It's time to jettison CCSM

Chow Loong Jin hyperair at
Thu Jan 26 21:47:51 UTC 2012

On 27/01/2012 04:19, Chris Coulson wrote:
> 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
> Hi,
> 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.

Then patch it to add a warning notice on startup, or something.

> 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.

Really? I think it's a step up from gconf-editor, personally. It's also my
primary means of configuring my Compiz installation.

> 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.

Because Compiz has a really hard-to-get-right plugin ordering that CCSM handles

And detection for keybinding conflicts.

And if that's not enough, try setting window matching rules for say, the
animation plugin in gconf without the help of CCSM.

> 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.

I definitely will miss it, and I'm sure I won't be the only one. If CCSM was
removed from Ubuntu, it'll most probably make it into a PPA. Then the situation
won't change much, apart from more bad blood between Ubuntu and the said power
users, and maybe a less well-maintained CCSM package.

Kind regards,
Loong Jin

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