recently i’ve revisited freedesktop.org. it’s amazing how fast this community-driven project is making progress! particularly the x server, a better replacement for xfree86’s x server. just take a look at these nice screenshots on keith packard’s page! this x server offers many new features we all have been waiting for, among them hw-accelerated, true transparency, shadows and shades (keith’s explanation of the implementation).
freedesktop.org also hosts a pile of other desktop-related projects. very promising: cairo, a “vector graphics library with cross-device output support”. this will enable quartz-/quartz extreme-like, hardware-accelerated, device-independent pdf display/output, but even with greater flexibility (it also supports postscript display/output) :)
go freedesktop, go! :)