One of the my favorite linux programs is Compiz Fusion. Its driving a lot of people to look at linux, and its a great program. Actually, if you want to talk to me in person, I’m usually hanging out on #compiz-fusion on freenode to try to help people to get it running. At this point, I’m just getting into coding for the project, and I’ve decided to have my first forray into the project be in the window-closing animations. I’ve already come up with one animation, where the window blows away like a pile of sand blowing in the wind. I call it “Windswept” and its mostly just a modification of Fire/Burn. Actually, I hope to just get a slider on the “Fire/Burn” options that can adjust the amount of horizontal movement (i.e. “Wind”) that the Fire effect uses. If you want to see it, you can look here http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZrBEvHknxco . The more advanced effect I’m working on right now I call “Shatter”. Basically, I’m designing it to look like the window shatters and falls apart like a window struck by a rock. Other ideas I’ve had is to implement what I dubbed “Katana” where an invisible sword slices the window into ribbons, and it falls apart and disappears. There’s tons of ideas out there for these things, and if you have a neat one you’d like me to try my hand at implementing, feel free to leave it in the comments.
Be sure to check out Compiz Fusion if you haven’t already. There’s tons of youtube videos about it, that are all amazing. A good, all-encompassing one is http://youtube.com/watch?v=_ImW0-MgR8I. Compiz Fusion is years ahead of the rudimentary Windows Vista ‘3d’ interface and a great deal ahead of even Apple’s 3d interfaces. The software is built to use as little of the processor time as possible and does an excellent job of it, typically running with extremely low memory and processor usage, even in intense effects. The biggest problem with the software is that you have to have a 3d accelerated graphics card drivers, which can be a bit of pain to set up. When I first set up Compiz over a year or two ago, installing the drivers was an excercise in masochism, but now there are plenty of friendly people and guides on the internet that will help you along. Furthermore, linux graphics drivers are getting a lot better these days, and even aTi, once the bane of linux 3d desktops, has released technical documents so we can hack on the kernel and get aTi supported.
Linux has always had brains, and Compiz Fusion making leaps and bounds towards making Linux beautiful too.