It's time to jettison CCSM

Andrew Starr-Bochicchio a.starr.b at
Fri Jan 27 02:16:30 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 8:04 PM, 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.

Just what would that look like? As someone who hasn't run into these
issues, it's hard to tell from this thread what would be enough for
people to consider CCSM "fixed." A lot of the opposition to CCSM seems
to be based on the nature of the tool itself rather than any specific
bugs (though judging from Launchpad it certainly has its share of
those). Are there specific plugins or options that are considered
harmful or especially problematic? Are these found in the core plugins
that are installed by default? Perhaps they should be broken out into
one of the universe plugin-extras packages? Or are they in one of the
universe packages already? Maybe we could better split the plugin

Going back to Jorge's original complaints, is there anything that's actionable?

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM, Jorge O. Castro <jorge at> wrote:
> - It's possible to accidentally uncheck the Unity plugin, breaking the
> user's desktop.

Does Unity need to be special cased? If CCSM is being run from a unity
session, maybe you should not be able to uncheck it.

> - 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.

Again, this is simply the nature of the tool, for better or worse.

> - 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.

As mentioned elsewhere on this thread, in all likelihood removing CCSM
will not fix this problem as there are still going to be those who
install it from a PPA. Though if removed, these bugs could then be
closed with more impunity.

> - 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.

Is this true? I just tested this by exporting my compiz settings using
CCSM and running a "unity --reset" All my custom settings seem to have
been cleared. Using CCSM, I was then easily able to re-import my
backed up settings and restore them all. The unity python wrapper
seems to try and wipe all your compiz settings if --reset is used. It

subprocess.Popen(["gconftool-2", "--recursive-unset", "/apps/compiz-1"])

Is there a bug in unity's --reset option where this doesn't work in
some cases?  Should the option to reset all options to their default
be made more prominent in CCSM?

> - Alex Chiang has documented some of the issues he's run into here:

Of the three other specific user issues he points to: one it is very
unclear what caused the user's problem, there is no mention of messing
around in CCSM only "re-installing unity." One specifically seems to
be cause by changing settings in CCSM. One actually is "answered" by
having the user install CCSM to fix their problem, so I don't see how
CCSM could have caused it in the first place.

> - 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.

I'll take his word on this.

I'd love to hear some more specific issues.

-- Andrew Starr-Bochicchio

   Ubuntu Developer <>
   Debian Maintainer

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