According to this review of Gnome 2.14.0
Metacity’s most noticeable improvement is its speed — specifically, a faster redraw of windows when they are resized, moved, or minimized.
There were some changes that should have made it a little faster in 2.12, but the article seems to be contrasting 2.14.0 to 2.12.x. If the reviewer was using AIGLX or GLX and the compositor that’s part of Metacity or Compiz then I would know exactly where this claim is coming from, but it doesn’t look like he is using either from reading the rest of the article. So, I was actually surprised at this claim. I had previously been worried that I had actually slowed it down a little with my changes — but this is definitely making me feel better Now, there were a lot of changes that affected moving and resizing, but did they really make that much difference? Or is this an underlying speed increase from pango and gtk (which we use to draw the frames), and I just didn’t notice because I got the small incremental improvements as they were made when Federico et al. beat the performance problems out of those libraries?
While I’m on the subject of Metacity, I recently came up with a highlight list of improvements over 2.12.x, and I thought others might be interested in it:
- Edge resistance when moving windows (not magnetism; too bad I didn’t notice this mistake in the release notes until too late)
- Dozens and dozens of moving, resizing, and placement bugs fixed
- Raise-on-click is a pref now for all you mouse/sloppy focus users
- Display hostname in titlebar for remote X clients
- Fixed multiple bugs with multi-head support (which probably eclipsed the xinerama bug fixes done)
- Real vertical and horizontal maximization exist now
- Make Alt-Esc really behave as “switch between windows immediately” including showing minimized windows
- Don’t allow focus stealing from terminals (sadly, some consider this a misfeature; will probably be an option in 2.16.x and be off by default — hopefully that won’t disappoint a certain LWN editor)
- Real support for –disable-gconf for e.g. embedded systems
- An –enable-compositor mode that should be workable “if you’re the right kind of person”; not built by default (however, it will be compiled in to FC5 and enable-able & diable-able on the fly with gconf though…)
- Tons of other miscellaneous bug fixes