Underground Cave Dwellers Society

A quick update on the compositor.  I updated the branch to match the trunk, so all the bug fixes have been up into the branch.

Some more compositing bugs have been squashed:

  • Changing screen resolution should work
  • The transparency property on windows is now respected (meaning that gdk_window_set_opacity works, as does transset)
  • Jonathan Matthew fixed a signed bug that was causing the shadows of 50-99% opaque windows to be corrupted

Because the transparency property is listened to, it means that screens that fade to black now work (like at log out and entering admin password).

And I also made some more work on the alt-tab dialog: scaling is better and the program icons are overlaid. Some people said it was slow to appear. I think I know the problem, it’ll be fixed soon.

Finally, I’ve been doing silly experiments with what we can do with a compositor. I had alt-tabbing dimming the screen so that the selected window was highlighted, but it started getting too hacky too quickly, so I want to think of a better, cleaner approach to things like this before I commit them. (And I’ve been working on some other little hacks, but they’re not related to Metacity, so I probably shouldn’t mention them here)

People have been reporting that the compositor is stable for them, so if you were too scared to try it out, please don’t be. I’d especially like to know if there’s any problems on people with weird screen setups, multiple monitors, xinerama that sort of thing, cos I only have one monitor and can’t test that stuff. Oh, and SuSE users too, I’ve had a weird report of shadow corruption on SuSE and I’d like to know if its a common problem to SuSE or just this person’s setup.

Thanks iainxoxox


  1. Rui
    Posted November 25, 2007 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    I’ve tried it. Using the nvidia blob, it shows the same problems I have with xcompmgr.

    1. It’s doesn’t put all the windows on screen at the same time when changing workspaces. Some still show up before others. I thought compositing managers would get this for free.

    2. There are some graphical artifacts when changing workspaces that flash briefly where the window is being drawn.

    3. Shadow on the panel! And related, shadows covering windows when alt-tabbing.

    Other than that, its very nice work.

  2. Posted November 25, 2007 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    1: You don’t get it for free, no. You only get it if your compositing manager does double buffering. Xcompmgr doesn’t. Metacity does, but it appears not to have worked for some reason.

    2: Probably the same as #1

    3: Whats wrong with a shadow on the panel? I know about the second part, thats what I’m trying to fix, but when I go to fix it, I’d like to rewrite the way the alt-tab dialog is created as well, so it’s more than I want to do at the moment…

  3. Rui
    Posted November 25, 2007 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Shadows on the panel look weird because then you have the panel shadow above the window border when windows are right underneath the top panel.

  4. Martin
    Posted November 27, 2007 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Any chance the metacity blog could be added to Planet GNOME? I really enjoy reading it and I guess a lot of other folks would too. An alternative to adding it directly could be to have a “Project blogs” link on pgo that points to pgo/projects… or something.

  5. Posted November 27, 2007 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    @Martin: Great to hear that you’re enjoying reading the blog! There is a project planet at http://planet.gnome.org/news/ and this blog is available on there. I don’t know whether it could or would ever appear on the main planet; jdub would be the person to ask about that. I think the main planet is for humans, though.

  6. Martin
    Posted November 27, 2007 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    Ah, cool. I knew about pgo/news but hadn’t checked it in a long while (perhaps a link is missing somewhere on pgo… on the other hand, pgo itself isn’t that easy to find… but I digress :).

    Anyway, having this blog there is good enough for me (TM). Keep the good stuff coming. :)