Metisse

Metisse [1] is an X-based window system designed with two goals in mind. First, it should make it easy for HCI researchers to design and implement innovative window management techniques Second, it should conform to existing standards and be robust and efficient enough to be used on a daily basis, making it a suitable platform for the evaluation of the proposed techniques.

Metisse is not focused on a particular kind of interaction (e.g. 3D) and should not be seen as a new desktop proposal. It is rather a tool for creating new types of desktop environments.

Metisse was used, for example, to implement the User Interface Façades system [2], a system that allows to adapt, reconfigure, and re-combine existing graphical interfaces through direct manipulation techniques. It has also been used to facilitate copy and move operations [3, 4]. It was used by Mekensleep to integrate GTK+ interfaces into the OpenGL-based Pok3D game. Distributed as a "Live CD" by Mandriva in early 2007, Metisse is now available as one of the standard desktop configurations in the Mandriva Linux distribution.

These videos and screenshots will give you a better idea of what the system can do.

Latest news

2010-10-01: UIMarks: Quick Graphical Interaction with Specific Targets [5] will be presented at the ACM UIST 2010 conference. An implementation of this system is available with the current Metisse cvs. See this video and this page.

2009-09-01: Nicolas Roussel left Paris-Sud University (and the INSITU team) for INRIA Lille. Rémi Cardona also left INSITU. As a consequence, Metisse development might slow down for a while... Contact Olivier or Nicolas if you want to help.

2009-03-16: Power tools for copying and moving: useful stuff for your desktop [4] will be presented at the ACM CHI 2009 conference. More examples of what you can do with the Metisse system!

2008-12-09: Metisse 0.4.1 was released. You can grab the latest sources in the download directory. This release includes important security patches from Mandriva.

Old news are archived for historical purpose...

Contact, availability

Metisse was created by Nicolas Roussel and Olivier Chapuis, two members of the INSITU team (LRI - Univ. Paris-Sud & CNRS, INRIA). It runs on Linux and Apple OS X and is freely available under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

This document will tell you how to get the source code and compile it. This one will tell you how to run the Metisse server and compositor. This one will tell you how to use the compositor (e.g. how to make a screenshot) and configure it.

Questions, comments and suggestions should be sent to the mailing-list.

References

[1] O. Chapuis and N. Roussel. Metisse is not a 3D desktop! In Proceedings of UIST'05, the 18th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pages 13-22, October 2005. ACM. [ACM] [Google] [2] W. Stuerzlinger, O. Chapuis, D. Phillips and N. Roussel. User Interface Façades: Towards Fully Adaptable User Interfaces. In Proceedings of UIST'06, the 19th ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pages 309-318, October 2006. ACM. [ACM] [Google] [3] O. Chapuis and N. Roussel. Copy-and-Paste Between Overlapping Windows. In Proceedings of ACM CHI 2007 Conference on Human Factors and Computing Systems, pages 201–210, April 2007. ACM. [ACM] [Google] [4] G. Faure, O. Chapuis and N. Roussel. Power tools for copying and moving: useful stuff for your desktop. In CHI '09: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, pages 1675–1678, April 2009. ACM. [ACM] [Google] [5] O. Chapuis and N. Roussel. UIMarks: Quick Graphical Interaction with Specific Targets. In UIST '10: Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pages 1675–1678, April 2009. ACM. [ACM] [Google]

See this document for a complete list of Metisse-related papers.

Acknowledgements

This work has been partially supported by the French ACI Masses de données (Micromégas project, 2003-2006).