I’m a big proponent in open source software for a few reasons, the best of which is the ability of anyone to work on anything and have anyone else help them if they wish. This really opens up the world to groundbreaking new ideas.
One of the biggest things, in my opinion, in ground breaking new ideas is Compiz-Fusion, the open source OpenGL accelerated desktop environment for Linux. I’ve talked about it in the past, but not really extensively. What Compiz Fusion does is turn over the rendering of your desktop from your CPU to your GPU allowing for some really awesome effects (AKA Eyecandy) without adding any additional overhead to the actual computing power of your computer. For instance, I can do just about anything, and a whole lot more, than Windows Vista’s Aero interface or Mac’s OS-X interface can on a machine that is generally considered sub-par by todays computer standards – a 2 GHZ Athlon, 500 Megs of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce 6200 with 256 megs of memory on a 4x AGP port. This is top of the line 2003 hardware here, but in case you hadn’t noticed, this is 2008, 5 years later than my technology.
Now some developers have taken Compiz-Fusion to an all new level. The current 3d desktop is really just a rendered 2d desktop with some effects to make it look pretty. SmSpillaz and others have really made the Compiz-Fusion interface into 3 Dimensions! Take a look at the following video if you don’t believe me: