Sunday, September 30, 2007

openSUSE 10.3 RC1: Issues with Compiz and XGL

I've been trying to get Compiz effects enabled, and so I installed all the Compiz bits available via YaST. To make a long story short the effects, while enabled, were less than desirable. The longer I attempt to work with Compiz (and now Compiz Fusion) the more I've come to hold it in the same low esteem as I hold Vista's Aero interface.

There's also one other direct effect I have no use for. XGL interferes with my other OpenGL work on this platform. After unistalling the compiz packages via YaST (because the tool to turn it off was broken), I attempted to get back to work with my WorldWInd/NetBeans project. I ran it for a test, and discovered that the WorldWindGLCanvas would not render the map. It would render the test and the compass rose, but not the underlying map. So I brought YaST up one more time, searched for opengl-based packages, and discovered that xgl was still installed. Once I uninstalled xgl and restarted the system to make sure everything was flushed, I was able to execute my WorldWind-based project.

There is a lot to like about openSUSE 10.3. And there's a lot to dislike. Most positive change is to software management. Starting any of the YaST tools is now incredibly fast, and finding repositories is very easy. There's a new tool in the YaST suite that lists all the community repositories, and allows you to simply select the ones you want to follow. This beats the older method of having to hand-enter each one in openSUSE 10.2 and earlier. There's also a one-click installation that will enable/install repository URLs just by clicking on a web-page link. Compared to the past this is just so fast and easy.

But then there's the issues with Compiz (it's really not ready yet) as well as the odd quirks I've been running into with regards to OpenGL and Java 6 Update 2 development, as well as the Google Earth application splashscreen hang. I've not had any problems with any of these applications or environments with prior versions of openSUSE, especially version 10.2.

I'll wait for the final release October 4, install it, and see how it turns out.

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