Comment 76 for bug 121653

I have just reviewed all of the comments on this bug and I would like to attempt to formalise the argument for action over this bug. My apologies if this argument doesn't flow too coherently and also for the length of this post:

Philipp Kern said this way up the thread somewhere:
"Compiz does not count as that won't run out-of-the-box with fglrx anyway."

This was used as the main reason for marking this as a "wishlist" item awaiting a fix from ATI. However, the following statement is made on the 7.10 RC page that is linked to above:

"Compiz Fusion is enabled by default... Ubuntu 7.10 automatically detects whether the hardware is capable of running compiz; if not, it falls back to normal desktop."

I understand that there is an open-source ATI video driver that can be used, but all I can find on Google is how it causes instability and problems with Compiz, and doesn't perform as well as the closed-source driver (I am willing to be corrected if people have experience of this combination). When I did my fresh install, one of the first things to pop on to my screen was a bubble saying that there were "restricted drivers" that I could use (in this case the ATI fglrx and a software modem driver). I don't recall enabling or configuring anything else after that installation in order to get Compiz operational. This is backed up by this tutorial: http://ubuntu-tutorials.com/2007/10/04/compiz-fusion-on-ubuntu-710-gutsy-gibbin/ which complains that there wasn't much to write in the tutorial because "it took me *zero* configuration to get it going."

So, as I see it, one of the statements that I quoted at the beginning must be untrue. Either

1) Compiz *is* enabled out of the box and becomes active once fglrx is installed, and so people with ATI cards will encounter this suspend/hibernate bug without any prior warning. If this is the situation, then surely the Gutsy release should be held until the problem is either fixed by ATI or a workaround is made available and documented.

2) Compiz actually isn't enabled out of the box, in which case whoever writes the introduction page (currently http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/710rc for Gutsy) should perhaps amend the wording to reflect that fact

It would seem that the only courses that Canonical can take right now are:

a) Stick head in sand and ignore it.

b) Add an entry to the distribution caveat list so that people are at least warned about the problem so that they hopefully don't lose work when the find it out for themselves

c) Compile an alternative SLAB kernel which is installed only as a dependency of the fglrx package so that this whole mess goes away in the short term. This dual-pathing should be mergeable through the normal upgrade channels once the ATI driver has been corrected and released.

d) Probably too late now, but strongly encourage ATI to release a new driver version and get it tested before next week's release date.

e) Delay the release of 7.10 Gutsy until such a point as this issue is resolved.

Path a) seems to be the current choice. As a bare minimum Canonical need to move from path a) to path b). Path c) appears to give everyone what they want and surely can't be that difficult to do (although I am no kernel compiler myself). Path e) is disruptive to everyone who isn't using an ATI-based laptop, especially with there being so much other good stuff in the release.

Path c) would be my recommendation, although I may be overlooking technical factors that make this more difficult than it appears.

Without doing a round-and-round on this whole thing, we really need the Ubuntu developrs to at least acknowledge that this is a more serious problem than they currently think. If anyone reading this knows someone within the Ubuntu development team who can highlight this problem internally, I would strongly encourage them to make contact.

I would be interested to know if I have misunderstood anything or if there are any corrections to what I have said. I also look forward to some seniour Ubuntu people sitting up and taking notice of this problem