Blog of me. I’m Alexander Jones.

13 December 2006

Beryl in Ubuntu? Please, for the love of God, no.

With the way things are going, it looks like Beryl (the fork of Compiz) is going to be making its way into Ubuntu as the default window manager, replacing the GNOME default of Metacity for all but operation on old hardware.

This concerns me. It seems that a desire to get one up over Windows Vista and Mac OS X is overcoming a more fundamental goal of making the best software.

Consider the earlier decision to use Firefox instead of the GNOME web browser, Epiphany. The main arguments for Firefox involve user familiarity, and that anyone who wants differently has the technical knowledge to switch. I think this is really hurting GNOME development, as it gives little incentive to support Epiphany - all of the Ubuntu work goes into hammering Firefox into the shape of a GNOME application, rather than making a GNOME application better. Saying that, there isn't really a lot that Firefox does better than Epiphany. In many ways, Epiphany is head and shoulders above Firefox with regards to desktop integration (session management, global proxy settings, fonts, UI, etc.).

It seems we are going the same way with Beryl. Apparently, people think it is easier to build a window manager into a compositing manager than a compositing manager into a window manager. I can't pretend to understand the technical situation, but my opinion is that we should be supporting GNOME development better than this.

Saying that, who knows? Maybe Beryl will replace Metacity as the GNOME window manager one day. I hope that the default feature-set is somewhat toned down by then, though.

Regardless of what happens, if that stupid icon makes its way into my Notification Area in Ubuntu Feisty then I am going to be monumentally pissed!


Haniff said...

Beryl Rulez !!!! It's cool. ;-)

shane said...

I dont see your problem, i really like Beryl and i think integrating it into Ubuntu would mean more stability and a better all-round experience