently be released next time the 16000 or so Debian packages are declared stable enough for a release.

</TrollFodder>

Re:Debian (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668084)

Hey! That's got a good ring to it. :D

"It's not stable unless it's Debian stable"

Re:Debian (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668069)

I guess the only way to point out the truth on this site is to work it into a joke.

The last couple times I expressed disappointment in how far behind Debian Stable can get, I was marked as a troll several times over. And no, I won't load unstable or experimental software onto a server or workstation if I can avoid it, I'm just saying that Stable can move a bit more more often and not get so behind.

Wow (1)

gregeth (688579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667747)

After watching some of the video (still up too), I'm impressed. While eye candy isn't always the best to create just to have it, I think this is more a case of making a more productive experience. The less time it takes to go switching between applications to look at some information the better.

Then again, guess I'll have to go get that high end video card just to run the next distro. :)

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667770)

"Then again, guess I'll have to go get that high end video card just to run the next distro. :)"

Actually, from what Novell claims (and as I haven't tried it I can't confirm wether it's true or not), this should not be the case.

Even pretty lowend graphic cards that have 3d acceleration should work fine.

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

ardor (673957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667772)

Then again, guess I'll have to go get that high end video card just to run the next distro. :)

No, actually not. The rendering presented in the video does not need a 7800. This is basic 3D rendering most on-board graphics chipsets can handle. This functionality has been around for a decade in consumer cards.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667829)

Didn't the first 3dfx cards come out about a decade ago?

Re:Wow (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668140)

And don't forget to add that it is WHY XGL and XEGL is important - if we can show that Linux can use for example, those Intel 3D onboard cards (GraphicsExtreme2 or something) for such eye candy, well, it is as 10:0 in basketball in one quater. It IS important to get lot of new users, even advanced ones, to Linux/Free desktop bandwagon.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667965)

I too am really impressed as well. In the future, I'll be able to switch back and forth up to four, or (gasp) six, porn movies! Can't wait. For now, think I'll need to buy a new tube of lube.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667999)

I think that's a genuine danger - that you up the requirements for Linux - but on the other hand, the similar features in OS-X work with what are now low-end cards (32Mb) - and of course you get the advantage of taking some work off the CPU.

I presume there is also a similar graceful degradation of effects?
i.e. from graphics card accelerated --> rendered by CPU --> don't bother.

Personally, I think this is one of the most exciting projects I've seen in a while - has the potential to move the Linux desktop up from competing with Windows to competing with Apple, but more importantly should then start moving forward at a faster rate. Desktop Switching is something many Apple users have been asking for for the last two releases.

Re:Wow (1)

SillyNickName4me (760022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668137)

I think that's a genuine danger - that you up the requirements for Linux

Seeing how pretty basic 3D hardware can do this, and how it takes load off of the cpu, it is actually more likely to lower the hardware requirements for building a nice looking and responsive desktop with Linux.

chipset support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667767)

will this work on my ati radeon mobility x1600?

Is this mean, I can finally enable Composite? (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667781)

=======xorg.conf=======
Section "Extensions"
              Option "Composite" "Enable"
EndSection
=======================

Does this mean glx module and Composite finally play nice without death to X? I'm so totally confused.

Re:Is this mean, I can finally enable Composite? (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667786)

In xgl you should disable it, the extension is present anyway (no matter whats written in the xorg.conf).
Also, if you have a nvidia hardware, you should disable it in xorg.conf.

Re:Is this mean, I can finally enable Composite? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667803)

You mean you can't? With the nvidia binary drivers you have to add Option "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true" to the Device section since glx stuff isn't properly composited, but it still works.

Re:Is this mean, I can finally enable Composite? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667841)

Indeed. I've tried compositing on my XFCE desktop and a nNvida FX5200 with the binary drivers, and i had these beautiful window shadows and the ability to set window transparency. It works, and works now.

    Unfortunately, nVidia binary drivers still don't properly support glx (OpenGL) if compositing is enabled. The option you mention forces it, but you still get weird graphical glitches everywhere. For the time being, if you can live without glx, try compositing. Really cool stuff.

Re:Is this mean, I can finally enable Composite? (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667848)

Great! Thanks. I'm absolutely clueless what that just did, but seems like it didn't spit out X err... :)

Re:Is this mean, I can finally enable Composite? (3, Informative)

Mo6eB (832959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667844)

It is a bit more complicated than that. Xgl doesn't work all by itself - it relies on having a working OpenGL enviroment. In this case - Xorg. So you run Xgl on top of Xorg and Xgl implements RENDER and GLX, by passing relevant calls to the OpenGL system of the underlying Xserver. COMPOSITE is also turned on by default in Xgl, but it does NOT use the underlying server's COMPOSITE.

It will take some time until all this is finally merged into Xorg and we have an OpenGL-accelerated desktop without the need of running 2 Xservers, but for the time being, if you want (somewhat) stable COMPOSITE with GLX, this is the only way.

Re:Is this mean, I can finally enable Composite? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14668151)

No. GLX still doesnt play ball nicely with composite enabled, BUT, it doesn't have to. XGL is another X server running atop of Xorg's X server - so it has it's own composite implementation. In other words, you still have to disable the composite extension from xorg.conf, but it really doesnt matter, because XGL will be able to produce eye candy anyway.

Come on guys, stop complaining! (4, Insightful)

BerkeleyDude (827776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667826)

This is great news! Weren't we waiting for the Xgl?

Why is everyone complaining about Novell, graphics drivers, Debian, and lots of completely irrelevant topics?

Nothing can make Slashdotters happy...

Re:Come on guys, stop complaining! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667854)

Now you'll need to add complaining about slashdotters' complaining to your list.

Re:Come on guys, stop complaining! (2, Funny)

BerkeleyDude (827776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667990)

Now you'll need to add complaining about slashdotters' complaining to your list.

Damn... Not only that, but also slashdotters' complaining about my complaining about their complaining...

Re:Come on guys, stop complaining! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14668099)

There is one thing that makes Slashdotters at least halfway happy... that is, we quite enjoy complaining. Stop trying to belittle our enjoyment, or I'll have to file a complaint about you.

very pretty, but what does it do? (4, Interesting)

semiotec (948062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667838)

I watched the demo movies, the last one (Spinning Cube) especially looks quite impressive.

However, I am wondering if the step from 2D to 3D desktop is as significant as say, going from commandline to GUI.

It doesn't seem like these 3D desktops actually offer much more functionality than existing 2D desktops. For example, the screen captures of Looking Glass 3d desktop from Sun doesn't seem to offer much more than just some eye candies. Or in case of the spinning cube demo, it doesn't seem to offer (functionally) more than virtual desktops, essentially a fancy way of changing from one desktop to another, which probably can still be done faster with some keyboard shortcut.

I am trying not to sound like some diehard stubborn conservative who wants to bring back the glory days of command line only interface, rather, I am asking if 3D desktops will change the way that we interact with computers, in the sense that barely anyone remember what it was like to work in DOS? Is this a step towards to (gasp shock horror) VR-based interfacing? Will a new hardware tool be needed like the mouse was necessary for the transition away from commandline?

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

ardor (673957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667860)

Well, its a new tool for UI design. As with all tools, one has to learn how to use it properly first. For example, OSX shows that alphablending can be useful.

The main advantage is the sheer responsiveness. Everything feels more fluent, and lags are no longer noticeable.

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667874)

Forget 3D desktops - the real beauty of Xgl is that allows the use of OpenGL to render parts of your desktop, which means your video card won't just be using 1% of its potential anymore. This is done by OSX and it means faster and sleeker graphical desktops.

    Also, combined with the new X.Org extensions (Compositing, Damager, Cairo) it means, of course, eyecandy [novell.com] galore :)

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667896)

"Damage", not "Damager". I need to stop drinking coffee.

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667930)

Forget 3D desktops - the real beauty of Xgl is that allows the use of OpenGL to render parts of your desktop, which means your video card won't just be using 1% of its potential anymore.

What about those of us with crappy notebook display cards that use main memory, you insensitive clod?!

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667941)

Well, instead of having X.Org using system memory you'll have your video card using video memory - which on most laptops are the same thing. And even then, it's not like you can't disable it.

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

semiotec (948062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667937)

okay, I absolutely agree that speeding things up with just the existing hardware is a good thing, and _even_if_ this is the only that Xgl brings, it is still a very good and important thing.

But my question still remains, do 3D desktops have the potential to change the way we interact with computers? or is it still too early to say?

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667983)

I don't think so, no. Atleast, until real 3D displays become available. A 3D desktop like that Xgl demo is nice to look at, but doesn't really improve usability, IMHO. It's a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

    I recall trying an addon for Windows that placed the desktop on a sphere. Nice, but not really useful. The spinning desktop on the video is very similar to 3D-Desktop [sourceforge.net] , which only adds a nifty way to switch between virtual desktops. It's really cool to look at, but, say, an horizontal displacement between desktops would achieve the same practical effect. It's cool, and i want it, but it isn't really groundbreaking.

    Check the window movement on that video though - awfully smooth. That kind of stuff is what i want to see on my desktop. That, and real transparency on consoles ;)

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

Ziviyr (95582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667888)

What does it do?

What did blitter hardware do for framebuffers way back when?

This means we won't be that far behind Vista.
I think we're pretty late nonetheless.

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (1)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667955)

I had a few [oneandoneis2.org] thoughts [oneandoneis2.org] about desktops going 3D a while ago, if you're interested.

It basically says that, instead of making 2D windows go 3D, we should throw away the whole concept of "windows" and switch to multiple 3D layers instead

Re:very pretty, but what does it do? (2, Interesting)

GauteL (29207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668018)

There are many things this can do. Functionally, the fastest way of minimising a window is to simply make it disappear. This, however, can be confusing because it is not obvious where the window went. A fancy window shrinking effect like on OS X thus improves usability. If done correctly you will not lose time on it either.

Functionally, the fastest way of switching virtual desktop is to simply make the old one disappear and the new one show up. This, however, makes most users think all their applications crashed. Using virtual desktops is something only geeks have used before. Maybe this fancy cube effect makes the virtual desktops obvious to the average user and thus makes them start using them as well.

These fancy effects thus show transition between states something which makes the connection between the states more obvious to the user.

The wobbling windows I don't know. They might be just a proof of concept. Although some of the developers have stated that it gave each window a real and tangible quality, like a sheet of paper being moved. It certainly shouldn't be excaggerated, but maybe it does help?

nothing but impressed (2, Informative)

x_codingmonkey_x (839141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667852)

I've been following this for the past week and having seen tons of videos and I must say that I am nothing but impressed. I recently upgrade my computer with an Nvidia 6800 GS and was hoping to try out composite (since I had an ATi card before). Although it was pretty stable, I found it to be rather buggy and even sometimes slow (even with this video card and an AMD 3000 with 1GB OCZ Premier, etc, etc). I really hope that Xgl will prove to be more powerful, more efficient and less buggy. Kudos to Novell.

Windows and OS X versions (3, Interesting)

idlake (850372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667884)

I think what will be more important than XGL will be the Windows and OS X versions; the currently available free X11 servers on those platforms tend to be slow and feature-limited. Apple's X11, for example, doesn't handle international keyboard input correctly, doesn't implement RANDR, and doesn't adapt to changes in screen resolution correctly.

Finally! (3, Informative)

sepelester (794828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667908)

I've been waiting a long time for this. And this [gnome.org] , and this [beaglewiki.org] , and this [nat.org] .

I'd sure like to see 3d GTK+ widgets and window decoration, all following the same global illumination, complete with specular maps [3dtotal.com] and all the advanced pixel shader techniques available the desktop could become truly beautiful.

Re:Finally! (0, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667949)

I've been waiting a long time for this. And this [gnome.org], and this [beaglewiki.org], and this [nat.org].

So you've been waiting a long time to see the Free Software world destroyed by Microsoft in patent disputes because we foolishly accepted the trojan horse that is Mono.?

Look is important (4, Insightful)

William Baric (256345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667938)

I can't understand why there is so many posts saying that eye candy are not important. For people who can't judge the internal quality of a software, how it looks is what tell them if it's good or not. You can't impress a PHB with some C code, but you can sure impress him with a lot of eye candy. I need this very badly to be able to "sell" linux to my client as a desktop and I need it BEFORE Microsoft do it.

Awesome.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667989)

I predict a lot more broken furniture at MS in 2006... Seriously tho, the average joe wil ask "what version of windows is that?". Linux gets noticed and noted.

Target Vista (2, Insightful)

cyberjessy (444290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668010)

The target surely seems to be Vista. If Linux did not do this it would have meant that Vista would have a free ride with fancy hardware accelerated 3D transparent glassy glossy grossy interfaces. For J6P, the OS is only as good as it looks.

Since Miguel is involved I sure hope we can target all this hardware accelerated goodness with Mono as well. Mono makes making Linux apps amazingly easy, atleast for those of us with years of Windows programming background. This step is absolutely essential for Mono while it tries for Windows API compatibility. The upcoming Windows APIs (called WinFX, which is .Net based) include something called Avalon, which benefits (and at times requires) hardware accelerated graphics. If X did not have hardware accelerated graphics, this would have been a block in the progress of Mono.

Well, for Mono lovers this is the reason to rejoice.

What? (1)

cadu (876004) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668042)

people are always trying to speak their mouths out don't you guys think?

novell is surely trying to make more people adopt Linux, and that's quite good in the overall .... i'm no die hard mac user [had a powermac 8500 for a while, just to see what it had...ended up boosting Debian in it] but i frankly admit that those features like Exposé truly make it easier to change windows, specially if you're of the coder or attention disorder-type [loads of text editors opened and browser windows/tabs/ whatever] , so , if it adds something to our beloved system, why brag ?!

don't get me wrong, i just felt like it.

Re:What? (1)

Bazzalisk (869812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668150)

Is it just me or does cadu, based upon that post, fail the Turing test? :)

Composite (1)

ptarjan (593901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668072)

For those of you looking transparencies, the new NVIDIA drivers are wonderful. Just enable the composite extention in your xorg.conf file, and KDE will start to look wonderful after you go into System Settings -> Desktop -> Window Behavior -> Translucency.

What's a Composite Manager? (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668090)

I know what a window manager is, and I understand the idea of a resolution-independent GL display layer, but would someone mind filling me in on why we now need a composite manager as well as a window manager?

Re:What's a Composite Manager? (2, Interesting)

thebluesgnr (941962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668106)

"My understanding while talking to David Reveman this past week was that the complexity of keeping a compositing manager as a separate process from the window manager was too high (too much bookkeeping that made it error prone, and there were some fundamental problems that he could not solve). So some time ago he abandoned his effort to patch Metacity and have a separate composition manager, reduced the complexity and eliminated a lot of bugs and the source of these bugs. That is what David explained to me, but I can only understand about 50% of the technical stuff that he talks about, so keep that in mind." http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/ 2006-February/msg00120.html [gnome.org]

Linux ready for the desktop (-1, Flamebait)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14668118)

Now we can truely say that Linux is ready for the desktop!
Um, can I edit my menus yet?
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