A Tour Around Beryl

This demonstrates just a few of the many features of Beryl and its plugins. You can go to the Beryl Wiki (>) Plugins Page for more features.

If you are running Linux now, you can get beryl at http://beryl-project.org .

REMEMBER when you are reading this that BERYL IS A COMPLETELY FREE PROGRAM, and so, even if some features are already around in more famous commercial OSes, Beryl is ahead in that it combines these features and adds more, and it is better in that it doesn't cost anything.

The Desktop Cube. With the default Beryl configuration, the desktop consists of sides of a virtual 'cube'. Normally, it is displayed as a flat, normal desktop, but it can be rotated and switched using the keyboard and mouse.

Windows that are dragged to the edge of the flat desktop switch to the face in that direction, and the cube rotates as well while you drag the window.

The Desktop Plane: Another option is the Desktop Plane, which does exactly what Spaces on Mac OS X 10.5 (developer beta) does. The screenshot above shows the Expo view, which zooms out of the current desktop and lets you see all your desktops. As in Mac OS X Leopard, windows are draggable when in this view, and they can be changed to another desktop by moving them there.

You can drag windows up, down, or to the sides in this mode, and beryl will switch the window to the corresponding desktop.

Zoom Windows: This option shrinks all the windows on the desktop and lets you see all of them, just like Mac OS X's expose feature. However, due to Beryl's excellent engine, it is possible to configure the windows to 'bounce' a little bit and feel 'springy'. The shrunk windows are also completely live, i.e. if you were using YouTube and playing a movie, you would be able to still watch the movie when in this mode (and any other Beryl mode, for that matter). The framerate is also much higher than in standard OS X effects.

Opacity: This effect makes windows fade out slightly so that you can see windows under them. It is activated when you mouse over the window you want to see better. In this shot my mouse is hovering over the brown terminal window.

Negative: This is useful if you want to be able to read things in a darker room without hurting your eyes. It either makes one window negative, or the entire screen negative, depending on the key command. An interesting thing to note is it will still play movies (in negative!) if you go to youtube or play a dvd or anything.

Window Previews: This allows you to see what your window looks like, even if you are looking at a different desktop than the one the window is on. It plays movies through the preview, as well.

Water Effect: This makes your windows appear to be floating on a layer of water. Whenever they are moved, a wave appears around them. Another useful feature: pressing control and the windows key together will make a wave around your cursor, making it easier to find (windows has an ugly version of this feature).

Wobbly Windows: This is probably the most famous feature of Beryl (and/or compiz). When you move a window around the screen, it seems to be made out of jelly or rubber. It makes using the computer a more fun experience, and helps with the illusion that you are working with real objects on the screen rather than just pixels. I'm sure this feature is absolutely fabulous with a touchscreen computer.

1 comment:

Ezra said...

cool straight forward tour. thanks for stealing my idea of doing screenshots.