Metisse  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 , 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.
2010-10-01: UIMarks: Quick Graphical Interaction with Specific Targets  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  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...
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.
See this document for a complete list of Metisse-related papers.
This work has been partially supported by the French ACI Masses de données (Micromégas project, 2003-2006).