A New Era of Compiz
Compiz is a compositing window manager that enables users to enjoy clever desktop effects and transparency. Compiz is included in many distributions' default installs and in many others' repositories. At one time its future was in question with new major desktop environments planning to incorporate their own effects. When those effects failed to materialize as publicized, the popularity of Compiz continued to grow. But with newer systems and desktop enviroments, Compiz needed to be rewritten. So, after a long developmental period, Compiz 0.9.0 was released.
Sam Spilsbury, developer of Compiz, announced the release of Compiz 0.9.0 on Compiz mailing list. This is the first major release since the merger of Compiz, Compiz++, NOMAD and Compiz Fusion and also the first major release since being completely rewritten in C++. Besides moving from C to C++, this release brings a new developer API, and splits the rendering framework into plugins.
By splitting the rendering framework into composite and opengl plugins, Compiz can be used as the known compositing window manager or as a backend for other 3D desktop programs such XRender or Clutter. Another significant change, decoration reparenting, will allow Compiz to run with decorations as non-compositing when used with the revamped GNOME or KDE Window Decorators. Integration with QT main loop and the creation of a KApplication provides better integration with KDE. A new DBus plugin will now use the screen number to identify the Compiz instance. A major redraw bug that caused ripping or skips in rendering was also fixed.
In plugins-main support was added that lets users drag windows to edges of screens and have them fill the adjacent screen. Users may also like that support for automatic wallpaper rotation was added in plugins-extra. All plugins were also rewritten in C++ using the new API.
Tarballs are available at http://compiz.org. Early testers should consult the announcement for important building information.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.
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