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Re: Kororaa Xgl/Looking Glass Desktop

__/ [ Kier ] on Thursday 20 April 2006 21:14 \__

> As it had been discussed a bit here, I thought I'd download the Kororaa
> Live CD and try it out. Quite surprised at how well it works on my very
> modest 32 meg integrated graphics card, wobbly windows, transparency,
> rotating cube desktops and all. Gnome looks very nice, but couldn't get
> any drives mounted, so I tried KDE instead; worked a treat.
> Xine et al all seem to be flaky, and dump me back to the login screen, and
> my NIC wasn't recognised, but otherwise everything seems to work okay. The
> transparency thing is rather odd, and perhaps the least practical thing in
> the demo, although I suppose it might appeal to those who'd like to see a
> little more of their desktop background. I think it would be better if
> transparent windows became opaque when they had focus. Wobbly windows is
> odd, but kind of fun. Again, it doesn't serve a really useful purpose as
> such, but for demonstration purposes is very eye-catching.

You can set transitions (staged or immediate) for the level of windows
opacity. Windows in focus will either comply with the global settings or
have a manually set value, which you can find in the windows's context menu.
If you have OpenGL support, transparency can aid productivity.

> The rotating cub desktop switcher is great. Seeing a screenshot of if, or
> even a video, isn't half so impressive as actually doing it. I suspect one
> could easily get used to having it.

_This_, however, I suspect is not most productive and does not boost
usability any natural tendencies. A flat extended desktop is often just

> All in all, I'd say it was worth looking at for anyone who likes a bit of
> eye-candy.

There is little to be found, functionality-wise. However, some people present
their work on-screen/projector (e.g. architects, speakers), so an impressive
overall environment may be worthwhile, temporarily at least.

> Over the Easter break I also tried out the Looking Glass 3D Desktop demo
> Live CD.
> This takes a bit more ooomph in the processor/graphics department to
> really run well, certainly more than I really have available at present,
> though I managed to get it to run well enough to get some idea of the
> features.
> It's.... different, to say the least. A 3D respresentation of the 'ls'
> command was quite interesting, and the picture browsing/background
> changing app did impress me. Also the end-on stacking of windows. Lots of
> other stuff I didn't really try, as my current machines aren't quite up to
> it.

You can work around the greed for resources by using multiple machines and
using one as a service-oriented box (computational server-type unit)

> Both demos, on a sufficiently powerful PC, certainly provide eye-catching
> demonstrations of what can be done with Linux, and what there might be in
> store for us on the desktops of tomorrow (in Xgl's case, I reckon most of
> it won't be that long in coming to the average desktop, once the bugs are
> ironed out).

The XGL (and relatives) development helps repel those who abide by a false
believe -- that which says that Linux is simple and ugly. Put your Penguin
in a tuxedo for show, but have him (her?) wear a T-shirt thereafter. it's
just more convenient to work that way.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Gas, brake, honk! Honk, honk, punch! Gas, gas!
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux    ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  5:10pm  up 44 days  6:53,  12 users,  load average: 0.44, 0.57, 0.53
      http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

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