Default Desktop Experience for 11.04

Kees Cook kees at
Sat Apr 9 02:09:24 UTC 2011

Hi Rick,

On Thu, Apr 07, 2011 at 06:38:27PM -0700, Rick Spencer wrote:
> Back at UDS for 11.04 in Orlando, Mark set the goal of using Unity by
> default on the Ubutu desktop. Given the current course of development,
> it appears that we are going to achieve this goal, and Unity will stay
> the default for 11.04.

Before anything else, I want to say that everyone working on Unity has
been rocking, and their efforts are to be applauded. I hope they will
forgive me for the rest of this email. :P

I was specifically asked to re-try Unity for today. I want to say up
front that I don't really see myself as Unity's target audience, and I have
had long-term problems with compiz's usability vs how I want to work.
Regardless, this is my report. :)

I had to finish my Patch Pilot shift first, but then spent the afternoon
with Unity (and more frustratingly, compiz). Compared to earlier in the
devel cycle, things are greatly improved from my perspective. But then I
was fighting Intel driver regressions and plenty of other problems beyond
just unity and compiz. At the time, compiz crashed every 5 minutes,
and I couldn't go more than 30 minutes of this without just giving up
so I could actually get work done.

This afternoon, compiz only crashed twice, and I was able to use Unity
for a few hours (most of the time spent filing bugs, see below). I
am still using Unity at the moment, but bug 755156 has gotten so bad,
I may have to go back to metacity soon.

I still find it alarming that compiz crashes at all. I do not remember
metacity crashing on me in several years, for example.

I've previously opened a lot of bugs against compiz (most still open),
so I was nervous to really dive into this and document my last few
hours. Here are my notes, along with my crashes...

- window resizing does not include window size information (especially
  critical for terminal geometry sizes)
  - workaround: ccsm / Utility / Resize Info (enable)
    - clicking this option crashed compiz (filed as LP: #755167)
    - apport did not pop up
      - is the notifier applet missing?
      - if so, how will people get security updates?
    - cannot reproduce crash

- "unity --reset" does not reset themes (had to select Ambience manually to
  have a sane-looking indicator area).

- cannot pick minimized applications out of launcher without 2 clicks in
  very separate screen locations
  - old interface: window switcher click for list, move slightly to desired
    window title, click again, done.
  - no visibility of window titles at all, actually

- right-click on launcher produces popup that could not be interacted with
  - problem went away for no reason
  - cannot reproduce
  - did not file bug

- right-click on launcher disables auto-hide. clicking other places outside
  the launcher does not close the pop-up.
  - problem went away for no reason
  - cannot reproduce
  - did not file bug

- crashed when clicking launcher for Terminator while Terminators were running
  - all windows relocated the width of the top panel lower on unity restart
  - apport still did not pop up
  - filed mine as LP: #755146
    - 7 other identical crashes
  - cannot reproduce crash

- focus-follows mouse setting has no effect on launcher autohide speed
  - did not file bug

- launcher autohides after raising a window even if mouse is still on it
  - did not file bug

- desktop items are shifted right by the width of the launcher and cannot
  be moved back into position (dragging them causes the launcher to appear!)
  - didn't file, suspect this is by design

- alt-tab is a disaster of sluggish responsiveness and frustrating timing
  (my long-standing objection to the compiz task switcher...)
  - best approximation of the snappy and responsive metacity-like alt-tabbing:
    - static application switcher
            popup window delay = 0
            speed = 50
            timestep = 0.1
            opacity = 100
            highlight mode = show rectangle
  - cannot find a way to get rid of the center window "preview" animations :(

- focus-follows mouse happens after an alt-tab, defocusing selected window,
  even when not using mouse, but only some times, making me crazy
  - filed as LP: #755156 with video of behavior

- windows disappear while dragging at/in the top panel, firefox stops rendering
  and performs freaky window clipping
  - reported as LP: #755152 with video of behavior

- interacting with some fullscreen apps (xine) triggers inconsistent
  launcher unhiding
  - reported as LP: #755160 with video of behavior

Marc Deslauriers is trying to convince me that focus-follows-mouse is evil,
but since I'm neither using a touch-screen nor a touch-pad, I can't agree.
Until I see something as convincing as this[1], I'll keep using it. :)




Kees Cook
Ubuntu Security Team

More information about the ubuntu-desktop mailing list