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Old 01-27-2012, 12:40 AM
Oli Warner
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM, Marc Deslauriers
<marc.deslauriers@canonical.com> 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:

rm
mv
sudo
nano
...

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
silently.

- 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
user-proof.

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

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Old 01-27-2012, 12:49 AM
"Jason J. Herne"
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Oli Warner <oli@ubuntu.com> wrote:

On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM, Marc Deslauriers

*- If CCSM is killing compiz the new compiz-monitoring logic should

swoop in and clean up after it.

How about a "Ubuntu - Last Known Good Configuration" session, or detect a Unity crash upon login and offer to fall back to the last known good unity configuration or a sane default?



--
- Jason J. Herne (hernejj@gmail.com)

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Old 01-27-2012, 01:01 AM
Oli Warner
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:49 AM, Jason J. Herne <hernejj@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Oli Warner <oli@ubuntu.com> wrote:
>>
>> On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM, Marc Deslauriers
>> *- If CCSM is killing compiz the new compiz-monitoring logic should
>> swoop in and clean up after it.
>>
>
> How about a "Ubuntu - Last Known Good Configuration" session, or detect a
> Unity crash upon login and offer to fall back to the last known good unity
> configuration or a sane default?

Exactly. That's the sort of thinking we need.

If compiz/Unity crashes at any point, try to reload it and if that
fails pop up a short radio/drop-down form with the following choices:

- Use last known good configuration
- Use default configuration
- Log out

Problem solved. Unity is suddenly bullet-proof and you didn't need to
upset anybody in the process.

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Old 01-27-2012, 01:10 AM
Jeremy Bicha
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On 26 January 2012 19:57, Mathieu Comandon <strycore@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I strongly disagree on removing CCSM from the repos but more importantly I
> want to make a point clear in this message. Deleting software from the
> archive has never been the solution to fixing bugs and I can't see how it
> will ever be.

Actually, deleting broken software from the repositories fixes all
sorts of bugs. Look at the bug reports closed in January:
http://ftp-master.debian.org/removals.txt

If something is badly broken and unlikely to be fixed soon, it should
be removed. It can always be added back later. The question is how
badly broken is CCSM? I don't want to recommend CCSM to my friends and
I do wish it were used a lot less because it does have issues. Does it
have to be removed from the normal repositories to be used less and
recommended less? I don't know...

Jeremy

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Old 01-27-2012, 01:16 AM
Andrew Starr-Bochicchio
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 8:04 PM, Marc Deslauriers
<marc.deslauriers@canonical.com> 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
packages?

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@ubuntu.com> 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
calls:

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:
> http://askubuntu.com/a/80590/235

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 <https://launchpad.net/~andrewsomething>
Debian Maintainer
<http://qa.debian.org/developer.php?login=a.starr.b%40gmail.com>
PGP/GPG Key ID: D53FDCB1

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Old 01-27-2012, 01:42 AM
Mathieu Comandon
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 3:10 AM, Jeremy Bicha <jbicha@ubuntu.com> wrote:

On 26 January 2012 19:57, Mathieu Comandon <strycore@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,

>

> I strongly disagree on removing CCSM from the repos but more importantly I

> want to make a point clear in this message. Deleting software from the

> archive has never been the solution to fixing bugs and I can't see how it

> will ever be.



Actually, deleting broken software from the repositories fixes all

sorts of bugs. Look at the bug reports closed in January:

http://ftp-master.debian.org/removals.txt

I was joking about this on twitter the other day ( https://twitter.com/#!/strycore/status/159039203877982208 ), I still can't believe this is considered a valid way to fix bugs. Maybe a better option would be to keep the source packages but delete the binaries or having some way to mark a package as unstable but still keep it in the archives. This would allow developers to work on fixing the real issues more easily.



If something is badly broken and unlikely to be fixed soon, it should

be removed. It can always be added back later. The question is how

badly broken is CCSM? I don't want to recommend CCSM to my friends and

I do wish it were used a lot less because it does have issues. Does it

have to be removed from the normal repositories to be used less and

recommended less? I don't know...


I don't believe that ccsm is broken that badly, the issues are more likely to be located in libcompizconfig, compiz itself or even Unity and these packages are not going anywhere. Removing ccsm only benefits users that would go change random settings without knowing how to restore a working desktop. This is a real problem that needs to be acknowledged but not by removing the most mature tool out there. If the underlying software is broken, users will find a way to trigger the bugs with some other software.


Mathieu
*
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:57 AM
Marc Deslauriers
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On Fri, 2012-01-27 at 01:40 +0000, Oli Warner wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM, Marc Deslauriers
> <marc.deslauriers@canonical.com> 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:
>
> rm
> mv
> sudo
> nano
> ...
>
> They're all installed by default. CCSM isn't and you can do a lot more
> damage with any of those than CCSM alone.

Straw man argument. If a large quantity of novice users were breaking
their desktops with those tools, we would be looking at preventing that,
or trying to determine _why_ it is happening. This is about CCSM, and
the fact that a large number of people are having irrecoverable problems
with it.

>
> 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.

This is the problem. CCSM is a power tool in sheep's clothing. It's the
tool forums and web sites tell novice users to use to customize their
desktop, and it doesn't _look_ like something that can prevent your
session from working with two mouse clicks.

Removing it from the archive so better tools like MyUnity and Ubuntu
Tweak get used instead is one idea. Maybe slapping a big fat warning
dialog on it could be another.

>
> 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.

You're seeing it wrong.

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

Yes, we should be doing this also. But fixing the popular tools that are
used by novice users so they don't break everything in the first place
is a good first step.

> 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
> silently.

This is part of the problem. What exactly are sane settings? Do we
revert half the stuff that people have attempted to customize with CCSM?
If so, why not just remove those settings?

>
> - 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.

Well, having compiz crash is one thing, and that's easy to detect. But
having a novice user wonder why he can't resize windows anymore, or why
alt-tab isn't working is harder to fix.

> 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
> user-proof.

Yes, that's one of them. There are a whole slew of other checkboxes
there that also break various desktop functionality.

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

Again, that's just if it's failing.

Marc.




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Old 01-27-2012, 03:00 AM
Marc Deslauriers
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On Thu, 2012-01-26 at 20:49 -0500, Jason J. Herne wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Oli Warner <oli@ubuntu.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 AM, Marc Deslauriers
>
> - If CCSM is killing compiz the new compiz-monitoring logic
> should
> swoop in and clean up after it.
>
>
> How about a "Ubuntu - Last Known Good Configuration" session, or
> detect a Unity crash upon login and offer to fall back to the last
> known good unity configuration or a sane default?

Yeah, some kind of "Reset desktop settings" safe-mode kind of thing
could be nice. Although, it's not just about detecting crashes. Some
failures cause users to have certain elements of their desktop go
missing, without necessarily being a crash.

Marc.



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Old 01-27-2012, 03:06 AM
Chow Loong Jin
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On 27/01/2012 06:16, Jorge O. Castro wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 4:47 PM, Chow Loong Jin <hyperair@ubuntu.com> wrote:
>> 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.
>
> I think power users would appreciate a maintained tool that let them
> configure unity (either myunity or ubuntu-tweak, whatever) than a tool
> we know carries risk.
>
> If anything this is a great improvement for power users that want to
> configure unity but don't want to risk using an unsupported tool.

And a huge step back until MyUnity reaches feature parity with CCSM.

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:46 AM
"Jorge O. Castro"
 
Default It's time to jettison CCSM

On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Oli Warner <oli@ubuntu.com> wrote:
> By that logic we should probably remove:
>
> rm
> mv
> sudo
> nano
> ...
>
> They're all installed by default. CCSM isn't and you can do a lot more
> damage with any of those than CCSM alone.

Those are well documented stable tools that do exactly what they are
told. If I told you that every "sudo rm -fR /var" there was a one in X
chance that /usr/bin would get blown away then that would raise an
eyebrow.

> 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.

It's not a power tool, it's a stopgap tool that ended up being used
because no one has started to make anything better. All my power tools
have safeties on them.

> CCSM's problems:

You list a bunch of things broken with ccsm that haven't been taken
care of since Feisty; so I am hesistant for anyone that says "we
should just fix CCSM" but no one ever does.

It's been nearly _6 years_ that we've shipped this tool and it's been
nothing but problems, clearly no one cares enough to fix it, so why
carry the risk?

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