This question would serve me to figure out if I can remove, or replace compiz, if I don't use Unity. I seem to be running into a lot of desktop/window bugs, such as windows unminimizing on the wrong workspace, windows not activating when unmaximized (nasty one), and now, white taskbar buttons.
I would appreciate a comprehensive answer that makes me understand what is the place of compiz among software products like Gnome, "Unity", lightdm, metacity, which are, for me, stuff that overlap in functionality in a blurry way.
I have a friend who said he removed compiz from his 12.04 installation, as if not needed. That sounds dubious to me, since I use something called ccsm (CompizConfig Settings Manager) to tweak various desktop stuff all the time.
I also hear (read on launchpad) that "compiz is dead" (or will soon be). If you look at development, pretty severe bugs are progressing very slowly. I would like to know what to turn to, in the future. I should add, I very much tend to stick to gnome-classic, because the Unity thing always seemed a step backward (or sideways) to me: big buttons intended to be "tapped" on a tablet rather than clicked, a launcher that never did what Alt+F2 did in previous versions (2 simple things: autocomplete and suggestions).
Didn't mean to wander, question in the title, thank you.