Enhancing Linux Virtual Desktop experience with XGL

Now, some time after the initial appearance of XGL technology in Linux we may see and judge some of its results. As I expected, the very first developers’ attempts to implement a new “groovy, modern, Vista-killing, etc” 3D interface were reminding monkeys with grenades.

Wow, we have floating, flashing and convulsing windows! How great!

In a short time more reasonable application to all this beauty has been found.

What I really like is the idea of representing Linux’s famous Virtual Desktops in a 3 dimentional space.

XGL in OpenSUSE

It’s eye-candy and represents the idea of a continuous stripe-like desktop. Similar things lie behind the Deskloops, a Windows application, utilizing a continuous “looped” desktop for handling lots of windows at once.

So, in fact we’re dealing with pseudo-3D Virtual Desktops as they just cover 4 (usually) of 6 available cube sufraces. By utilizing additional surfaces we could create a fish-eye-like navigation which would be more intuitive and closer to 3D:

xgl-vdm11.png

Now we utilize 5 cube surfaces with a single central part and one additional size desktop.

By adding 4 more  desktops we get this:

xgl-vdm22.png

which is nothing but a representation of classic OS/2 plane Virtual Desktop surface. Still I doubt it would look really nice in 3D.

My first version is not perfect either: its 2D version is not room-effective (or not too visual if represented in pseudo-3D) and one surface needs to be addedin order to complete a cube. From another side, it’s “more ” 3 dimentional than a stripe although generally OS/2-like layout might be more effective.

Now let’s make a step back and look at the resulting picture. What do we see? Correct. Just another ZUI implementation 🙂

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