Recently, Novell released some pretty amazing preview videos of their upcoming desktop, Novell Linux Desktop 10. They’re pretty durn slick, and you should take a look. Among the list of cool features include: translucent windows, wobbly windows (when you drag the window it wobbles), enhanced accessibility via zoom, an exposé clone, and a user switch with a cube transition. Any of this sound familiar?
A couple of novel(l) features not borrowed from OS X, however, include command-Tab application switching where you get a preview of the entire application window instead of just the application icon, and desktop switching with the same amazing cube-like transition but in both horizontal and vertical directions. It sure would be nice to see those two features make their way into the next update of Tiger; I’ve been waiting on multiple desktops for a long time, and Novell has definitely done them up right.
A good place to start if you’re interested in the technical details behind the development of all this goodness might be with XGL (X over OpenGL) and The State of Linux Graphics. Naturally, a Google search reveals more interesting content than Novell’s site itself, so I’d recommend digging around there as well.
And since you’ll probably want to make a comparison to the current state of affairs with how OS X draws to the screen and leverages OpenGL, check out What is Quartz (or Why Can’t Windows Do That) out to get a handle on the concepts behind Quartz Compositor and how it breaks away from the traditional X paradigm.
Without further ado, here’s the link to the original OSNews article with a lot of good user discussion that links to the 4 videos on Linux Edge that you can watch to see this stuff in action for yourself. I don’t know about you, but this seems to be a breath of fresh air that’s been long overdue for the Linux community. I’m not upset that Novell copied – I’m actually kind of glad for them. Competition is healthy.
But for the real question: what do you think Steve’s got to say about all of this?
Or riddle me this: what if this were to beat Vista to the scene and came alongside droves of clever marketing?