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xrdesktop for turning your desktop into a VR space had a productive Summer

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Collabora has given an update on the working going into xrdesktop, the free and open source project that turns your desktop into a VR space and allows you to layer windows on top of others.

It's an incredibly promising project and work on it has continued recently, They even had people getting involved through the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) which produced some fun results.

The major one is a new Virtual Reality Keyboard. Since the OpenXR doesn't expose an API for text input, they had to roll their own system. Student developer Remco implemented this with support for emojis and 56 languages, which required work to add Unicode support to LibInputSynth too. With the way it was implemented it's possible to change the entire keyboard layout too.

Other work included adding loading and rendering of GLTF models which they say "enables xrdesktop to use assets like VR controller models and 3D environments.".

All sounds good and a new tagged release of xrdesktop is due soon.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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7 comments

slaapliedje Sep 13, 2021
I wrote a little how to on getting it to work under Debian Sid a while ago. Pretty awesome!
jrt Sep 13, 2021
So tldr is that a Valve co-sponsored VR project has a better keyboard than SteamVR?
Liam Dawe Sep 13, 2021
Quoting: jrtSo tldr is that a Valve co-sponsored VR project has a better keyboard than SteamVR?
This isn't actually about SteamVR. xrdesktop is its own thing but you can use it to layer windows from your desktop on top of a SteamVR game, as an example. So for a livestreamer, they could use it to show Twitch chat and use the new keyboard implementation to interact with that layered window without touching a normal keyboard.
Corben Sep 13, 2021
Nice! I'm using xrdesktop pretty regularly to have certain desktop windows in VR, especially during streams a chat window is must have. Some games use mods to get a chat window shown (Synth Riders, Beat Saber), but xrdesktop makes it so you can use it everywhere.

I hope this will be integrated into SteamVR at some point, as there is already the feature on Windows, that you can have any desktop window shown in VR without 3rd party software. This feature is currently missing on Linux.

https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/250820/view/3011193195372911333
jrt Sep 13, 2021
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: jrtSo tldr is that a Valve co-sponsored VR project has a better keyboard than SteamVR?
This isn't actually about SteamVR. xrdesktop is its own thing but you can use it to layer windows from your desktop on top of a SteamVR game, as an example. So for a livestreamer, they could use it to show Twitch chat and use the new keyboard implementation to interact with that layered window without touching a normal keyboard.

I know. But the SteamVR keyboard is so unreliable that it's likely it has a far better user experience.
cybik Sep 13, 2021
My dumb arse had https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/xrdesktop/kwin-effect-xrdesktop installed but the kwin plugin list had it filtered out.

Word of warning: CHECK YOUR FILTERS IN THE KDE CONFIG.
slaapliedje Sep 13, 2021
Quoting: CorbenNice! I'm using xrdesktop pretty regularly to have certain desktop windows in VR, especially during streams a chat window is must have. Some games use mods to get a chat window shown (Synth Riders, Beat Saber), but xrdesktop makes it so you can use it everywhere.

I hope this will be integrated into SteamVR at some point, as there is already the feature on Windows, that you can have any desktop window shown in VR without 3rd party software. This feature is currently missing on Linux.

https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/250820/view/3011193195372911333
And here I was just using it like Minority Report
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