Heard of the Jade desktop environment? I’ll admit that, until this week, I hadn’t — but I like what I see!

The Jade desktop (the ‘Jade’ standing for ‘Just Another Desktop Environment’) is a Linux desktop shell based (primarily) on web technologies (eek!).

Currently the shell is only readily available on Manjaro Linux. But since its built using a mix of Webkit2, GTK, HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Python, it is (theoretically at least) easily transferable to other Linux distros, including Ubuntu.

A screenshot of the Jade desktop environment for Linux

The Jade desktop shell is far from being a finished product. Indeed, its sole developer, Vitor Lopes, prefers to pitch it as a “fully functional prototype […] subject to changes [at] anytime”.

Protoype or not, Jade desktop explores some interesting workflow dynamics that are (somewhat) hard to describe.

You’ll get a better feel for how the Jade desktop environment works if you watch this video demo:

An interesting, novel approach isn’t it?

Admittedly the task-orientated workflow demoed above won’t suit everyone’s tastes — but that’s precisely why it’s cool! I love how easy open source makes it for folks to explore and experiment with daring desktop differentiations like this.

Not that this effort is itching to become the Next Major Linux Desktop Environment™.

The developer behind JADE says he built it just to “learn Python …and keep my coding skills sharp.” Somewhat satisfied with his effort, he chose to adapt it for desktop use make it freely available for others to use, hack on, or ignore as their leisure.

If you’re keep to play more (but don’t fancy building it from source) you can grab an ISO of the alpha-quality “Manjaro WebDad” spin (which also features other web-centric technologies).

If you like the look of this DE alternative you must check out the tiling Material GNOME Shell extension. It’s equally rough around the edges, but is doing some interesting things.

Thanks Daniel

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