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Compiz Gets Thumbs-Up for Gutsy Gibbon 303

Posted by Zonk
from the cheeky-monkey dept.
Da Chronic writes "After a vigorous debate at the last Ubuntu Technical Board meeting, the board decided to ship Ubuntu 7.10 with Compiz enabled by default. The decision was made despite the fact that Compiz still has some significant issues relating to drivers and Xorg. 'For instance, there are some problems — like accelerated video playback issues with Intel drivers — that can only be resolved by using the EXA accelerated rendering framework which is still not ready yet. When asked why Intel isn't addressing the driver issue, technical board member Mathew Garrett explained that "Intel are working on the basis that composited desktops won't be ready for rolling out until EXA is stable enough anyway, so it's not a concern [for them].' In the end, all but one member voted to include Compiz in Gutsy."
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Compiz Gets Thumbs-Up for Gutsy Gibbon

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 13, 2007 @01:54PM (#20592447)
    What name will they use for the release that comes after the "zesty zebra" release?!?
  • Bloat++ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zblach (977591) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @01:54PM (#20592455)
    guh. Why not make a package w/ auto-configurable scripts available for install? Put a box in adept, or something "Click here for flashy graphics!!11". I run Kubuntu because I like having a *nix compatible desktop, not because I want another toy. I understand that some people are turned to linux for stability, and some for flashy graphics, but why include by default? Aero competition? Hope it's easily (and completely) removable. -z
  • I don't get it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pintpusher (854001) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @01:55PM (#20592481) Journal
    Maybe I'm becoming more and more of a luddite... I played with compiz a bit maybe a year ago using XFCE and it was pretty cool, but that's all it was. It didn't actually do anything to improve my computing experience other than look cool. That makes it mostly a waste of electrons, IMO.

    But then, I now use wmii [suckless.org] almost exclusively, if I'm not just using plain ol' screen [gnu.org].

    damn, you be a good poster and go check your links and there goes that frsit psot. oh well...
  • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kerohazel (913211) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @02:10PM (#20592725) Homepage
    For me it's a convenient way to answer someone who asks me "Linux? Why do you use _Linux_?"

    Not much of a meaningful answer, but then again when posed like this it's not really a meaningful question.
  • Re:Compiz is...? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El Lobo (994537) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @02:23PM (#20592943)
    Compiz is the thing that MS gets criticized to death when they dare to use it in their OS (called sometimes bloat, or stupid effects, shit, etc), and that is critically aclaimed when Apple, some Linuzzz distro or use it in their distributions.
  • by fishthegeek (943099) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @02:25PM (#20593011) Journal
    I teach at a technical high school, and I use Ubuntu, Vista, XP, and OS X in the course for integration lessons. The kids Ooooh at Vista and OS X but when they discover that Ubuntu can do compositing in a flashier way (with Compiz Fusion) than either of the other two platforms and that it is free they immediately ask for one of the Ship it CDs that I happen to keep around.

    I'm not saying that I evangelize Linux but since it is free, and I do teach it I find it very convenient to be able to just furnish them a copy on the spot. Flashy sells. It sells cars, bombers and hookers why not use it to sell an OS? Before anyone posts a response about bloat please remember that these are primarily 15 year old kids and the concepts of bloat are just academic to them. They won't care about bloat until they are running their own network.
  • Re:Compiz is...? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by someone1234 (830754) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @02:30PM (#20593119)
    One thing you forgot, in M$Win it would be enabled by default, and wired in without any chance to remove it.
    With Linux, you at least get a chance to find a distro without it, or be able to remove it completely .
  • Stability Now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by keithjr (1091829) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @02:41PM (#20593363)
    Depending on how stable all related drivers and devices are by the time Gutsy rolls out, this may very well be the worst thing that could happen to Ubuntu since that bad Xorg update last year.

    Ubuntu is cherished by new-to-linux users as being zero-configuration and extremely hardware-compatible. Now they are introducing features which may fail to work with certain hardware. Why on earth would they do this?!
  • Re:Compiz is...? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reverend528 (585549) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @02:57PM (#20593697) Homepage

    but not with the detailed configurability of Beryl

    or the stability of all of those window managers that don't do the worthless fancy stuff.

  • by pebs (654334) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @03:50PM (#20594689) Homepage
    Look at how long the submission is. Why would you make it even longer by including a definition of what a relatively popular software component is? You might as well include definition for Ubuntu, Gutsy, and Xorg while you're at it.

    Keep up with the times or use Google/Wikipedia when you don't know what something is (like you just did).
  • Re:Yikes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xenocide2 (231786) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @05:11PM (#20595871) Homepage
    If we don't get it out it'll never be good enough
    The basic idea here is that by shipping it with bugs, you'll motivate a few people who wouldn't have otherwise used it to investigate. In some cases, this is true. But realistically, we're not sitting on a pile of unused openGL / video driver development talent. Any such slack was picked up by Intel and put to work on what they felt pressing, and as such is not available to meet Canonical's unpaid requests.

    We don't even know how bad it is
    There are 150 open bugs against compiz, and only 3 labelled critical. But we really don't know how perception of compiz affects bug reporting. We know not all bugs found are reported by it's finder. It's possible that compiz is known to be unstable and rather than report, people just disable and get on with life, assuming compiz stability will continue to be a back burner issue. Dropping compiz into gutsy by default would likely expose more users to bugs.
    This exposure is theoretically what testing is for, but for various reasons, hasn't come to fruition. One is that upgrades don't enable compiz. Another is that people come to testing not for Ubuntu's sake but for theirs. They're interested in significant new software, or preserving some hardware compatibility.

    Or it's simply possible that that's all the bugs there are. But I doubt that.

    However
    Ubuntu does have a significant support structure in place capable of dealing with all but the most egreious failures (think broken X server pushed out). Launchpad does a good job of searching for duplicate bug reports to bring people together, and test workarounds / patches. It's also got a way to attach to upstream bugs to follow on with. This is good because compiz's bugzilla is a nightmare.
  • by krmt (91422) <therefrmhere&yahoo,com> on Thursday September 13, 2007 @05:12PM (#20595877) Homepage
    I hope you're not trolling here. X.org has very few contributors as a whole. Maybe 20 or so, with about half who do real work on the graphics drivers. That's really not very many for such a large amount of code. So no, I'm sorry to break it to you, but there's no armies of experienced graphics driver coders just itching to write those drivers. If you believe that then you're living in a fantasy land.

    On the flip side, it's becoming easier and easier to get involved, for those who are interested. XFree86's project management effectively prevented a community of graphics driver coders from forming in the same way that a community of kernel driver coders did. This was compounded by the fact that graphics chip specs have long been withheld, making it difficult for new people to get on board. Many people have asked over the years on the X.org devel list about how to help with driver development, and even though they've been pointed to some information by the community, there's been very little available for them to get going. This has been a serious problem. Luckily, the formation of X.org has solved the first problem, and now with Intel providing well documented drivers and ATI providing specs we should see people who want to learn have that ability to contribute.

    Opening up the specs is, as has been said so many times before, no panacea, but Intel has benefited very noticeably by opening up their development process. They've gained a lot of goodwill and undoubtedly a lot of customers who just want the best Free drivers available. AMD stands to gain the same, which is something they simply can not get if they keep things closed. So there's a real tangible monetary benefit to opening up the process so that the community can contribute. The result of this is that people from several groups including AMD, SuSE, Redhat, and Tungsten Graphics will be working on the new driver (many of these people are the current ati driver maintainers, so they're seasoned and knowledgeable) so I wouldn't worry about manpower there.

    Finally, it's very important to note that Intel itself doesn't maintain the driver that gets shipped in your distro, X.org does. Intel employs a lot of people to help maintain it, but they do their maintainance on X.org machines. So anyone who's a X.org developer (and you can become one the same way you can in other free software projects) can become an intel driver maintainer, even if they're not employed by Intel. So if you want to contribute to the driver and other components needed to make the composited linux desktop a reality, you can do so. Intel isn't stopping you, nor is anyone else.
  • by thegnu (557446) <thegnu.gmail@com> on Thursday September 13, 2007 @07:13PM (#20597301) Journal
    I said new users. More experienced users would likely use this technology.
    I have to agree with GP. In my experience, although the 3d effects aren't implicitly useful, they tended to make my computer FEEL more interactive, and I tended to feel less tired after using the computer.

    Which I guess sounds weird. Maybe I can get a government grant to study wobbly windows.
  • Re:Compiz is...? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StalinsNotDead (764374) <umbaga@NOspAm.gmail.com> on Thursday September 13, 2007 @07:17PM (#20597363) Journal
    Just post that your being misunderstood

    In addition to these suggestions:

    Never use the contraction you're, no one will understand you

    it's is possessive

    alot is one word

    there, their and they're are interchangable

    you dinfinately hang lose and loose your car keys

  • by freewaybear (906222) on Thursday September 13, 2007 @09:11PM (#20598345)
    Another stupid name
    For another shitty distro. Get with the program folks. The general public is not going to buy into this.

    I, for one, don't give a teflon turd about what the general public buys. I like it, and will be using it.
  • by xenocide2 (231786) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:01AM (#20600659) Homepage
    If you want examples, look at the bug list for compiz. 175 bugs. You can't even configure compiz by default, beyond "none, some, and more". The fire module tends to choke up starting apps that start maximized. The optional preferences manager in universe hates gconf. And it doesn't even call the burn module by the same name, sometimes calling it fire. And of course, it breaks GL apps that don't do some fullscreen magic. It resets your number of workspaces to 1, and doesn't replace them with viewports. But most of all, it won't really work out of the box in most cases. They try to detect when it won't work and prevent it from activating in those situations. Only the Intel integrated stuff will likely be able to handle it out of the box. Compiz won't be enabled by default if you upgrade, I hear.

    These are nitpicks and serious bugs I've found while testing for a few hours. Most are already in launchpad. Bugs don't go away because you don't like me. If you want people like me to go away, report and fix bugs. There's nothing wrong with the software existing -- it's a great tool to experiment with, and impress people. And it's certainly better than what Vista provides. I just think it's important to provide people with a flawless experience out of the box, and let them explore the more adventurous packages Ubuntu provides at leisure.

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