So we got featured on hypeville AKA “OhMyDeityUbuntu!”.

Seems like a lot of discussion in the comments about the expansion of compiz into “useless bloat” and the fact that it has too many options.

Let me be very clear. Compiz’ philosophy is to be infinitely extensible. We are a plugin-based window manager and we are proud of it. You can change compiz to suit however you like, from bling-bling to subtly simple. It’s up to you.

I won’t ever remove options for the sake of trying to determine for users what is “sane” and what is “not sane”. This is, quite frankly, against what I stand for.

If you someone to decide what is a “sane” configuration for you, turn to your distribution packager or desktop team to figure it out for you.


21 thoughts on “Philosophy

  1. ‘hypeville’ ? xD

    Sure, we try to be enthusiastic, generate positivity and point out the neat things in projects but not for the sake of it, so that’s a little harsh!

    I don’t feel my article made an allusion to there being ‘too many features’ or anything of that nature. I simply relayed the very neat new features destined for forthcoming releases to readers. I don’t, however, write their comments for them and you’ll find that more people love the direction and feature-filled nature of Compiz than don’t.

    1. Oh, no don’t take me wrong, I wasn’t trying to come off like that! (Oof)

      I was actually referring to the discussion in the comments.

      I’ll make that clear in the post.

      1. Oh and for the record, I love what you guys do, and I must admit that I am a religious reader of that particular blog.

        (I used the word hypeville here since that’s what a name like “OMG!Ubuntu!” tends to import, although I guess there was some miscommunication)

        Keep up the good work!

  2. This is a very good point that a lot of people miss. Compiz by design can’t be classified as ‘bloated’ since you can always remove some plugins you don’t like. If you want an elegant system you can have it, or if you want something absurd, you can have it. It gives you plenty of choices.

  3. smspillaz:

    I think you’ll find that, the more popular XYZ gets, the more vocal XYZ’s opponents become. This is especially true when XYZ may be adding non-critical features, a.k.a. “bling”.

    In any case, I wouldn’t take it to heart. There will always be people who look at a swiss army knife and say that it tries to do too much. Just don’t let that negativity convince you to start culling your creativity. I, for one, thoroughly enjoy your work — and I think I can safely say that the OMG! authors do as well.

  4. I can’t understand how people are capable of being against compiz. It is basically saying that they don’t want the “burden” of customizability and configuration. Especially when they don’t even get that ability by default. Compiz has sane defaults, in ubuntu it has TWO sets of sane defaults, and neither of them involve fire and only one of them has wobbly windows.

    Shouldn’t the ability to add new features without messing with the core promote MORE instead of LESS stability? Compiz can now work without requiring opengl or even compositing, but will people stop calling it a mess of bling? CCSM, the great configuration tool, isn’t even shipped in distros by default. You have to look to see that compiz isn’t just some monolithic window manager with only the functionality that you see in front of you.

    The people who know a bit about compiz but manage to dislike it for how it is structured instead of how it works makes me see how something as statically configured as gnome-shell + mutter seems to be manages to be so popular. People have trouble with even being able to compile gnome-shell, but I see more people trying than with compiz 0.9x.

    Sidenote: Talking about configurability, why can’t we (or where can we) change the window preview background color?

  5. I actually understand the complaints against it. I for one like the idea that compiz does everything, but I also hate the idea that compiz does everything.

    Doing everything is good, there is no need to debate this, all it is if unused is extra code sitting on your drive.

    However, the bad side is the complicated setup and understanding of plugins that are intertwined together. The setup right now is quite cumbersome, and I actually hate going in there to make edits or tweak things because it’s just simply a mess.

    There must be some better way to organize and more clearly display to a user what is enabled and disabled, and how plugins work together. Perhaps there isn’t. I certainly can’t think of a better way off the top of my head. As the plugin library grows, the organization of the features and setup also needs to adapt. The compiz-settings right now is not very scalable.

      1. I do hate to suggest it, but perhaps tabs could be an option. I’m not against having infinite options, but perhaps having every plugin in the existence of time in one window is a bit too much visually.

  6. I love all the things you can do with Compiz. I like to keep it simple, fast, smooth and clean. Others like a lot of bling. That’s the beauty of it, with Mac or Windows you get wehat they give you and that’s it.

    Compiz is one of the things that hooked me to Linux, and I’m sure many others as well, Joey, the author from OMG! Ubuntu! being one of them :p

    I love free software and all the craziness it brings to the table! Haters are always gonna be haters!

  7. The only thing I dislike about Compiz’s, “bloat”, is that whenever it comes up what WM I use, sarcastic comments about, “wobble”, and, “fire”, soon follow. That and it’s been a while since I’ve found any of the ‘new bling’ particularly useful.

    Then again, the fact that Compiz manages to appeal to both power users and retards is quite an achievement in itself.

  8. I upgraded to maverick (still am doing so) just to test 0.9x from a ppa šŸ™‚
    and sorry, but the bling isn’t just bling. Many of the the blingy features tend to come in handy if used correctly. I’ve used fire during presentations, for my Church to besides!

    I use many of the more fancy features daily, cause they improve workflow and keep my mind active, and remembering all the hot keys is more than skill, I’d venture to say compiz improves memory šŸ˜‰ – and that’s not being sarcastic.

  9. Props to smspillaz.

    One of the founding principles of Linux is absolute freedom to do whatever you want with your software. No one is forcing you to use compiz! Same goes for every other aspect of the operating system. Don’t like Gnome? Use KDE instead!

    Linux is a unique form of democracy because the community will support projects that the community likes. Compiz has such a wide user base (and developer base) because people like it, and no one has the right to tell them they’re wrong. It’s one thing to say “compiz is not for me.” It’s another thing to criticize it in the abstract.

    Compiz’s “bloat” is due to individual programmers saying “this is a cool platform, I bet I can do something neat with it,” and writing plugins that users are free to activate (or not). Again, I could never see that as a bad thing.

    So to smspillaz and the rest of the Compiz community, keep on rockin’ it!


  10. I am curious about how far the plugin based architecture will take compiz. The C++ rewrite could open a lot of doors, but the most interesting one, to me, would be a close integration with KDE. A desktop environment with an integrated ability to add (or freedom to ignore) the powerful slate of Compiz plugins would have a pretty impressive leg up on its competition (GNOME). That’s not a course of action to take unilaterally, but if that’s the direction that gnome-shell pushes Compiz, it might end up very well for Compiz and KDE in the end.

  11. I’m a fairly new Ubuntu user, and I’ve found that CCSM has a bit of a learning curve to it. Especially since I’m not the kind of person who would go around changing settings just to see what happens.
    What I think would be needed, for folks like me, is a kind of Compiz Settings Menu (restaurant-type, not Start-menu type). A place to go and find exactly which plugins to activate, which settings to change, and what values to change them to, in order to achieve a certain effect. I saw a little bit of that when OMGUbuntu featured a tweak to the Magic Lamp animation.

      1. Yep, I have, but I actually do like having all the options available in the regular CCSM, even if I don’t yet know what to do with them.

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