There's New In-Fighting Over The Future Of Compiz
Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 24 November 2014 at 09:06 AM EST. 31 Comments
DESKTOP --
Unless you're a user of Ubuntu with Unity 7, you probably haven't heard much about Compiz in quite some time. However, some developers are looking to further revive its development but not everyone is in agreement.

There's been an uptick in bickering amongst developers on the Compiz mailing list lately. A controversial developer often involved in these fights, Scott Moreau, declared himself the maintainer of upstream 0.8 stable branches.

Kristian LyngstĂžl was then forced to reveal he's been working on Compiz 0.8 based work that has an uncertain future but he's trying to clean things up and make some improvements. The new code done by Kristian is going on GitHub. "Unfortunately I feel like I have no choice but to announce this work 'officially', despite it's premature state. Scott seems to be set on pushing his own agenda, despite my appeals to wait for a couple of weeks so we can see what comes out of my work. I've repeatedly stated that I'm willing to work with anyone, including Scott, despite his constant flow of personal attacks and temper tantrums."


For those wondering why developers are focusing on Compiz 0.8 rather than the current Compiz 0.9 stable series (Compiz 0.9.12 is the latest) as shipped in Ubuntu, see this mailing list post. Basically, Compiz 0.8 has more features and is just as stable. It was with Compiz 0.9 that was effectively a rewrite in C++ with a new API and many other changes.

Frequent Phoronix readers may recognize Scott's name or recall a faintly similar situation last year: Scott forked Wayland and Weston in what became Northfield/Norwood. Scott was unhappy with the patch submission process and wanted to focus more on "desktop bling" and other work. Scott then wrote at length about why he forked Wayland/Weston.

When forking the Wayland/Weston code, he proclaimed Compiz as dead. Well, over a year later, much isn't heard of Northfield/Norwood with Wayland/Weston continuing to move along just fine while Scott has now proclaimed himself the Compiz 0.8 maintainer. In trying to fight for maintainership -- in fact, his latest message says he's been maintaining Compiz for the past four years -- today he listed contributions he made to Git, etc.

Hopefully the in-fighting will be overcome soon enough and that the open-source developers can work together to hopefully put Compiz on a more solid footing and allow it to be used for new development -- one of the biggest challenges would be porting it over to Wayland, which there's been no expressed plans though some developers have mentioned the possibility of doing the work so Compiz would have a future.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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