Baffling Beryl – Useless eye candy

I have been using Compiz with AIGLX for a while and thought I would checkout the Beryl project, which is a fork of compiz. So I added the Beryl repository to my sources list and installed all the associated Beryl software.

After I launched Beryl, I got a nice theme for my window manager. Though it looked good, I preferred the simple and cute title bar that came with original compiz. I fired the “Beryl Settings Manager” to see where I can change these settings. Voila! I was greeted with an application that had more options than anything I have ever seen before! Here is the sample:

Beryl settings manager
You are only seeing a part of all the options available. Note the scrollbars – there are plenty of other settings for each plugin! Needless to say, most newbies will have no clue understanding what all these options mean.

Now I feel that it is good that the compiz project actually forked! I am sure an organization like Novell will not include anything like this into a mainstream desktop they sell to enterprises. While I can understand the enthusiasm of Beryl developers, it is sad to see that this project is now going in a direction where the software is heavily overdone and will not be of any use to anyone. At this point of time, most of the plugins are mere eye-candy and many a times more of an annoyance than anything useful. The default settings are ridiculous with those animated menus wobbling like hell.

Eye candy in conjunction with usability is what will click with the end user. Good example are Mac OS X and to an extent Vista. (I personally feel that Vista could have also done without some of those silly effects).

I promptly uninstalled Beryl and went back to vanilla compiz. Sorry developers.
(I later found out that the settings for Window Manager are changed through “Emerald Theme Manager”, which is another nicely overdone tool.)


3 thoughts on “Baffling Beryl – Useless eye candy

  1. Needless to say, most newbies will have no clue understanding what all these options mean.

    Clicking the blue “i” next to each option will tell you exactly what the option does.

  2. In the svn version the options are nicely categorized with e.g. one “Accesibility” section. Now there’s nothing left to complain about 😀

  3. When I used the original compiz, I thought it was great. Just enough eye candy. Beryl went too far i think, it has so many unessecary effects, its just annoying and some of them have an anti-eye-candy ugliness to them.

    I agree with you about osx/vista how they don’t go overboard which is why they retain good usabillity.

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