It's time to jettison CCSM

Chris Coulson chrisccoulson at
Thu Jan 26 20:19:29 UTC 2012

On 26/01/12 18:24, Micah Gersten wrote:
> On 01/26/2012 11:55 AM, Jorge O. Castro wrote:
>> On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM, Micah Gersten<micahg at>  wrote:
>>> Because novices are using a power user tool does not mean we should
>>> remove a power user tool.  I think attention just needs to be called to
>>> the problems that can be caused and what better tools exist for novice
>>> users. Places like and the Ubuntu forums would be good
>>> places to evangelize this as well as omgbuntu and maybe webupd8.
>> We have a power user tool, MyUnity. If it doesn't do exactly what
>> people want then people will file bugs and then people will either
>> write the config option or not.
>> Then we'll have a power user tool that will work. And we do try to
>> warn people about the dangers of CCSM, but this is one of those cases
>> where we need to say "Sorry, you can't switch to the cube" instead of
>> "well you can switch to the cube, but if you fail the saving throw
>> your desktop turns into a wallpaper with no panels, no launcher, and
>> no file manager and removing these dot directories, but hey, linux is
>> about choice!"
> You're missing a key point here that Compiz and CCSM are not Unity.  If
> you want to make it so CCSM doesn't work with Unity, that's fine, but
> don't hijack the Compiz configuration for non-Unity users.
> Micah


Personally, I'm in favour of removing this. I was surprised at the 
number of people I met in Orlando who had hosed their Unity session 
after running CCSM. If developers attending UDS are doing this and 
finding it difficult to recover from, then I'd hate to think what sort 
of experience ordinary users are having with it, and what this is doing 
for our reputation.

As others have pointed out, there are some useful settings that would be 
good to have in other configuration panels. The zoom settings being a 
perfect example - in fact, I can't believe we are asking visually 
impaired users to use CCSM to enable functionality like this. Aside from 
the fact that this tool is dangerous, the UI is terrible.

Gconf-editor exists for people who really want to mess around with 
advanced settings in compiz. CCSM is pretty much just a dump of 
everything you can tweak in gconf already (but with some icons and 
sliders), which means that it isn't really any better from a UI 
perspective. However, it's more difficult to hose your compiz 
configuration in gconf-editor (enabling/disabling plugins requires you 
to edit a list rather than clicking a checkbox, and there is no obvious 
way to do silly things like changing the configuration backend).

AFAICT, we don't provide UI's that expose every hidden preference for 
any other piece of software (we expect that people will use 
gconf-editor/dconf-editor or whatever for tweaking advanced settings), 
so I don't see why compiz should be all that different really.

And I don't think power users will really miss something like CCSM. 
Power users will just use the same tools that they have always used to 
tweak advanced settings in other applications. CCSM isn't a power user 
tool, but a loaded gun packaged in to a graphical UI that gives novice 
users a false sense of security.


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