So, I was expecting this to be announced at Mark’s keynote this morning, but it looks like good ol’ Jono Bacon beat me to it 🙂 Nevertheless, I won’t let him steal my thunder.
So what you see up there is Ubuntu‘s Unity desktop shell. Currently it uses a clutter-based window manager called mutter, however after some consultation with the compiz developers it was decided that Unity will now use compiz as a base instead of mutter. Most notably this was done for performance reasons, but also because a number of the new interfaces provided in compiz 0.9x allow for some great new stuff to happen with Unity.
So what exactly does this mean for compiz?
Well, it now means compiz is no longer a ‘project without a cause’. Many were worried about the future of compiz with regards to GNOME-Shell and KWin on KDE making no place for compiz in the modern desktop world. In fact, I personally had thought that compiz was likely to fade into obscurity, becoming a niche experimental window manager for those who like the bleeding edge.
With Unity’s transition to compiz, we now have the full backing and support (and developer base) given to us as an upstream from the Unity developers. This means that compiz development will not be as slow paced as it has been over the past year or so, and it means that we will be making much more rapid releases. Much attention will be paid to stability of core and prototyping of great new features and frameworks. With Unity behind us, we now also get a number of key technologies which will be appearing in the Ubuntu desktop stack over the next few months. I will be working hard to ensure that these changes benefit not only Ubuntu users, but the entire desktop ecosystem as a whole. During this time, I was also hired by Canonical Ltd. to make this bright new future for compiz a reality.
It is with my great pleasure, that I say today that compiz is now back and kicking and will be taking the desktop experience of the entire linux ecosystem – nay – the world, to the next level.