Top menus and window list miss active pixels (Fitt's law)

Bug #638974 reported by drx on 2010-09-15
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
compiz-fusion-plugins-main (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-panel

Description: Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS
Release: 10.04

I am using the default "Ambience" theme, just changed the default font size to 8.5.

The most top and most bottom row of pixels in the default gnome panels for system menus and window lists are inactive. Bad behaviour:

1. I want to click a window button in the bottom window list.
2. I ram the mouse down to the bottom edge of the screen, the mouse pointer is in the lowest row of pixels on the screen.
3. I click ... nothing happens. The window button is not highlighted as well.
4. I move the mouse pointer a few pixels up until the highlight appears and click ... it works.

The same happens in reverse with the top menus "Application", "Places" and "System"

The correct behaviour should be that all elements in the panels expand their activation area to the border of the screen.

It is very annoying and reminds of Windows 2000 :)! It requires needless accuracy in a very common task.

Strangely, if i use the corners of the screen to access "Applications", "Shutdown", "Show Desktop" and the "Trashcan", it works fine. I understand the devs are totally aware of Fitt's law, so i wonder what's wrong here?

Gilbert Cheung (gilbert-cheung) wrote :

It works on corners, such as top left corner of the screen reacts to mouse clicks for the application menu. But for other locations, it is frustrating.

Sergey Prokhorenko (queen3-tut) wrote :

I found that this happened when I turned on (in Compiz settings manager) checkbox for the "Desktop wall" on the last tab in settings, I suppose it is called something like "change desktop when dragging windows to the screen edge/border". When I turn this option off, the panel/menus/windows buttons start working normally.

drx (drx) wrote :

Sergey's workaround works for me as well! Thank you.

The desktop wall dragging option also makes it very difficult to put items into the trashcan via drag&drop without switching virtual desktops.

Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

This bug is an upstream one and it would be quite helpful if somebody experiencing it could send the bug the to the people writing the software. You can learn more about how to do this at Thanks in advance!

Changed in gnome-panel (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Sergey Prokhorenko (queen3-tut) wrote :

I'm not sure if it's a bug in Ubuntu installation. I remember quite well that after installing 10.10 I also installed ccsm, and went there to tweak few settings (even though I still had my /home mounted from 10.04), and I did enable this setting myself, manually.

So it was me and not Ubuntu enabling this. But I use /home on separate partition and all my settings for compiz were kept from 10.04. So I can't tell what happens on clean install.

This means, the real "bug" is in compiz, that with this setting enabled compiz breaks Fitt's law and users generally won't be able to find out why.

Anders Kaseorg (andersk) wrote :

I see this bug on a clean (just created) user account in Natty, without changing any settings. After using ccsm to disable the four edge flipping actions for the Desktop Wall plugin, the bug goes away.

Reassigning to compiz-fusion-plugins-main, which contains the Desktop Wall plugin.

affects: gnome-panel (Ubuntu) → compiz-fusion-plugins-main (Ubuntu)
Changed in compiz-fusion-plugins-main (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Didier Roche (didrocks) on 2010-11-10
Changed in compiz-fusion-plugins-main (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Tobias Wolf (towolf) wrote :

I have a dead top edge in natty’s compiz and can’t work around it with those Wall options mentioned.

Travis Watkins (amaranth) wrote :

This should be fixed in git, and even work better than it does now. Wall flip move and flip dnd should not cause this border, instead of just move like in 0.8.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package compiz-fusion-plugins-main -

compiz-fusion-plugins-main ( natty; urgency=low

  * New upstream snapshot as a patch (upstream compiz main plugin merger is
    - fix edge pixels not being active (LP: #638974)
 -- Didier Roche <email address hidden> Wed, 24 Nov 2010 22:31:21 +0100

Changed in compiz-fusion-plugins-main (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Released
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