Gah. Hnng. Bleh.
I’m riveting insanely for a week now. All those Dapper (p)reviews and suchlike have been giving me a dapper craving… However, I’ve been constantly reminding myself that it’s still a pre-release, and there’s nothing that guarantees it won’t destroy my entire system, or at the best case scenario, stop things from working. On the other hand, I have a very stable, smoothly running system, which should be able to withstand any such upgrade. On the other other hand, I have a very stable, smoothly running system, why would I want to toy around with an unstable release?
Well, no real reason, apart from this video.
I know, upgrading just for the sake of eye-candy is not the “Linux way”, but dammit, it’s one hellova candy, if you ask me. I mean, the first time I heard of XGL I wasn’t really impressed. I assumed it was yet another nicety, your “coat of paint” rather than a really usable feature. I was wrong. Oh, how I was wrong.
I think it was Novell’s presentation that got me interested. There are a lot of stuff running there, some of them better, some worse, some not really usable (why would I want to run a program on the side of the “cube”?), but the overall concept was very solid, it looked like someone got a lot of stuff that have “usability” written all over them. The whole “3d GUI” started to make sense all of the sudden. I mean, first thing I do in any new desktop is kill everything that isn’t functional. All those shadows, 3d menus and buttons, you name it. I’ve been considering Mac OSX’s look as “stupid” since it insists on adding all sort of cutesy animations that don’t do anything. However with XGL, everything has a reason, somehow, moving from pseudo 3d to real 3d gives all those cutesies context, and therefore make them a true part of the GUI.
The big question is, whether it’ll run. I did the test with Kororaa’s Live CD and it was quite a nice experience. Of course, with a Live CD being one, the machine wasn’t running anything else but the 3d GUI. How will it run as a front-end to a full blown operation system? I would risk a guess and say it will do a good job. Most of it is the concept of finally using the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit) of the video card rather than the CPU to render the screen, freeing the CPU to actually handling the non-graphical part of the interface. In the worst case I’ll shove another 500 mb of RAM, or buy a new(er) video card.
With all this being said, Ubuntu 6.06 has just gone beta, which only further adds to my grieving. It might just be the final straw on my way to upgrading.
Oh, and the subject is based on this page’o’silliness.