Compiz on maintenance-only

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Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby Orbmiser on Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:45 pm

Compiz on maintenance-only mode, no port for Wayland, maintainer advises against fragmentation.

"One thing I’ve learned over all my time maintaining compiz for Ubuntu and Unity is that getting a compositing engine and window manager right is very difficult. There are a lot of corner cases that you need to consider, graphics drivers that don’t quite work right, opengl generally being painful to work with. While I was at Canonical, 98% of my effort was dedicated towards maintaining the compositing engine and window manager, and 2% of my effort was spent on delivering new functionality. Its a really big job looking for a reason to exist."


"This is the real practical toll of fragmentation amongst the linux ecosystem. Its not just that there are multiple implementations of the wheel. There are multiple implementations of entire cars which do almost the same thing, but a little different from everyone else. Some say this is the free software’s greatest strength. Now that I know the personal and technical toll of fragmentation, I see it as its greatest weakness."


Sideways
Posted on December 24, 2012 https://smspillaz.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/sideways/

Interesting take on greater fragmentation of Linux? Curious as starting to get a kinda feeling that way about Linux.
But don't have the expertise or years of insight to really say yay or nay. Just a feeling I get coming back to linux and starting again.
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby claudecat on Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:59 pm

Compiz is (or was) a really unique piece of software that has been swallowed up in large part by Canonical's Unity. I find it interesting that the newest branch is used only by 'buntu - and it really doen't work that well. It seems like the emphasis is now on making Unity work smoothly at the expense of old and beloved features like the desktop cube (broken for many in 12.10 and not fully functional in 'buntu since maybe 9.10). Arch uses the older .8.x branch which is much more feature rich and stable. Debian squeeze uses a still older version that has the widest range of plugins available (e.g. the aquarium thingy) and works like a charm.

Fragmentation in this particular case is largely due to Canonical (and Gnome 3's incompatibility with compiz) sucking the life and (fun) functionality out of what was once a great way to impress Windows users with a little bit o' bling. Oh well, KDE does most of the same stuff now with far greater stability.
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby homerscousin on Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:40 pm

I just hope the KDE developers can stay the course and create something above and beyond what Compiz ever thought of being. My wish for the new year.
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby anandrkris on Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:27 pm

Read the blog and comments. Interesting and mind-boggling complexity for a user to understand the diversity.

I feel (read elsewhere on Ubuntu foundation) there should be a desktop foundation which brings together different communities and puts both innovation in technology and user in perspective. The existing diversity in Linux landscape is surely not creating any synergies. I agree - we need diversity, choice and freedom but we also want our desktops to work seamlessly without always trying to fix things.
The foundation can also muscle the manufacturers (laptops, processors, graphics card,etc) to work for the Linux case.
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby Zorba on Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:06 am

Compiz is great and has many amazing effects.Why doesn't Mint team fork it to work on Cinnamon :roll: :roll:

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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby catweazel on Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:29 am

Brahim wrote:Why doesn't Mint team fork it to work on Cinnamon

Are you going to pay for the work to be done?
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby dee. on Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:59 am

anandrkris wrote:I feel (read elsewhere on Ubuntu foundation) there should be a desktop foundation which brings together different communities and puts both innovation in technology and user in perspective.


There is: freedesktop.org

anandrkris wrote: The existing diversity in Linux landscape is surely not creating any synergies.


The whole "fragmentation" -issue is way overplayed by some people. 99% of Linux software works in whatever desktop you want to use. I have software that uses Qt, GTK2, GTK3 all coexisting nicely on my computer. Fragmentation only becomes a problem when essential low-level parts of the system start getting messed with by incompetent hacks...


As for Compiz, the lead developer quit on it because he got frustrated with Canonical who stopped accepting any community patches for it. This, coupled with Canonical's crazy decision to create their own display server, probably means that Compiz will become an Ubuntu-only compositor that only works with Unity/Mir.
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby anandrkris on Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:57 am

Hmm. I got it. Most of these are wrong perceptions. I was not talking about compatibility. For instance, if you take office package, we have both Libreoffice and Calligra. May not be a great example, what I was referring to was efforts getting duplicated instead of building one strong product. Would you not agree that if there is a better confluence of many work streams , Linux will be a greater force to reckon with?
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby dee. on Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:13 am

anandrkris wrote:Hmm. I got it. Most of these are wrong perceptions. I was not talking about compatibility. For instance, if you take office package, we have both Libreoffice and Calligra. May not be a great example, what I was referring to was efforts getting duplicated instead of building one strong product. Would you not agree that if there is a better confluence of many work streams , Linux will be a greater force to reckon with?


Nope. The very thing that makes Linux great is the freedom and customizability. Linux doesn't force you to do things the way someone else thinks is best, you're free to do things how you like. For example, desktop environments. One desktop doesn't work for you, or you dislike the way their developers do things? Get another one. On windows, there's one desktop environment, which you have to be happy with because there's no alternative.

Your hypothesis is easy to test: microsoft pours all their development efforts into single products - they have one single office suite which they concentrate on, they have one single desktop shell (per windows version), etc. And yet, microsoft office is no better than Libreoffice, and the windows 8 interface is a disaster. So concentrated efforts aren't some magic ticket into better software.

The freedom of people to develop what they want, fork what they want and distribute how they want produces an environment of healthy competition - it's like natural selection, survival of the fittest: the software products that are the best at adapting to their users' needs thrive, the others wither away eventually. On the other hand the open source development model (especially with copyleft licensing) also enables collaboration, as no one has to worry that their work gets usurped and locked away.

The problem with "building one strong product" is that there is no singular, objective definition of "strong product" because different people have different needs.

However, this all applies mostly to userland applications. There are some things where your views are correct, where concentrated effort is better than fragmentation, and those are mainly the low-level things that need to be compatible accross distributions. Like the kernel and the graphics stack. We do need standard ways for different parts of the system to interact with each other and the underlying system. So you're not entirely wrong, you're just right about different things than you think.
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby anandrkris on Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:35 pm

I completely agree on the choice of desktop. I started using KDE and am just loving the power of desktop. I don't boot into Windows much these days except for HDMI connectivity. (Mine is Optimus set up).
And some of the features of other desktops look promising and definitely want to try them. Diversity in Desktop makes perfect sense.

And yet, microsoft office is no better than Libreoffice, and the windows 8 interface is a disaster.

I would not quite agree, I have used both and am a power user of MS Office. Libreoffice sure is good but there are areas where MS office wins hands down.
Comparison here. I am firm believer of survival of fittest but in an open source perspective there are surely areas where we need collaboration more than competition.
Have not used Windows 8 but the popular opinion is they screwed up the user interface and reviews I read indicate the same.
We can discuss this on and on...There is truth in both our arguments .....Take audio support for instance, more often than not, the variety baffles the user. (ALSA, Pulseaudio, Gstreamer, Xine, VLC to understand the how they all fit together is not very easy ). Am not complaining, I am very much inclined to Open source idealogy and there is lot of work for us to do to make Linux succeed in all arenas.
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Re: Compiz on maintenance-only

Postby dee. on Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:26 pm

anandrkris wrote:I would not quite agree, I have used both and am a power user of MS Office. Libreoffice sure is good but there are areas where MS office wins hands down.


And there are areas where LibreOffice wins hands down. All things considered they're probably about equal, and which one is better for you depends on what your particular needs are. However LibreOffice has the added benefit of being free.

anandrkris wrote: I am firm believer of survival of fittest but in an open source perspective there are surely areas where we need collaboration more than competition.


Yes and I already outlined those areas in my post. Low-level stuff, standards, etc. For example, the display server (and the rest of the graphics stack). We should all collaborate and concentrate on Wayland and not mix the deck further with orthogonal projects (Canonical, looking at you). It makes no sense and doesn't benefit any of the distros (or software developers) to have multiple display server protocols to choose from, because it's an area where compatibility is crucial. Wayland provides a good, smooth path of migration away from Xorg. Desktop environments and such are different because they're much higher up in the stack, and as long as we have some standards to ensure a reasonable level of compatibility between different desktops, diversity is only good for us.

anandrkris wrote:Have not used Windows 8 but the popular opinion is they screwed up the user interface and reviews I read indicate the same.


It's a huge disaster. It's a level of failure that's unbelievable even for microsoft.

anandrkris wrote:Take audio support for instance, more often than not, the variety baffles the user.


Linux audio has been quite a mess for some time. It's been the weak spot of Linux for a while. Thankfully, it's getting better now as the consensus seems to be settling on PulseAudio, and the early problems of it have been fixed. The average user doesn't need to care about the politics or the different sound systems, they'll be satisfied to have a sound system that works out-of-the-box, and PulseAudio provides that.
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