Monday, November 17, 2008

Metisse / Façades : did I fail promoting it ?

Before I forget, thanks to Luis, I have a new hackergotchi. If you are aggregating myblog in a planet, please update my hackergotchi. Thanks.

Back on the main subject : I'm both happy and sad to see Jim talking about Façades. I'm happy because I'm no longer the only one talking about the various features of Metisse. But I'm sad, because Jim seems to discover Métisse and Façades, while we have been promoting Metisse for more than two years in Mandriva Linux and I've created screencast and doing demonstrations in various conférences. Our goal was to try to raise awareness of those kind of technologies (resulting from a lot of research and user testing done by Metisse team) in Free software desktop environment, hoping interested people would help Metisse team in develop their software or integrate some of Metisse ideas in "common" desktop environments.

I have mixed feeling about the results : we succeed because Metisse team was able to get a funding for hiring someone to work on Metisse code (Rémi Cardona) and helping to either port it to last Xorg technologies or get relevant Métisse technologies merged in Xorg platform (input redirection is handled in Métisse for a long time, for instance). But I also have the feeling I failed on promoting Metisse, since people are only discovering it now, instead of two years ago :(

So, if you want to refresh your views about Metisse, you can view screencasts I did two years ago (created directly from Metisse), either on Dailymotion (now available in high quality) or download them there. I also suggest you read their various research papers, they are extremely interesting. And of course, you can grab Mandriva Linux 2009 (or earlier versions), where Metisse is available as an option, just like Compiz Fusion.


  1. I am seriously impressed. I've just sat and giggled inanely through the whole of

  2. You guys still using a hacked together X server based on VNC? That's my biggest problem with Metisse - it's not a true compositor, it's its own window server.

    Over in the Compiz world, we're waiting for a patch to the real X server that will allow us to do all the awesome stuff you guys are doing (we have the patch, problem is getting them to accept it).

    Anyway, Metisse is great, we're stealing a lot of your ideas ;)

  3. I want to correct something : I'm not part of Metisse team, so, please, don't use use "you guys".

    Metisse has been written WAY before Compiz, XComposite and Damage existed and yes, it is a big hack, because it was the only way for them to get something working (they are research people, their goal is to do research, not to do code merged upstream), because at that time, Xorg team was not interesting in extending X in a way usable for Metisse. And no, Metisse is not its own window server, check exactly how it is written, it is a true compositing manager but they had to workaround all missing stuff from Xorg.

    And Rémi job is to port Metisse to Composite / Damage and to help merge input redirection, based on Metisse team long experience on this subject.

  4. 1. yes but 2 years later and the same pbs

    the very first pbs i have when reopening a kde session are :

    - tiny police size (big pb for my eyes)

    for kde it is 10 but for Metisse 10 is 8

    how i change this without changing my kde settings ?

    if i use kde settings to change kde polices from 10 to 12, ok this is a workaround but
    for example i type this text with kwrite and guess what happen, all the items of kwrite had the new police size except the text i am typing. i must change the police for all the app ? not handy isn't it ?

    - my task desktop bar is completely filled by 9 desktop icons no more space to display active windows
    with kde i have 1 desktop icon

    how to change this ?

    - my systray half disappears to the right

    - my superkaramba theme "Nvidia gpu temp" does not display the temperature only the frame of the theme

    - i use very often ksnapshot, it does not work anymore

    - i cannot restart Mandriva from within kde session
    i must first close the kde session because all teh kde option disappeared except "terminate a session"

    2. where is the

    - menu option toward a metisse setting tool ?
    - the contextuel menu for setting metisse to solve my pbs (see above) ?

    3. where is the help button wich leads to a reference manual and a tutorial ?

    4. i filled bugs about all these pbs at the very first time metisse appeared with Manriva

    i always wait

  5. last but not least

    metisse by default does not use utf-8

    mandriva uses utf-8 by default

  6. Those are Metisse bugs or limitations and we (Mandriva) don't have resources to fix them. And unfortunately, Metisse doesn't have yet bugzilla to fill bug reports. You can try to send mail to their mailing list.

  7. Why? Because Metisse is, if not dead, then at least comatic. I've seen no sign of development and no sign of interest to fix the various bugs I've filed.
    It is definitely a shame as I found it much better and more stable than compiz, however the lack of life discouraged me from using it.

  8. Metisse is not dead, they released version 0.4.0 last month. But they are a very small team, mostly researchers, and we hoped, when we highlighted Metisse, people might be interested and hep the project by contributing patches, etc.. But it hasn't happened, unfortunately.

  9. Hi all, I'm one of the Metisse developers.

    I'd be really interested in hearing what you guys have to say about Metisse. While we indeed don't have bugzilla, you can contact us at metisse[at]lists_lri_fr


    Rémi Cardona