Apparantly we’re hated now

Or at least, one particular famous individual has finally written a rant about us. So in the traditional Developer vs Linux Hater type post, I shall address his concerns. Perhaps he’ll get back to me, I’d love to have a debate with this guy. Yes, I know the nature of his blog is supposed to be facetious and we are supposed to take what he says with a grain of salt. So here it is, point by point deconstruction of his little rant.

“What’s this? You say compiz is dying? And in true open source fashion [quote]?”

Perhaps so my friend. Yes, we have suffered a slight case of lead-developer-goes-away for-a while-and-leaves-the-project-in-disarray  howerver I’d like to mention that amongst all the FUD that has been going around things have changed. If you read the minutes of the last Compiz conference call with David you’ll find that we’re in the process of setting up new leadership and direction for the project. Compiz has got a very bright future to look towards this year.

“Don’t worry about bad drivers or not being able to smoothly resize windows”


I’d talk to ATI/NVIDIA about that one. Most of the bad resize performance is due to the fact that they re-bind textures inefficiently. On some cards, it is just as slow or slower on Mac OS X or Vista. Go figure.

However, if you do take the open source route which I figure that you don’t like all that much, you’ll find that windows do resize smoothly (or at least they should in theory).

Of course it’s about the experience. I wouldn’t expect Linux Hater to know much about graphics drivers.

“No amount of wobbling is going to make a user switch to Linux”


Yes, I could show somebody my computer and wobble a few windows in their place. They’ll probably just point out “There is no point to that.” Yes, point taken there is no point to that. It looks cool, however and to some people it really shows an amount of polish where instead of having ‘Linux is just another OS’ we have ‘Linux is just another OS and it’s presentation is phenomenal‘ I have convinced many people to at least give Linux a try and they are sold when they see how advanced-looking compiz is.

“Even if you’re going to keep working on this, why not try to do it in a way that doesn’t break stuff that already worked? Like video? or OpenGL apps?”

Again, clear ignorance that those kind of issues are not within our control =).

Seriously speaking though, I can say that I have gotten upwards of 300FPS when playing Windows games like Warcraft III even while compiz is turned on. No bad video performance. Etc.

Perhaps he is talking about a lack of redirected-direct-rendering, which has been plaguing us for a long time now. I’d like to point out that things have changed, or at least the next version of ubuntu will ship with GEM, which, when configured correctly will allow for things like accellerated OGL inside wobbly windows.

Again, though, he probably doesn’t know much about drivers and I don’t blame him. I can assure you that things will get better though =)

So there you have it. A small deconstruction of your rant and addressing some of the main flaws you brought up. Interesting to find that most of your rant was not really regarding issues with compiz but issues with other things.

On a totally unrelated note:

It looks like the developers will be going ahead with Compiz++ and we have silently been porting plugins. On the list of plugins that are ported (but by no mean absolutely stable:

  • Move
  • Resize,
  • Place,
  • Switcher,
  • Scale,
  • ‘Copy Rendering’ (Not for production use)
  • Decoration
  • Wall
  • Snap
  • Lazypointer
  • Throw
  • Flash
  • Text
  • Mousepoll (Not commited yet)
  • Fadedesktop
  • Resizeinfo (Not commited yet)

I’m sure there is more, but that is the progress I can remember off the top of my head.



20 thoughts on “Apparantly we’re hated now

  1. So while I might seem that I am giving this guy unnecessary attention, I really believe he is a blessing in disguise for the linux people.

    OK, so yes some of his posts may be misinformed, HOWEVER he provides fairly accurate critique on the linux experience and development process as a whole.

    Yes, we do still have broken drivers which can’t do ogl and compiz at the same time.

    Yes, our proprietary drivers still don’t do texture binding efficiently.

    Yes, the signature compiz effect (wobbly) does seem rather immature.

    Yes, we did screw up our management structure and are where we are now.

    It’s important to see past apparent rudeness and really look at where we could improve.

    I was just promoting playful debating, that’s all =)

  2. Oh, another thing too. Developer-wise, the transition from compiz -> compiz++ is a lot more work than the Beryl -> compiz transition. Almost everything is completely different in the way that it is used.

  3. smspillaz, exactly on spot what FOSS community is doing wrong: You started a compiz -> compiz ++ transition before compiz was even completed.
    At the end, you never have a stable release. You always try to improve what you have, but never to really finish it.

    Sometimes software companies try this at home – and as a result these go out of business.

  4. Naw don’t feed that guy please, it is rather low. Just keep it up.

    He might be accurate sometimes but he really is misinformed , whether it is intentional to add comical relief or he is really stupid, we can discuss another day. But the real problem is that his blog brings a bunch of undesirable guys that really buy it. It is better not to feed it.

  5. No you are not supposed to take it with a grain of salt. You are supposed to recognize the problems pointed out and fix them. Hurray another open source project promising great things IN THE FUTURE.

  6. Hm…

    @jojobean: I don’t know, whether you’re a dev or not… But you should know, that there are some moments, where you see, that the current structure of a project is not going to be successful.

    I’m not a compiz guy, but I think, that it would be harder to finish Compiz than finish a rewrite in C++.


    Sorry for my bad English!

  7. trolls will be trolls. I think you all are doing a fantastic job. I don’t really comment ever, but I was extremely interested in your side project: Spring Desk. Are you putting that on the backburner, did it run amok and try to take over the world? would love to read an update on it, if you find the time.

  8. @SmSpillaz

    Compiz++ will complete compiz only, and I do mean only, if you have a list of well-defined goals and functional specifications for version 1.0 set in stone.
    Is there such a document, which everyone on the Compiz++ team agrees on?

    I hope there is.

  9. @Saleel V:

    It’s on the backburner at the moment, school is taking 70 hours out of every week and all the remaining time is currently going to be spent on compiz because there is A LOT of work to do in the unstable branch.

  10. @Nik:

    We have just finished setting that up, well at least throwing cool ideas around. The real problem is a lack of developers who actually understand compiz well enough to help implement these ideas. I’m only really learning the more detailed bits of core now to be honest but once we document document document we should be able to pull in a few more devs.

  11. First congrats to you guys, seems that things are fitting in place.
    About LH: Seems to me that he’s more onto users that believe that wobbly windows are a true demonstration of the superiority of Linux over other OSs that on Compiz itself.
    @smspillaz: I’m suprised Gnome´s people did not reach you about their metacity project. Now that Compiz is going C++ a true native compizlib for Gnome seems more distant.

  12. @SmSpillaz,

    I hope you will eventually stop throwing cool ideas around, and agree upon a solid set of ideas, which remains immutable until the release on 1.0.

    At certain point you need to stop. Otherwise you’ll keep running forever.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed! Unfortunately, my expertese will not be of help for actual coding of such a project.

  13. Wake up all at Compiz as Beryl is alive and kicking !

    You might be interested that over a weekend a mate and myself introduced Beryl back in to the fold. This is a direct result of our frustration of how bloated Compiz has become and is becoming more of a fashion thing rather than functional for having multiple desktops.
    OK so I have been using Ubuntu 7.04 on and off for a couple of years now and Beryl comes as default. After Ubuntu 7.04 Compiz Fusion (now Compiz) came as default. To begin with this was not a problem but as Compiz became more complex with spheres, globes and other useless features, performance was becoming impaired.
    Late one night I started looking at introducing Beryl to Ubuntu 9.04 (Alpha 6). As expected there were numerous depedendency issues.
    Piratesmack looked in to the same possibilty and together we pooled our resources and after running many scripts and testing by myself Piratesmack compiled some dependency free deb. packages.

    Piratesmacks Beryl 0.2.1 deb. packages for Ubuntu 9.04;13596520;/fileinfo.html

    Save to home directory

    extract tar.bz2

    cd beryl-fixed-9.04

    sudo ./

    Piratesmacks Beryl 0.2.1 deb. packages for Ubuntu/Mint;13508777;/fileinfo.html

    Save to home directory

    extract tar.bz2

    cd beryl-packages-0.2.1

    sudo dpkg -i *.deb

    Beryl 0.2.1 on Ubuntu 9.04

    Beryl 0.2.1 on Mint 6

    One thing you cannot do is knock the simplicity of Beryl and how much more useful it is than modern day Compiz.

    So for those who wish to mock I say Beryl is far from dead and people want it as they are downloading it for the very reasons I have outlined above.


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