Mutter integration: the story so far

Profile mother earthOne of the forks of Metacity is known as Mutter, because it’s Metacity with Clutter support.  It’s used by the forthcoming gnome-shell project.

In a recent email to d-d-l, Owen Taylor gave two goals for the 2.28 release:

  1. That Mutter should be developed using the GNOME infrastructure; and
  2. That users will be able to choose between gnome-shell and ordinary Metacity.

Some possible ways of doing these were suggested:

  • Merge Mutter and Metacity. Have Mutter as a separate compositor within Metacity.  Alternatively, as Colin Walters suggested, make Mutter a separate branch within Metacity’s DVCS.
  • Import Mutter as a separate window manager. Remove all the parts in Mutter which are left over from Metacity and don’t work towards Mutter’s goals.  Metacity remains for people who don’t want to run gnome-shell.  Eventually it dies off.
  • Forget about Mutter. Whatever we need to do would be done either in Metacity or in gnome-shell using JavaScript plugins.

One advantage of making gnome-shell play nicely with a standard (possibly Mutterised) Metacity is that it would still be possible to switch to other window managers: a great deal of ink was spilt in the discussion over whether users would mind switching away from Compiz, whether the Compiz developers would mind, and whether Compiz was the de facto standard window manager these days.  However, Owen says that gnome-shell requires tighter coupling with the window manager than is usual, and that this isn’t really an option.

The discussion continues…

Photo © Alexander Drachmann, cc-by-sa.

2.27.0 released

Vesuvius and Pompeii

Metacity 2.27.0 has just been released.  Since the number 27 is odd, it means the first unstable release on the path to the stable release 2.28 in six months’ time, and not a stable release as the forthcoming 2.26 will be.

What is it ?

  • Metacity is a simple compositing window manager that integrates nicely
    with GNOME 2.

What’s changed ?

  • Remove deprecated GTK symbols (Thomas A, Matt) (GNOME bug 572332)
  • fix window properties bug which showed up as ignoring struts (Ori) (GNOME bug 572573)
  • include “as username” in window title (Thomas T) (GNOME bug 549389)
  • Use zenity for dialogues (Thomas T) (GNOME bug 521914)
  • Use libcanberra for sound effects (Matthias) (GNOME bug 557921)
  • Don’t define meta_spew_event unless verbose mode is on (Matt) (GNOME bug 571126)
  • Fix README to give correct switch names (Matt) (GNOME bug 571210)
  • Windows which couldn’t appear in alt-tab don’t get there by being urgent (Thomas T)
  • Skip the first window in alt-tab only if it’s actually current (Matt) (GNOME bug 535887)
  • Optimise line coordinate storage (Thomas)
  • Queue resize on window undecorate (Neil)
  • Fix description of “show desktop” (Luca) (GNOME bug 569649)
  • Wrap g_error calls in braces (Matt)


  • Mikel González (ast), Ihar Hrachyshka (be@latin), David Planella (ca), Petr Kovar (cs), Ask Hjorth Larsen (da), Jorge González (es), Mattias Põldaru (et), Iñaki Larrañaga Murgoitio (eu), Ilkka Tuohela (fi), Claude Paroz (fr), Gabor Kelemen (hu), Kjartan Maraas (nb), Wouter Bolsterlee (nl), Leonardo Ferreira Fontenelle (pt_BR), Daniel Nylander (sv), Theppitak Karoonboonyanan (th), Chao-Hsiung Liao (zh_HK), Chao-Hsiung Liao (zh_TW.po)

What didn’t make it into this version

Where can I get it ?

  • 52871631cc13b7fde1403aaee3db32d4 bz2
  • f856c9d0828baf79de82e9c5d97c30b7 gz

Beautiful shot of Vesuvius and Pompeii © MorBCN, cc-by-nc-sa. Thanks to Fin for choosing the picture and the theme for 2.27.0 release posts.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported.