[OT Humor] "Obviously designed by morons"

Marko Vojinovic vvmarko at gmail.com
Sat Apr 2 16:18:11 UTC 2011

On Saturday 02 April 2011 14:28:06 mike cloaked wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 11:43 PM, Marko Vojinovic <vvmarko at gmail.com> wrote:
> > My advice is to just try to adapt to new Gnome, or migrate to KDE or some
> > other DE, and adapt to that. But don't weep and moan about Gnome 2, it
> > will be effectively dead very soon, my guess is by the time F15 comes
> > out. ;-)
> There is one big difference - almost all graphics chips will handle
> KDE4 - but not all will handle Gnome3 and will enter fallback mode....

Ah, that's because of Compiz. When I first found out that KDE devs are 
implementing 3D desktop effects into KWin window manager, I asked why are they 
reinventing the wheel, since Compiz is way more developed in this respect.

Their answer was --- Compiz doesn't work without 3D acceleration while KWin 
does, and KWin is overall better integrated in the new KDE than Compiz. So 
they figured it is less work to reimplement all of (ie. most of) 3D desktop 
effects in KWin, than to implement 2D fallback functionality in Compiz. It's an 
ugly tradeoff, but I generally understand and agree with their decision. Of 
course, one can always ignore KWin and run Compiz on top of KDE, without any 
problems, if one has proper graphics hardware for that. I do that since F9, 
and with every new Fedora version I check out the current capabilities of KWin 
desktop effects and whether they're good enough to switch from Compiz to KWin. 
So far they're not there yet, so I keep using Compiz.

The Gnome devs apparently decided to take the opposite route in the above 
tradeoff situation. Whether or not it is uglier than what KDE folks are doing, 
I don't want to judge, time will tell. ;-)

Compiz is designed with a built-in assumption of availability of 3D 
acceleration, and it would be extremly hard to make it work without it. So I 
guess Gnome devs are using Compiz when 3D is available, and fallback to the 
old WM (is it Metacity?) when it isn't available. So in a way they have to 
maintain two window managers simultaneously, which was exactly the situation 
KDE devs decided to avoid. Such type of decisions depend highly on the 
development model, available manpower, details of the relevant API's, etc. 
Maybe both Gnome and KDE devs made correct decisions, each for their own 
environment. I'm curious to see how will it pan out in the long run. :-)


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