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Bodhi Guide - Compositing

[click on any image to enlarge]

Compositing is a feature which adds extra “eye-candy" for your desktop. This article will explain what Compositing is and does, and describe the method of utilizing it in E17.

What is Compositing?

It may be useful to start with the definition of the root word “composite" from The Free Dictionary online:

Made up of distinct components; compound.

This applies to a window manager in the sense that disparate visual elements can be combined to create a variety of visual effects. These include (but are not limited to): transparency, 3D effects, bending, scaling, and rotation.

There is a thorough article of the history and implementation of Compositing on Wikipedia for readers who are interested.

Compositing - Transparency Part 1

There is an E17 Module for Compositing that is installed by default in Bodhi Linux. It is named, strangely, Composite.
The only two Profiles that it is loaded in by default are the Compositing Profile and Fancy Profile, though it can be added to any. Simply go to Main Menu>Settings>Modules. There, you will find it under the Look tab.

This Compositing does two primary things. The first is to allow transparent/opaque window effects. In general this will be applied to inactive/non-focused windows. In the screenshot, you can see that Midori is not the focused window and, as such, the desktop is partially visible.

(Transparent Desktop image)

Compositing - Transparency Part 2

Some applications (ex. Terminology, the default Bodhi terminal emulator) support transparency while active/focused. The same screenshot shows Terminology running and focused, yet you are still able to see the Midori window behind it and the desktop behind that! The “depth" of the transparency in such an application will be set in that application's preferences (location of which will vary by application) and not in some general Compositing setting.

Be aware that in some Themes, a Composite setting will need to be switched to active transparency. Go to Main Menu>Settings>All>Look> Composite. In the lower part of the window, with the Default tab activated, switch to the "Still" setting, and click Apply.

Compositing - Bouncy

The other effect, which can't be captured in a screenshot, is causing windows to “bounce" when switching. Since it cannot be captured via screenshot, here is a desktop recording for your viewing pleasure!

If your browser does not support html5 video then, in essence, this effect gives a nice visual cue of which window is focussed when multiple windows are open.

Getting Rid of "Bouncy" Windows

Many users like the general effects of Compositing. At the same time, they end up disliking the “bouncy" effect that occurs when switching windows.

To disable this effect, go to Main Menu>Settings>All>Look>Compositing. Click on Advanced. In the lower part of the window, select anything other than default, click Apply, and you will no longer have “bouncy" windows.