Kristian Lyngstol's Blog

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Tag Archives: Compiz Fusion

Then there was a name: Compiz Fusion

After a lot of back and forth, some fumbling with a vote and a lot of suggestions, we finally managed to find a name. Compiz Fusion. There are a lot of people relieved that we finally managed to find a name. Myself included.

We ended up weighing developer/contributer opinions higher than the users in this specific issue, after all, this is our work we’re naming. But the process was made in such a way that we found a name that the most developers didn’t dislike. Sort of the opposite of a vote for a winner. The plan was to have the users decide between the remaining names, but in the end, there wasn’t really any names remaining.

Personally, I’m very happy with this method. I never thought it would take this much effort to find a name, but the users should know that we spent a lot of time on finding this name, and every imaginable option was explored. There were a lot of concerns we had to honor: We didn’t want a name that was a “morf” between Beryl and Compiz (Like Coryl, and many also felt Coral was just this). We also had to honor the wishes of the people who will work most with the name.

There are still a lot of things we need to decide, and it’s not easy. There are still many hot debates going on, or that will have to be started. We need to decided what to do with forums, domain names and whatnot. Besides that, we have to find a more permanent way to manage the project.

Code-wise, we’re going forward, luckily. So most of this is tiresome squabbling. But we still have to deal with it, and there are some issues with how we’ve worked on code too. Many of us feel we need a more proper planning phase for the development process, this is specially true for the settings system, which was developed by a close group of former Beryl developers. This isn’t something unique to the Compiz Fusion project though, we kinda wanted to do that in the Beryl Project too, and many of us feel it’s a valid point in the Compiz development cycle too.

Now that we have a name, packagers are getting to work. Guillaume (iXce) and Alex (nesl247) on the Beryl side of things are sorting out git-renaming (yet again) and forum work, Dennis (onestone) seems to be doing the build-tuneups, and all of will probably adjust our individual code bits to fit to the new name. Because I tend to stay away from the longer arguments on the mailinglist, I haven’t really spoken to Rico lately, but I hope he can get to work too, even if he’s not exactly best friends with all the other developers and contributors at the moment.

So, for those who’re confused:

Compiz – The original project. Now only the core and a select few original plugins, located at and the main developer is still David Reveman.

Beryl – A discontinued fork of Compiz, after “compiz-quinn”, a community set of patches, had drifted too far apart from the original project. Introduced many features, both in the core and outside. And attracted many developers. And the fork it self was the source of much debate.

Compiz Extras – A sort of “division” consisting of the people who worked on compiz, but the extras were not core-fixes. The concept is similar to what made Beryl what it is, but also very different. It was to include a wider set of plugins and tools. Now discontinued.

Opencompositing – A common name used for the merged project and more, does not include the core. This was meant mostly as a temporary name, but what becomes of this terms has yet to be decided. It will most likely be dropped.

CompComm – Another name for the merged project, not including core, more of a shorthand for “Compiz Community”. The git repositories sported compcomm/ prefixes, this was mostly done for practical reasons. This name will be discontinued entirely.

Compiz Fusion – A community project forged by the merge between the Compiz Extras and the Beryl project. This does NOT include a core, as the core changes in Beryl are either being scrapped, or re-written for the core Compiz project. Compiz Fusion will sport settings tools, more plugins, helpfull scripts to start Compiz with the Compiz Fusion plugins, and basicly anything related to Compiz that’s not the core.

Naming a project, steering it

Beryl and Compiz are merging. Compiz will remain the name for the core. For everything else we need a new name.

There’s currently a poll on the forum.

There is also a lot of complaints on how this is done. Some people don’t like one name for whatever reason, others do. Some people feel they weren’t heard and their alternative should be on the vote. Many people calling for stopping the vote.

Well, as it happens, I’m all for democracy, but this is ridiculous. The people who should be responsible for naming a project, is the creators of the project. Not everyone and their dog. And we can’t wait around forever for a name. The name is important, but it’s even more important that we get one, and fast.

Personally, I voted for Coral. I’m not particularly happy with it, but in my opinion, it’s a name most people can accept. I don’t care that there are other projects with similar names. Coral is something growing in the sea, that’s where it’s from, not “stolen”. And I don’t think discussing names for a few more months is going to yield any happy results.

I am amazed by how many opinions everyone suddenly has on a decision on the name. It doesn’t change anything, except it allows us to FINALLY get a web page, wiki and more with the proper branding. I urge the people who are giving their opinions on this to think twice. We want a name, we want to hear what people have to say, but in that order.

As for claims of lack of information, that’s utter rubbish. No, we did not advertise this in your local newspaper, but the fact that we needed a new name has been well known since we started talking about a merge. The vote has also been somewhat discussed on the “compcomm” mailinglist, and there was a thread on the forum prior to putting up the post. And names like Coral, CoCo and Blitz were suggested long before the vote came up for discussion, and they have been loosely discussed among the developers. If anyone has strong feelings about this project, they’ll know how to find this information. If anything, the problem with is that there is too much discussion going on, it takes forever to make any sort of decision.

There are also a lot of helpful individuals wanting to give input on how the project is steered. We do have a lack of leadership. There are two communities in play here, and neither wants the other to “take over”, thus making it difficult to find a leader we can all agree on. But it’s not like we actually need one. The Beryl project had Quinn as a leader, but in reality, she did not try to steer us. So far, we’re working on separate parts, and then there are individual leaders for each “sub project”. These are not announced as leaders, it’s just the natural way of working: Whoever works most on a project, is the one people talk to about it.

We will be working on non-developer teams soon. We’ve already put together a support team for the forum, which seems to work well (These guys deserve their own tribute-post, but that’s for a later date). When we have a name, we need wiki and web focus too.

What concerns me is the low and often negative participation in this joint effort from (former) members of the compiz community. It is not strange that opencompositing resembles the Beryl project, when all the input we get from the Compiz community is that it’s a silly idea and that we should just stop and do what the compiz community guys did before the merge (which I personally don’t think was much). I beg these individuals (you know who you are) to sign up on the forum, send ideas instead of criticism to the compcomm list and help us! We can’t create a merged project if only one party has their heart in it.

I for one don’t WANT a new Beryl project. I liked the beryl project, but it’s time to move on. We can’t do that without new ideas. But let’s talk about what to do, instead of talking about what not to do.

Summer of code, and merge

Recently, Guillaume (Known to most as iXce) and myself got accepted by Ubuntu to work on Compiz/Beryl in Google’s Summer of Code program. I’m thrilled myself, and can barely wait to get started.

We’ll both be working on accessibility features, Guillaume on color filtering and I’ll be focusing on zoom enhancements. As the situation with Beryl’s input zoom is a bit dodgy, one of my main goals will be to both provide input enabled zoom with the current technologies, and prepare for the future with input transformation. Some of the main new features to look forward to will be:

  • Zoom follows cursosr
  • Zoom follows focus
  • Fit zoom to window
  • Fit window to zoom

The idea is to make this as generic as possible, so there won’t be a need to implement major changes when input transformation is available to most users, and ideally it should work both with and without input transformation even when it is available. This will mean I’ll probably write a new plugin, which isn’t really all that much work. I’ll be using some of the existing accessibility technologies available, but still want this to work for users that otherwise don’t have to use accessibility technologies.

It’ll be interesting working on this, but it has also been interesting in a very diffrent way to see this merge between the Compiz community and Beryl. I don’t want to spark up any new flames here, there are enough of them allready, but I hope we can get something presentable out to our users soon, but it’s not looking too good. The work on core is going quite well, and there hasn’t really been any plugin issues either, it’s everything else that is causing delays. And I also belive this is causing us to loose a lot of development time. I know I haven’t been very active myself, though I’ve done a little work on porting/merging my multiscreen stuff.

I’ve been putting together a compiz-manager script which is far from finished, which I hope can help people start Compiz in their favorite way, autodetecting many of the options that Beryl does in core, but compiz doesn’t. Beyond that, I also intend to get a build-script out there for users wanting to use the git versions, but don’t know where to begin. I’m more or less just waiting for bset to get to a point where I’m happy with it, and you would be too.

My last post kinda looks strange with the merge going on, but at least something big is happening, and we’re going somewhere.


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