"(as superuser)" is appended to titles of windows owned by root

Bug #519035 reported by David Siegel on 2010-02-08
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
One Hundred Papercuts
metacity (Ubuntu)
Didier Roche

Bug Description

In Lucid, the string " (as superuser)" is appended to titles of windows owned by root. I understand that this may be a useful feature for technical users, but it is tech-speak and not useful for the average user.

The only argument I can think of for adding this string is the following:

  1. Users sometimes accidentally harm their system/data when they interact with windows running as root.
  2. Adding "(as superuser)" to window titles will make users aware when windows are running as root.
  3. Users understand the consequences of running a window as root and will modify their behavior to take extra care.
  4. Users will not accidentally harm their system/data.

I think premise 2 is false because users often do not read title bars and "superuser" is tech-speak (as is "root" or "administrator" or any similar string). I also think premise 3 is false because the class of users that will make catastrophic errors by interacting with windows as root is not a class of users that understands the consequences...

This string should be removed because it is tech-speak and ineffectual.

Related branches

description: updated
Changed in compiz:
status: New → Invalid
Vish (vish) on 2010-02-09
Changed in metacity:
importance: Undecided → Unknown
status: New → Unknown
Changed in metacity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Triaged
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Triaged
Vish (vish) wrote :

Upstream comments:

" Thomas Thurman [metacity developer]
See also this Metacity blog post:
http://blogs.gnome.org/metacity/2010/02/08/as-superuser-considered-harmful/ "

tags: added: gloam
Didier Roche (didrocks) on 2010-03-24
Changed in metacity (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Didier Roche (didrocks)
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package metacity - 1:2.28.1-0ubuntu7

metacity (1:2.28.1-0ubuntu7) lucid; urgency=low

  [ Michael Vogt ]
  * debian/metacity-common.gconf-defaults:
    - fix backward setting gconf path (LP: #150702)

  [ Didier Roche ]
  * debian/patches/12_dont-show-as-user.patch:
    - don't show the "as another user" as compiz doesn't show it as well
      and some user find it tech-speak (LP: #519035)
  * debian/control.in: remove libgtop2-dev unnecessary now
  * debian/patches/90_autotools.patch: refreshed
 -- Didier Roche <email address hidden> Wed, 24 Mar 2010 15:29:03 +0100

Changed in metacity (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Vish (vish) on 2010-03-25
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: Triaged → Fix Released
Changed in metacity:
status: Unknown → New
Changed in metacity:
importance: Unknown → Low
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