When GNOME 3 was announced, a redesign of the desktop was proposed. It was decided that the traditional panel based desktop will be replaced by a new user interface called the GNOME Shell.
GNOME Shell is a whole new take on the concept of the desktop and Compiz, one of the most amazing Windows managers (at least in terms of eye candy), had no place in GNOME Shell. KDE SC too already have their own windows manager, KWin, to provide most of the bling that Compiz provided. It seemed that Compiz was doomed to become “a project without a cause”.
Well, Mark Shuttleworth made an announcement which ensures that Compiz will live on. In the Ubuntu Developer Summit – Natty, while announcing that Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop will come with the Unity interface, he also announced that Unity in Ubuntu 11.04 will use Compiz.
Currently, Unity is available in Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10. It is based on Mutter, the same technology which GNOME Shell uses. Unity in UNE 10.10 is heavily criticized for a lot of things – from being too confusing to being slow. According to Canonical, Unity’s slowness is because of Mutter and Mutter is not capable of providing a good enough performance. So, for the next release they will replace mutter with Compiz.
It is good to know that Compiz finally has a proper backing. Although, I have never been a fan of Compiz, it is one of those things which attracts a lot of people to Linux.