Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.
Some idle time today yielded a weird mashup of the Openbox transparency tweaks and the Gnomified Ubuntu Openbox desktop I made a week or two ago.
xcompmgr does a decent job with that, and the effect is something Beryllesque, with the default Ubuntu environment, but without the hardware requirements.
Tooltips fade in and out, as do panel menus, although you can see that fbpanel’s transparency settings don’t hold through to submenus.
On the whole, panel transparency is … unique, with items in the taskbar and some features not exactly transparent as I’d like. Perhaps PerlPanel or another panel app would behave better; it’s not so important that I need to find out.
Yes, I admit that this lags at 300Mhz: I won’t deny it. Moving transparent windows around the desktop is very sluggish. Startup delays are a bit frustrating, especially for Iceweasel (Firefox). And it takes a second for transset-df to take effect, or to shift to a busy workspace. Redraw rates are okay, but there’s a huge lag while all those windows are recalculated, recomposited and arranged.
But I blame a lot of that on the video card. If you have a proper video card and not the thumbsucker I’m working with, you could probably walk away with some rather nice, low-fat eye candy. I’m thinking anything in the Voodoo3 range, or even an early ATI or Nvidia would have fun with this.
In any case, if I can do it with a Neomagic MagicGraph 256AV, you can probably do it with your machine. Unless it’s a CGA card.
If I get a chance next week, I’ll add the 3ddesktop package and see if the entire shebang will work for me in Arch.