Fwd: Is disabling ctrl-alt-backspace really such a good idea? - no.

Peteris Krisjanis pecisk at gmail.com
Fri Feb 13 11:54:28 UTC 2009

Disclaimer: I am not developer, just active bug reporter and Ubuntu
tester and advocate :) And I agree with one of previous posters that
this is one of rare places where you actually can speak with Ubuntu
devs about things you like/don't like/would like to see implemented
(another is #ubuntu-devel on freenode). Some devs can't take the heat
- I don't blame them, as they are simple mortals, breathing human
beings like us - and yes, some of them drop out of here. But that's
the curse of any open community.

List should stay open and non-devs should be allowed to post in it.
However, what I think we need is to repeatedly point to netiquete and
ask people to be polite to each other.

About the topic - lot of arguments for and against have been said
about C-A-B, so I won't recite them here. Probably some middle ground
- double C-A-B instead of single press or something like that - should
be achieved. Real life anedocte happened to me yesterday, when freshly
apt-get update borked my Jaunty desktop and I automatically reached
for C-A-B. Of course I was confused :). But I am still not sure that
leaving C-A-B is best idea. It will be up to Ubuntu release people to

What is more interesting for me that C-A-B dilemma actually shows what
is huge Ubuntu/free desktop problem and what I think will be next
target for us for next 5 - 6 years. That is *consistency*.

By theory, C-A-B should be disabled and no one should ever miss it.
However, it is not that easy. As some previous poster argued for
leaving C-A-B, lot of Nvidia cards with binary drivers just breaks
virtual consoles. And we know that Nvidia binary drivers are mostly
crashers when we are talking about video. And sure there are even more
exotic drivers who blocks virtual consoles entirely, if I remember

Have been video drivers not so sucky, or even more - not closed
source, everyone would be happy. However, if each of them have
different attitude to supporting VC...that's the problem.

Second problem is that by theory, if you want, you can turn it on in
config file. However, in pratice you NEVER know when you will need it.
You need it usually suddenly and then it is too late for that.

For opposite side I would say there are one serious argument and it is
medium/small laptops and ctrl+alt+del pushers. First group of users
have very small keyboard and possibility to press pressing C-A-B it is
not that small statistically anymore. And there are people who are
used to their Windows habbits and try to press C-A-D. They easily can
hit Backspace instead of Delete.

To returning what I said about consistency - we lack rules to make
decisions like this one. Where is that border when we should leave
C-A-B? How we should seek solution? What is veryfable data here? And
finally - who makes decision and on what this decision is based on?

Some people argue that more democracy in decision making increases
stop power. I wouldn't be that sure - just ask for arguments, listen,
wet them against yours and then just do it.

This is not only about C-A-B, but also about PulseAudio,
NetworkManager, etc. We need management clean-up in sense - we must
understand what is happening and why.

Just my humble thoughts,

2009/2/13 Andrew Sayers <andrew-ubuntu-devel at pileofstuff.org>:
> Fergal Daly wrote:
>> Anyway, I'm curious, is this really a developer list? I subscribed
>> because it was the only way to _contact_ ubuntu developers and I've
>> seen lots of people use it for that. So maybe it has more technical
>> users than the average but that's not the same thing as being a
>> developer list.
> Since we're busy talking about C-A-B right now, I thought I'd delay
> posting the results of the signal:noise survey until next week.  Without
> wanting to pre-empt that discussion, I think it's fair to say there's a
> range of voices around here.
> Back on topic, how about this for a compromise solution:
> Make tty1 run a simple ncurses application similar to friendly-recovery,
> which would give you a set of options like "restart your computer", "log
> out", and "go back to your graphical session".  Then people can do
> c-a-f1 instead of c-a-b to get 99% of the value without the risk.
> Ubuntu users that really want a shell wouldn't be that inconvenienced,
> as they can still use c-a-f1 to c-a-f6.
>        - Andrew
> --
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mortigi tempo
Pēteris Krišjānis

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