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Beryl User Interface for Linux Reviewed 271

techie writes " has published a review of Beryl, a very cool looking UI for Linux. Matt Hartley writes, "This release, in my opinion, was the most over-hyped and bug-filled to date. You will have to really hit Technorati to see more of what I'm talking about, but Feisty is as buggy as the beta I tested a short time ago. After completely tossing into the wilds of the ubber-buggy "network-manager," anything running with Edgy supported RT2500 driver shows up, but it will not connect without a special script. Those of you who are on Feisty and need help with your RT2500 cards are welcome to e-mail me for the bash script."
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Beryl User Interface for Linux Reviewed

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:04AM (#18839637)

    Beryl (note spelling) is buggy. It isn't finished yet.
    Feisty Fawn is still a bit buggy. Its only just released.
    • by cosmocain ( 1060326 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:13AM (#18839781)
      full ack.

      and - actually - (without the article) i'm still looking for a correlation between the headline and the abstract.
      one step further: beryl is buggy? please - take a look at the version-number. included in ubuntu is 0.2 (NULLDOTTWO): this is a mere testing release, not a final and stable. and: it's not enabled in ubuntu by default.

      to sum it up: nothing to see here, please move along.
    • by AvitarX ( 172628 )
      Beryl (note spelling) is buggy. It isn't finished yet.
      Makes sense.

      Feisty Fawn is still a bit buggy. Its only just released.
      Has Linux spread so far that we now have the MS apologists with us too?
      I havn't updated yet but there were a lot of bugs in the beta I have on my home computer, they should not be in the final release (For example gdesklets on AMD64). There is a transparent developement process and we should not expect to wait until version .03 (.06?) for a decent release. This could just as easily be
  • After reading TFA... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by brennanw ( 5761 ) * on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:05AM (#18839661) Homepage Journal
    ... I think the author needed to include a little more information.

    For example, exactly how does Beryl interfere with OpenOffice Write's word count feature? I'm trying to make a connection and I'm flummoxed.

    Also, given that the author spent most of his time reviewing Beryl on Edgy, how exactly does Feisty's network manager reflect on the stability of Beryl? I think he was including the network manager as an example of how buggy Feisty is (though I haven't really noticed any problems myself, perhaps Kubuntu's network manager is a different beast) but there were a few connections that he made internally that didn't necessarily make the transition to the article itself.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bedonnant ( 958404 )
      the blurb actually is more about knetwork-manager than about beryl which is supposed to be the focus of the review.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by GIL_Dude ( 850471 )
        I know it doesn't have anything to do with reviewing the new UI and all, but I actually have this network manager issue now. Just yesterday I chose to update my working Ubuntu 6.10 machine online to 7.04. It downloaded all 966 files it needed, removed some packages, installed a whole bunch and rebooted. Now it is 7.04 and there is no network anymore. It has something to do with the CNet Pro200WL PCI Fast Ethernet card (which Feisty detects as a DEC Tulip compatible or something). It shows the card there, bu
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by aaronl ( 43811 )
          That card is using a DEC Tulip compatible chipset (the Davicom 9102). It's been supported by the kernel for quite a few years, so I doubt that it's the kernel's fault. As a quick thing to check, try killing all dhclient/dhclient3 processes, and running "dhclient eth0" by hand. That would tell you whether it was network-manager/dhclient or something more, at least. You could also trying manually configuring with "ifconfig eth0 my.full.ip.address netmask up" and see if you get some network a
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by cyclop ( 780354 )

            Dapper already had a tiny but nasty problem with Davicom ethernet cards (I know, I'm writing from a Dapper box with a Davicom card). Basically, it loaded the wrong driver -tulip.

            To me it was enough to add "blacklist tulip" as a line in the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file, but it was not immediate at all to understand what the problem was.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by GIL_Dude ( 850471 )
            After a couple of reboots and no network, I stumbled on some advice somewhere else that said to run "sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart". I did that, and it got connected (the output in the console showed the DHCP request and response and it worked with ping and firefox. I then actually enabled "desktop effects" (the beryl thing) and it wanted another reboot to install the nVidia blob driver. After that reboot, the network was working again. For some reason; I thought I might have to run that script every
        • by xtracto ( 837672 )
          thing since it just doesn't seem to work with some cards that worked fine with the last version.
          From what I have seen on the ubuntu forums (i went there a lot while trying to make my wireless card work on Ubuntu), this is quite normal with every ubuntu release, hardware that used to work fine on preivous releases just stop working on the new releases.

          And for one of the first posters that states in some way implying that the justification for Feisty of being buggy is that it has just been released, that is b
    • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:11AM (#18839743) Homepage
      This is sort-of off topic to the Beryl thing (but then the reviewer didn't manage to stay on topic either), but my experience of Feisty is that it is a lot more stable and supports more stuff out of the box than Edgy ever did for me - and that includes NetworkManager, which so far has been working with both my Wifi and wired network without a single hitch.

      Of course, it all depends on exactly what hardware you have. Which means that making sweeping statements on any distributions' hardware compatibility is pretty senseless based on the experience of one machine.
      • Mod parent up! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:29AM (#18839987)
        These "reviews" are stupid.

        #1. Review the distribution with hardware that WORKS WITH IT. You want to review the distribution, right? Not "does it work with Card XYZ123". I know, I know. Finding that hardware is too hard for you. You want to "review" it based upon whatever you have at hand right now. Whether it works or not.

        #2. If you want to review how it has problems with "Card XYZ123" then right your review about that card. That means you try that card with different distributions. Again, I know. You don't want to spend more time or effort than is absolutely necessary to get your "review" out.

        #3. If you're going to review hardware, review hardware. Which cards are supported? How well? Which are not? Why not? Of course we're not going to see many of these because it takes even more time and effort than the other two.
    • by ScottSCY ( 798415 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:24AM (#18839913)
      For example, exactly how does Beryl interfere with OpenOffice Write's word count feature? I'm trying to make a connection and I'm flummoxed.

      Go to openoffice; do a word count. Shift cube left or shift cube right onto new workspace. Where is the wordcount now? Huh? Where? Not there!

      • See, not having used Beryl myself, I had no idea that was a problem. A little more detail in the article describing the problem would have been pretty helpful.
    • As for a Beryl review, it would seem the best part of the article is:

      Pretty, But In Beta.

      Well... OK.... there ARE other nuggets embedded in the various comments about application choices for Ubuntu Feisty. Other informative bits include:

      • Not for use with other 3D applications (i.e. games) - even affects performance after switching back to a 2D windows manager
      • Best used with Nvidia graphics cards / drivers
      • Author suggests installing drivers using a utility called Envy (apparently helps installing proprietar
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mackyrae ( 999347 )
        I would say it's best with Intel. nVidia users seem to run into issues a lot, like the black window bug that's caused by nVidia making craptastic drivers. Intel graphics *never* fail.
      • Not for use with other 3D applications (i.e. games) - even affects performance after switching back to a 2D windows manager

        I haven't had this experience. Certainly I have to switch back to metacity (or other) before playing games, or else performance goes to hell. This is solvable, but not yet solved, more's the pity. But I get precisely the same framerate before and after running beryl.

        Best used with Nvidia graphics cards / drivers

        I hear GMA950 works okay but all the other intel graphics drivers are poo

    • A lot of people complain about NM, but I've never had an issue with it. It's worked perfectly for me, even with WPA, since Dapper (IPW3945). The ones who complain are the ones who have hardware not found on this list: [] If yours is working fine, it's because your network card is supported.
      • by Sancho ( 17056 )

        The ones who complain are the ones who have hardware not found on this list: [] If yours is working fine, it's because your network card is supported.


        I tried switching to Network-manager in Ubuntu 6.10. Quite simply, it failed. I have an Intel Pro Wireless 2200 (which is, in fact, on that list).

        I may try the Feisty LiveCD just to see if things have improved.

        • How did you set it up? Did you comment out everything but lo in /etc/network/interfaces (I believe it's required for WPA)? Was this before or after the Edgy 2.6.17-11 update that broke wireless insanely?
          • by Sancho ( 17056 )
            Setup was just sudo aptitude install network-manager-gnome and I did comment out the interfaces config file. I'm fairly confident that I messed with NM in late 2006, so that would have been before the 2.6.17-11 update. Perhaps newer versions of Network Manager work better?

            Anyway, I'm not really complaining, just noting that it didn't work for me, even though I have a supported card. I manage fine with wpa-supplicant, in general, though when I need to connect to WEP "protected" networks, it fails and I ha
            • You didn't by any chance try using the System > Admin > Networking since then, did you? Doing that will break NM.

              I still want to know what the guy who wrote TFA (seriously, it's so short, it's practically a blurb itself) was doing. There's nothing in-depth at ALL. He didn't even review any of Beryl's features. My blog post of Beryl tricks [] is much more informative. I did that based on Beryl 0.2. I don't like that they got rid of snow between 0.1.9999 (or whatever it was) and 0.2 though. I lik
              • by Sancho ( 17056 )

                You didn't by any chance try using the System > Admin > Networking since then, did you? Doing that will break NM.
                I couldn't swear that I didn't.

                As for the rest.. yeah, the article could have been a bit better. Your blog post is more informative, but this guy just wanted to complain, I think. BTW, in case anyone else tries to read your blog--get rid of the trailing slash in that link :)
  • by KeyserDK ( 301544 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:06AM (#18839663) Homepage
    if it's the rt2500 that isn't working then it's most likely isn't network-manager, but your driver. Please complain about the correct part(s) ;)
    • Exactly, I completely agree. Feisty has been solid for me on my Dell Latitude D820 and solid for 2 co-workers of mine on other boxes. NetworkManager is a mature app that has been around for at least 2 years now (approx.).
    • by pathological liar ( 659969 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:27AM (#18839953)
      Sort of. Network-manager runs everything through wpa_supplicant, which simplified the backend greatly. The rt2500 driver doesn't (or at least didn't) work properly with wpa_supplicant, instead of implementing WE19 they sorta went off and did their own thing. That may have changed, I stopped tracking the development when I stopped using the card.

      So you could blame network-manager for not having a backend for every random card, wpa_supplicant for approximately the same thing, or the rt2500 guys for not sticking to the right standard.

      It's not really a bug in anything though, it's just unsupported.
      • As of their latest driver, the rt2500 still does its own thing. I beat my own head against it last weekend. It was waaaaaaaaay harder than it had to be to figure out how to configure and bring up my connection. On the positive side, it has been rock solid so far.
    • Agreed. The fact that the rt2500 doesn't work with NM has been known for quite some time, and hardly deserves to the reason 7.04 is called "buggy".
      • by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:56AM (#18840311) Homepage
        A release of an OS distro that is supposedly the great hope of Linux for the consumer desktop, knowing full-well that it's default setup will break wireless networking for anyone using RALink chipsets is a great big fucking mistake on Canonical's part. It may not be a bug in the OS per se, but the second the "average user" that Ubuntu is supposedly trying to win over upgrades and finds that their wireless stops working is an immediate black mark on the desktop Linux concept. This is especially true since we're talking about networking here. If support for some random peripheral like a printer or a camera failed then that's one thing, but with Linux's absolute reliance on net access to solve problems a broken wireless setup could well have just removed the user's only hope of solving the problem. Leaving the user looking for that Windows CD they were led to believe they'd never need again.

        You can go on and on about how this isn't the OS's fault, but you'll be missing the point. The end user doesn't care whether it was the OS proper that's responsible or "merely" a driver that was provided with it. The bottom line is that what worked in 6.06 and 6.10 works no more and as long as things like this continue and worse, are defended with irrelevant arguments like yours, the further Linux looks from ever becoming a legitimate OS for the average computer user.
        • by Cato ( 8296 )
          Windows managed to become "a legitimate OS for the average computer user" just fine, while still losing hardware support on some major upgrades (including release of both XP and Vista). If Feisty is breaking hardware support, that's annoying, but having spent almost a day trying to get a simple Ethernet card working on an old WinME PC recently, it's not just the Linux world that has this problem...
          • by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @01:23PM (#18842423) Homepage
            True, XP and Vista both lost their own share of hardware support. However there's two points I'd make about that:

            1) Even if XP and Vista didn't/don't deserve their user-base, they had it as the natural successors to the existing Windows user-base (not to mention being pre-installed on just about every new PC manufactured). Ubuntu/AnyOtherOS doesn't have that luxury. Again that may not be Ubuntu's fault, but that's the way things are and there's nothing to be done about it but to accept that it's an uphill struggle and that for Ubuntu to make the gains it will have to meet or exceed Windows for each and every requirement any given user may need.

            2) XP and Vista aren't contiguous upgrades in the way that Ubuntu 6.06 -> 6.10 -> 7.04 are. They're essentially different OSes that are simply marketed under the same name and share common APIs. Let's face it, the vast majority of people who "upgraded" Windows didn't really upgrade, they just bought a new PC with a new Windows which naturally fully supported the hardware it was pre-installed on. Microsoft gets by on it's own market dominance rather than maintaining hardware support, but again this is not something Ubuntu has and with Ubuntu versions being true upgrades there's no reason it shouldn't maintain hardware support (at least for current hardware).

            Bear in mind this isn't me just shitting all over Ubuntu. My XP box was recently diagnosed with severe schizophrenia presenting as random BSODs and repeated filesystem corruption, so I'm trying hard to like Ubuntu. And I do like it overall. But right now I'm typing this from a Windows laptop while I'm in the middle of compiling a legacy rt73 driver on my Ubuntu box so I can hopefully get my wireless adapter up and running again. I can't help but feel I shouldn't need to be doing this.
    • Until the 0.7 is out, I can't use it (lack of LEAP support). And I have seen it lose it's mind completely on an ipw2100 system in WPA2 on occasion whereas a simple wpa_supplicant.conf and single wpa_supplicant run is rock solid.

      And I'm no stranger to crappy, buggy drivers, my primary laptop has an Atheros chip in it now.
  • by TodMinuit ( 1026042 ) <.todminuit. .at.> on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:06AM (#18839665)
    Did you mean "beryl"? Seriously, you got it right in the title but not in the blurb.

    And you can find the project here. [] Has web 2.0 killed direct-linking? Let me write a blog post and submit to Slashdot to find out.
  • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:08AM (#18839683)
    TFA is slashdotted already, but from the summary I can't tell if he's reviewing Beryl, the unstable fork of Compiz 3D window manager, which is itself unstable and not enabled by default in the latest Ubuntu and most other distros, or the recently released Ubuntu 7.04, AKA Feisty Fawn.
    • by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:17AM (#18839837)
      I don't know what's "unstable". I've set up Beryl on 3 computers in the past few months, on Ubuntu 6.10 and 7.04... and all the installations are "stable".

      In my experience, Linux with Beryl is so vastly superior in terms of looks, productivity tools, and usability, to anything other operating systems offer, that having no programming or Linux experience, it took me 1 week to stop booting into my Windows installation. ... and just to think that I installed Linux as a gag.
      • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:56AM (#18840303)
        I don't know what's "unstable". I've set up Beryl on 3 computers in the past few months, on Ubuntu 6.10 and 7.04... and all the installations are "stable".

        "Works for me" is not the most common definition of "stable" in software development. I can give you an opposite account. Beryl and Compiz are both still flaky and has numerous show stoppers even on the hardware where it works best. That is also why it is not enabled by default in any big Linux distributions.
        • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) *
          Beryl and Compiz are both still flaky and has numerous show stoppers even on the hardware where it works best. That is also why it is not enabled by default in any big Linux distributions.

          How can something that can easily be turned off be a "show stopper". My current distro, Sabayon Linux, runs just as well with or without beryl enabled.

          I will admit that beryl is not perfect, but some of that can be attributed to the distro itself. I would also like to point out that beryl is not feature complete yet, whi
          • How can something that can easily be turned off be a "show stopper". My current distro, Sabayon Linux, runs just as well with or without beryl enabled.
            When it locks up all keyboard input, requiring either a reboot, or logging in remotely through ssh (you're running sshd and remember your ip, don't you?).
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by benplaut ( 993145 )
          And I'm not sure how many people noticed--he's running it with XGL!
          If you're going to make a review, do it using the supported software. If you go off and use unsupported (for a good reason!) software, then it's your own damn fault.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Practically everyone I know is running Beryl as their WM. I'm staring at it right now as I type. I couldn't however for a moment, and nor would any of my colleagues, suggest that it is 'stable'.

        Yes it 'works' for sure but please don't consider 'stable' to mean 'I don't have any trouble with it'.
        • by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:47AM (#18841111)
          Maybe my definition of "stable" is different, given that I'm coming from Windows.
        • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @05:34PM (#18845899) Homepage Journal

          Practically everyone I know is running Beryl as their WM. I'm staring at it right now as I type. I couldn't however for a moment, and nor would any of my colleagues, suggest that it is 'stable'.

          Indeed. I find myself asking why someone would expect anything at all from a 0.2.0 rc3 release - the version of Beryl currently available on Feisty.

          I think it's a good time to evaluate Beryl/Compiz features, and to comment on their usability and appeal. Performance, compatibility and stability are not IMO relevant, because this is a pre-beta experimental release aimed directly at geeks interested in playing on the bleeding edge.

          My personal take on the UI elements that Beryl offers is that it's a promising package. The improvements since version 0.1 are significant, especially in terms of integration and performance. They bode well for the quality of the final product.

          But most interesting of all are the GUI elements. There are numerous visual tricks in use that make using it much much more pleasant than Windows/GNOME/KDE. In the absence of an actual useful review, here's my quick take on some aspects of it:

          • The smooth fade-in and fade-out when windows and menus are opened and closed is a good deal less alarming for people who aren't confident at the computer. I find it quite soothing, too.
          • For as long as I've been using X windows, I've tried to come to terms with virtual desktops. My big hang-up is that out of sight means out of mind. Regardless of those tiny inconised displays of desktop contents that many desktop managers have, I just couldn't visualise what was there, and as a result, found it difficult to use them. But the three-dimensional desktop switching has given me a metaphor I can 'see'. Compiz treats each of the virtual desktops as one face on the exterior of a cube, so switching desktops is as intuitive as turning your head to view what's on the wall beside you, or spinning a card rack, if you like. Suddenly I'm using three desktops where two was too many before.
          • Push the mouse cursor to the top right corner and you get a Mac-like display of all the windows nicely arranged against a muted background. It's a straight rip-off from another platform, but that's one of the things that Linux sometimes does very well.
          • The new ALT-TAB switching clearly has merit. Again, the background recedes and is muted while the candidate windows step to the foreground one by one. The images are 'live' representations of each window, so if, for example, you have multiple browser windows open, you can flip to the one with the website you're looking for without trying to decipher the title bar text.
          • The 'wobbly window' effect, in which a window takes on a Jello-like consistency when moved, really seems like silly geek eye candy at first. Its only purpose seemed to be to encourage me to buy a proper graphics card. Then I went back to GNOME/Metacity and found that I didn't like the rigid windows at all any more. They're not nearly as welcoming. YMMV, but I find them more intuitive, in the sense that they feel more like paper.
          • BUT: Imbuing min/maximising windows with the same physical dynamics as the surface tension of water, so that windows SNAP-BOINGGG! into their new size is just plain weird. The effects are straight out of a Chuck Jones animated short - fine for Saturday mornings, but.... I'm definitely turning off that feature.
          • Window borders of background apps become partially transparent when there's no activity in them, opaque when there is. Interesting way of giving visual cues when multi-tasking. I'll wait to see how they behave with a proper graphics adapter before I make a decision about this feature. I've got a multi-gigabyte rsync running in a console at the moment, and it's pulsing faintly in behind this edit window as it sticks on larger files, then moves on. Right now, the transition is smooth enough not be be distracting, but that might be a side-effect of
      • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
        I tired Beryl under Suse 10.1 and turned it off. It was very slow on my system. While not a speed demon it is an AMD X2 and a GeForce 6150 LE I would expect it to run a desktop without any problems.
        It does work just fine under straight X so I will live without the eye candy.
      • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
        The hardware support is what's unstable. Right now the only choices are:
        • nvidia/ati blobs, which aren't an option on a Beryl livecd (and ATI's drivers just suck)
        • intel's driver, which ties you into their motherboard/cpu
        • The r200/r300 driver, which is painfully slow in Beryl (it disables most of the 2D acceleration)

        I've tried running Beryl on a bunch of other AGP/onboard chips (S3, VIA, Matrox and an old Rage128). Nothing works, you're forced to use one of the above.
  • Like the brawl between Neo and all the Smiths? Man, that was cool.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:09AM (#18839707)
    Those of you who are on Feisty and need help with your RT2500 cards are welcome to e-mail me for the bash script.

    No no no! Please don't give us detailed information, publish this "special script" or link to it. Just keep it as a secret.

  • Come again? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rjamestaylor ( 117847 ) <> on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:13AM (#18839779) Journal
    Wow -- different experiences for different people, I guess.

    I'm running a Dell Optiplex GX520, all standard corporate hardware, with 2GB of Ram and an Acer AL1912 monitor off the integrated video subsystem -- and running Beryl. Everything "just worked." No configuration needed to install from the 7.0.4 CD & update from the network.

    Actually, I have one problem: a page refresh problem with FireFox. When I scroll "up" a page that has been scrolled "down" I get repeated horizontal lines as artifacts. Touching the top window bar clears the page. Minor annoyance that I'm not worried about enough to investigate.

    I couldn't be happier.

    • I get the same problem on my 7900GT (nVidia) at home, along with a few others such as that when I switch viewports with VLC running, and then minimize/unminimize to bring it up, it takes about 30 trys for it to come up whereas with anything else it would just switch to the viewport. Another includes that with wobbly windows on, when a window snaps to an edge and I try to force a window to snap to an edge, it doesn't loose momentum and keeps spazzing out, making the window contents jump back and forth and be
  • XGL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pjameson ( 880321 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:13AM (#18839783)
    He complained about OpenGL performance, however he is running XGL which is known to be slower with 3d programs. Unless he had an ATI card, there was no reason, really, to not use AIGLX, which tends to run 3d stuff a lot faster.
    • That's true. XGL is recommended ONLY for people who have really really annoying ATi cards. Intel and nVidia can both use AIGLX perfectly fine, though nVidia has their own separate thing if you want to use it. Either way, XGL is to be avoided for its poor performance.
  • by Baavgai ( 598847 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:15AM (#18839807) Homepage
    In a recent Mark Shuttleworth interview posted on Slashdot [], the interviewer criticized Fiesty for not having the eye candy turned on. He responded "The actual software itself - Compiz and Beryl - is not good enough."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DLG ( 14172 )
      At work I like a nice stable environment, but I have traditionally used my home machine as a cutting edge tester. Using Beryl in that environment, I have crashed out of the window manager on a regular basis, have had the configuration become unusuable (as in either toss it or reload a saved config) for no clear reason, and certainly seen some performance degredation. That being said, I think its general functionality (once bugs get cleared out) is nifty. I love being able to see all my apps at once in conte
  • Beta Software (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onion2k ( 203094 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:16AM (#18839813) Homepage

    I believe that one day Beryl will prove to be a fantastic option for the casual PC user. However, until it leaves Beta, this is best left to people who have a machine that they can take some risks with.

    This is Google's fault. People have come to expect Betaware to be essentially a finished application. It isn't. Final is finished. Beta is for testing. If it's at the point where it works and the devs think they've sorted all the showstoppers then it's a release candidate.

    So yes, the author is right, casual users definitely should leave this alone until it's done. That's what "beta" means.
    • WTF are you on? It's not google's fault, they're just one of the visible ones. Software, in general, has become much more complex than it was 10+ years ago. Many more lines of code, many other programs to co-exist with, more unpredictability w/ OSs, richer GUIs, new paradigms, etc.

      As a result, it's tougher to hammer out some of the non-obvious issues, or issues that don't crop up in the first few hundred man hours of testing.

      "Beta" in some cases, now just means "Hey, we don't have the resources to dedicate
      • by Sancho ( 17056 )

        "Beta" in some cases, now just means "Hey, we don't have the resources to dedicate 2 man-years of testing for this App, but it works ok for us".

        That's exactly what the grandparent was saying. "Beta" used to mean WARNING! DO NOT TOUCH! DO NOT USE IN PRODUCTION!. Then Google used it the term (by your definition) in a number of applications, raising the general expectation of beta software.

        At least, that's what the grandparent meant, I'm sure. But I also imagine that his tongue was in his cheek.

        • Exactly. What GP is calling "beta" is what a release candidate is. Can nobody get their testing vocabulary straight? Google calls RCs "beta." Microsoft calls betas "RC."

          Alpha = barely works
          Beta = kinda works, but bad
          Release candidate = we think it works 100%, now let's hope
          Final = done

          Sometimes you'll go beta -> RC -> beta -> RC -> final if it turns out that what you thought was finished isn't really and maybe one bug turns up, looks minor, and then...oh crap, that's a big bug.
    • The software update manager in Kubuntu asked me if I wanted to "upgrade" last week. End-users are asked to upgrade from not-so-good Edgy to Feisty which is *really* not working well compared to running Etch.

      I'm using Edgy after using Debian Etch throughout its testing phase and *Edgy* is *still* buggier than Etch was in testing. It should not be asking me if I want an upgrade. The upgrade should be an optional meta-package at best.

      There are definitely problems with KDE/beryl drawing some of the the kde d
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheSciBoy ( 1050166 )

      Beta has been abused a lot in software firms across the board. This is how it is, and should be:
      Alpha release, is a software release that essentially works, but lacks some functionality that is planned for final release. It is released to a limited set of users (or maybe just in the firm that created the software) for ironing out the worst bugs.
      Beta release, is a software that has all functionality, which has been tested internally, but which needs some real world testing with users.

      Then we

    • IMHO

      pre-alpha means it is possibly unstable, GUI may be changing - drastically, and features are unimplemented or partially implemented. Use at your own risk.

      Alpha means the major GUI design has stabilized, major functionality is in place, but features may be added or deleted. It is usable but not recommended for production use. Features may not be frozen.

      Beta means that features are fully implemented, presumed to be bug-free (aside from known defects indicated in release notes) and feature freeze has taken
  • mirror of TFA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:17AM (#18839829)
    *rant about beryl still being beta*
    *rant about word-count in openoffice not working, no reasons given*
    *rant about feisty being the most buggy and overhyped release so far, based on the fact that the new network manager fails to work with his specific network card*

    seriously, does he get paid for this?
  • by digitalderbs ( 718388 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:17AM (#18839839)
    I haven't been able to access the article, but I'd have to agree with the summary. I've tried running Beryl on Feisty for a few days, and I've had a few issues. The effects worked quite well for me, but the deal breaker for me was the poor fullscreen support. It's a known issue []. I had trouble with both non-OpenGL (mplayer) and OpenGL (mythfrontend) programs, and "undirected fullscreen rendering" didn't work for me. Beryl isn't activated in Feisty (or Edgy) be default for reason.

    However, I do think that the work the beryl developers are doing is fantastic, even though it's not yet a stable release. I worry that the enthusiasm in developing great software like this is hampered by negative (non-constructive) feedback... particularly of a non-stable release.
  • by Spudtrooper ( 1073512 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:20AM (#18839891)
    Beta software has bugs. In other news, Avril Lavigne can't sing, people hate paying taxes, the sky is blue, and your "girlfriend" from Nigeria who keeps asking for money is really a man.
    • by karnal ( 22275 )

      your "girlfriend" from Nigeria who keeps asking for money is really a man.
      You never know, some people are probably into that sort of thing....
  • happy here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by An0maly ( 448481 )
    still using feisty beta that i installed monday last week. beryl works great and i haven't needed to boot windows for ANYHTING since the install. didn't even bother to download the release iso - seems to be working fine with the beta+updates. using an nvidia gpu on a latitude d620.

    installed the same disc on my desktop at home and it was a little funny. had to get the alt iso because it didn't like my ATI all in wonder x800. after some tweaking i got it working pretty well.

    some things i've noticed - on my
  • Am I the only one? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by McNihil ( 612243 )
    When using Beryl I feel dizzy because my eyes try to focus on the blurry windows when I move them around. After 5 minutes of use I have a strong feeling to puke because of that, its very uncomfortable and I am not using it because of that.

    Don't get me wrong, the fluff is nice but I can't use it. Same goes with OSX's and Vistas "enhancements"... nice but in the long run its just in the way.

    • by bcmm ( 768152 )
      Umm... Turn off that plugin? Beryl is pretty modular.
    • by Gryle ( 933382 )
      You're not the only one. I don't use Beryl because frankly I can't find any benefit from it. It makes makes for a shiny desktop but more often than not it gets in the way. When eye candy becomes distracting, it's no longer eye candy, it's merely clutter.
  • I am brand new to Linux (installed 6.10 a month ago) and just installed 7.04, primarily in the hopes of getting Beryl to work with my ATI x800 card. I succeeded and everything works well (I couldn't get it to work with Edgy). However, the process was only slightly more enjoyable than shoving hot lava rocks up my butt. From what I can tell, getting Beryl to work with later model ATI cards (read "cards less than 2 years old") involves reading through various help forum posts, printing out a half dozen or s
  • i'm liking Metisse (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brunascle ( 994197 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @10:36AM (#18840051)
    i'm liking Metisse [] a lot. i only played with it a little, but it seemed to be actually useful eye candy. dont get me wrong, i like compiz/beryl, but it doesnt seem to be geared toward productivity.

    Metisse, on the other hand, seems to be all about giving you quick access to the window you're looking for, and being able to store more windows on a single desktop.
  • TFA (Score:2, Informative)

    by Slugworth01 ( 738383 )
    What makes this even more surreal is the juxtaposition of advertising text in the flow of the article, which I included for the fun of it.

    (Review) - To this day, I still have to smile when new Linux users decide to take the plunge because they want the cool looking visual effects that Beryl offers. To some limited degree, I can understand the motivation. The stunning videos on YouTube are certainly compelling to those who have never tried to use the setup themselves. Unfortunately, there are still som
  • Counterpost (Score:2, Interesting)

    by arabagast ( 462679 )
    Just as a counterpost to the very negative summary: I am currently running feisty with beryl enabled on a dual screen, running nvidia drivers. I made a complete switch from windows about a month ago, while feisty was still in beta, but I haven't looked back since. No way am i letting go of my scale plugin for beryl :) (That feature is worth the whole switch just by itself.)
  • It's as simple as all that. And since I play at least two games that utilize OpenGL and I like the OpenGL screensavers, I have to vote "no" to the current 3D desktops...or at least to Beryl since that is the only one I have tried. If/when there is a 3D desktop that will coexist with my other 3D stuff, then I'm down with it.
    • by M_Talon ( 135587 )
      Um, you don't run your screensaver and game at the same time, so why would you expect a 3d desktop to behave with a game?

      Beryl's got a really neat feature where you can toggle between metacity and beryl via the config tray icon. Just turn on metacity when you're gaming, then turn beryl back on afterwards.

      'Tis not the fault of the desktop manager...maybe when cards get bigger running multiple 3d apps won't drag it down so much.
    • by bcmm ( 768152 )
      I can play Q3A-based games, at least, with Beryl running. There is not a significant reduction in FPS. The "Unredirect fullscreen windows" option helps, but my screensaver (Euphoria) looks pretty good even without that.

      Back when I used XGL with old Nvidia drivers, I did indeed have problems with FPS in OpenGL apps, because there was basically no way to render directly. I used to have a script to launch games in a second X session (and I still use it for games which are difficult to minimise - it's nice to
  • I switched to beryl from a plain'ol xfce setup. Very cool eye candy, and I actually did find the layered transparency on my terminals very helpful. Beyond the fact that co-workers would stop by to ooh and ahh from time to time, I eventually decided to just stick with plain 'ol xfce. The cube was a neat idea as well, but not that much superior (imo) than plain ol virtual desktops.

    Everything ends up taking a little longer waiting for animations of windows to explode or swish away, or for the cube to zoom o
  • by Yetihehe ( 971185 ) on Monday April 23, 2007 @11:03AM (#18840435)
    Ubuntu FF will be stable after second servicepack. (hides from a tossed penguin)
  • Does anyone understand why the make or break of a new OS this year is whether you can view different workspaces (multiple desktops, whatever you call them) imposed onto a cube which you can twist about? This seems completely dysfunctional. You can't possibly view observe all six faces at once, so it's going to be very difficult to find anything, and you'll get quite disorientated looking. If you perform the wrong transformations, desktops will come out upside down, or rotated 90 or 270 degrees. Most people
  • However, until it leaves Beta, this is best left to people who have a machine that they can take some risks with.
    Is anyone else feeling as enlightened as if he learned a very important lesson that is important to remember for the rest of his life?
  • I'm sorry for stating this so bluntly, but: that was a very poor review. It doesn't mention what Beryl does apart from the title, which mentions that it's a cool looking window manager. The article doesn't even have any screenshots or descriptions of how it improves the UI. The author doesn't expound on any features since they don't even mention any of them. It doesn't mention development of beryl, where they intend to go with it, how beryl compares to other similar routes to a 3D desktop on Linux, how

Disks travel in packs.