It's time to jettison CCSM

Oli Warner oli at
Fri Jan 27 01:40:50 UTC 2012

On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM, Marc Deslauriers
<marc.deslauriers at> wrote:
>> Of course, the correct way to solve this issue is far more complicated
>> than just removing a package from the archive, it require solving
>> bugs, bringing new code in Unity while avoiding unwanted side effects
>> on compiz and basically requires more manpower.
> If someone would step up and fix CCSM so a novice user can't mess up
> their desktop with two mouse clicks, we wouldn't be having this
> discussion.

By that logic we should probably remove:


They're all installed by default. CCSM isn't and you can do a lot more
damage with any of those than CCSM alone.

CCSM is very obviously a power tool. Power tools very obviously allow
you to screw things up. It's how we deal with those breakages that
defines how usable Ubuntu is.

But stepping back we have two options. a) yours and b) mine.

a) We hide all the tools. Make nothing except silly icon sizes
editable. Remove all the other session types.  Stop the user writing
to the filesystem. I'm getting progressively sillier but that's how I
see this suggestion. The place of a maintainer of an operating
system is not to tell users what they *can* do, it's to facilitate
what *they* want to do.

b) We fix things so that even if the user (or CCSM) breaks things,
they can get back to sanity.

I personally think option b sets a better precedent for the future of Ubuntu.
And I have some suggestions.

The major problem is that it only takes a gnat's fart for Unity to
fall over and not get back up. Make it more robust:

 - When you log in under a Unity session, check to see that compiz has
sane settings (that include Unity) and if they don't, fix them

 - You're 10 seconds into the session, is compiz even running? If the
settings get so borked up that compiz can't start, detect this, purge
dodgy settings and try loading compiz again.

 - If something (ie CCSM) nukes compiz at runtime, recover using the
same log-in logic.

CCSM's problems:

 - Remove the checkbox next to the Unity plugin. People are clicking
it by accident, so rather than nuke the tool, just make it more

 - If CCSM is killing compiz the new compiz-monitoring logic should
swoop in and clean up after it.

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