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Ubuntu® Linux® Bible: Featuring Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Third Edition by William von Hagen

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Chapter 6. Using the Compiz Window Manager

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • What is compositing?

  • Compiz history

  • Enabling special effects

  • Dock software for Compiz

Among the most exciting recent developments in Linux graphics has been the advent of better-performing, open source graphics subsystems for the accelerated two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) graphics now provided by most modern graphics cards. Traditionally, only the specific X Window System graphics drivers that were delivered with more powerful video cards enabled users to take advantage of the high-end capabilities of these cards, and many graphics vendors didn't provide Linux drivers. Even when they did, the drivers themselves were typically precompiled and proprietary, and their source code was not freely available.

Today, however, life is better for users of more powerful graphics hardware under Linux. The use and popularization of standards such as OpenGL make it possible for open source systems to benefit from the capabilities of modern graphics cards, even with proprietary drivers. OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a standard that defines a cross-language, cross-platform API for writing graphical applications, providing hundreds of function calls in a standard API that can be used to draw complex 2D and 3D graphics. With the introduction of drivers that adhere to this standard, even proprietary video drivers that are available only in a binary format can be accessed and used from open source graphics applications and servers. ...

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