This is one post in a series, describing challenges we need to overcome to make free software ubiquitous on the desktop.
Apple calls it Quartz. Microsoft calls it something else but it’s most visible in Aero Glass – the transparent theme in Vista. In the free software world we have Xgl and AIGLX (Ubuntu is going down the AIGLX road). In essence these technologies all do the same thing – they introduce a level of malleability to the once-rigid world of windowing systems.
This is of course a recipe for eye-wateringly poor user interface decisions – windows that wobble being my current favourite, fun as they are. But it’s also an opportunity to rethink and improve on many areas of user interface at the system and app level which have been stagnant for a decade or more. The proprietary guys have a head start – but we have the edge of being able to try lots of interesting ideas simultaneously across the full colourful spectrum of the free software universe.
We’ll be adopting a lot of these ideas in Feisty – I hope that some of them will stick and demonstrate real usability or productivity enhancements.