It's time to jettison CCSM

Cody A.W. Somerville cody-somerville at
Fri Jan 27 00:27:46 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM, Jorge O. Castro <jorge at> wrote:

> With tools like MyUnity now in universe, and didrocks putting basic
> configuration in the control panel I'd like to propose the removal of
> compizconfig-settingsmanager.
> I don't mean "stop telling people to use it" or "add a warning", I
> mean total removal from the archive until the tool is either better
> tested or doesn't break people's configuration. Here are some of the
> problems with the tool.
> - It's possible to accidentally uncheck the Unity plugin, breaking the
> user's desktop.
> - It has a load of checkboxes for plugins that we don't support,
> allowing infinite combinations of untested options, which result in
> either a broken desktop or a misconfigured one.
> - People report these bugs, and instead of fixing real bugs we have to
> deal with corner case bugs for things we never plan on supporting.
> - Since it's settings are separate from Unity a "unity --reset"
> doesn't fix it, you have to blow away .compiz or some other dotfile
> directories to get a desktop back.
> - Alex Chiang has documented some of the issues he's run into here:
> - I'm sure at UDS you've seen didrocks show you one of the ways it
> breaks even when using parts of it that shouldn't break.
> MyUnity is a better user-facing tool anyway for those that want to
> play, it would be a shame to have the ccsm tool ship in an LTS. If
> anyone cares about it they can plop it in a PPA.

I oppose this suggestion; a more holistic approach is required.

1. How does a user getting it from the Ubuntu archive vs. a PPA solve the
problems you list? In both cases, it is a conscientious decision to install
and use the software.
2. There is a mechanism in the debian package format to indicate packages
that do not play well together. Additionally, the package description can
be updated to more accurately reflect the advanced and powerful nature of
the tool.
3. There are many pieces of software in the archive. Some of them perform
similar functions. Some are easier to use than others. Some can cause
problems if used or configured incorrectly. This alone is not sufficient
justification to remove packages from the archive.
4. CCSM is presumably also useful in environments other than Unity.
5. We ship lots of software of questionable and variable levels of quality
in the Ubuntu archive.

I would, however, be persuaded to change my mind if you were able to
successfully argue for it's removal from Debian.


Cody A.W. Somerville
Release Engineer
Mainstream Systems Team
Custom Engineering Solutions Group
Canonical OEM Services
Phone: +1 781 850 2087
Cell: +1 613 401 5141
Fax: +1 613 687 7368
Email: cody.somerville at
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