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I want a Cool Desktop!

I upgraded my laptop to Feisty this weekend to see if there was anything good. One thing I have been hoping for is to get Beryl running on this laptop.

I tried a couple of times to get it working, however it starts of fine and then goes down hill. It just seems that my graphics card which is an evil Intel Extreme 855 just isn’t fast enough.

There are two main reasons I want Beryl,

  • The Scale Effect, this is where you put your mouse up in the top corner and all your windows are laid out so you can easily select the one you want.
  • Task Bar window previews, this is where you mouse over a task bar item and a little preview of the item appears. This again makes it easy to switch tasks.

There are also two “bugs” which prevent me from using beryl even if it worked.

  • I have an auto hide gnome panel on the right hand side of my desktop. I use it to display “status” about my computer and my notification area is also there. This panel doesn’t pop-up when Beryl is running, it appears to be caused by the edge switcher which allows you to rotate the cube.
  • I also use the Deskbar Applet a huge amount. It’s really handy to type Ctrl-F3 and get a box you can use to do all sorts of things. (I use it mainly as a glorified run box).

I have to wonder however, these features shouldn’t really need a 3d desktop. For live preview they would, but I don’t really care about seeing my Video’s or 3d applications running while I’m just trying to find them. I guess it’s comes down to, 3d hardware is cheap, programmer time is not, hence it’ll only be done in 3d.

On a side note, I do like a bunch of new features in Feisty,

  • Suspend is fast again! It takes less then 3 seconds to get back to my desktop when coming our of Suspend to Ram. Previously it would take up to a minute!
  • New gaim is cool. A lot of the small annoyances I had with the gaim in Edgy have been fixed.
  • It boots faster. Not that I reboot often, with Suspend to Ram I hardly ever reboot.
  • Automatic Codec downloads. Totem will now ask me to install the correct plugin packages to play media it can’t play.
  • Cleaner default theme. The default theme for gnome is that little bit nicer and cleaner.
  • Newer Liferea.
  • Ephiphany has Titles in the URL drop down.

Overall, it’s not a major change, just a continually progress towards perfection.

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