Oct 2, 2006

Beryl - The Compiz Fork

This post is a little rant on the compiz fork (beryl) and on forks in general.

When I hear people say that "the fork is good because the two goals are different" I bow my head in shame. David R wants the same things as Quinn, a rocking WM/DE.

Its sad that now the fork has "started" there is no going back (in the short term) - the projects will onlycontinue to diverge. Compiz has just gained a whole bunch of features in cvs (pane plugin, multi-head architecture stuff, support for metacity themes) and David has started being more active on the mailing list. Quinn and co. bought this fork on too quickly, sucumbing to every request on the compiz.net forums, and adding poor quality code and hacks all over the show. I mean there has not even been an official compiz release yet!, why fork, how many years did it take to get a solid DE and people are impatient over compiz, a young project with no official release?

If Quinn and co. would have cooled their jets for another month or so then this for wouldnt have happened. If there is a difference in the projects goals it is that one (compiz) has a BDFL that has a grander vision and quality for the project, and that the other (beryl) doesnt. Its a free for all.

About the GNOME dependancies - its only gconf. Quinn wrote a plugin to replace gconf (csm) but it was done in such a hackish way that it wasnt clean. I wish they would have just improved the csm plugin to the quality that it could be accepted upstream and then this whole fork rubbish could have been avoided.

If you read Davids latest comments you will see that he is concerned that the current changes in beryl (and by extrapolation most future changes) will be done in such a (hackish?) way to make them incompatible with upstream compiz.

Many of the plugins in beryl touch the core and are no longer implemented in a plugin type way. David offered an invitation for suggestions on how to improve the core APIs so that these beryl features could be implemented as plugins in a nicer way but no-one has stepped up and made said suggestions.

I guess its just easier to fork than it is to talk to a person these days.....

In essence beryl will be take take take and no give

That makes me sad