What’s going on with CoverSwitch?

Thanks to a cold and the decision not to attend classes today I found some time to work on CoverSwitch again and to blog about the new features I’m working on.

Some time ago I started to port CoverSwitch to new possibilities introduced by Cube. So we do not have to define an own perspective projection as KWin is already using a perspective projection. For those who are intersted: it is exactly the same projection matrix as used by Compiz. And I must say that CoverSwitch looks better now. The porting is not yet finished as there is a regression with multi screen setups. That’s the reason why it has not yet hit trunk.

Today I introduced a new feature I once saw at kde-look. Btw. kde-look is not the best place to inform developers about feature request. If I hadn’t visited kde-look on that day there would not be this new feature ;-) A thumbnail bar is added to CoverSwitch. So you can also see all windows additional as thumbnails. In fact the thumbnail bar is taken from BoxSwitch effect and modified to fit into CoverSwitch. So if you wondered why I added animations to BoxSwitch effect, now you know :-D

So here’s a screenshot:
Coverswitch with thumbnail bar

Another new feature is taken from Cube. You can define the position where the covers should be shown. A kind of zoom. So it is possible to have the covers far away:
Covers far away
Or very near to the front:
Covers very near to front

It is not possible to zoom while CoverSwitch is activated, but there is a nice slider in the config.

None of these new features has hit trunk yet. It currently lives in the “coverswitch” branch in Zarin’s git repository. So if you want to give it a try just pull the branch. But of course I hope to have it ready for 4.2.

I’ll present a video as soon as I finished all my new features.

10 thoughts on “What’s going on with CoverSwitch?”

  1. @Dunedan: if everybody had a high end graphics card I would add antialiasing.

    In fact I tried it during development and it looked terrible. Seems like Oxygen style does not like to be blended – all those gradients ;-)

  2. It is a good idea to add the boxswitch to it, but why don’t you make it more useful in the sens that the boxswitch part shows smaller thumbnails so it provides some overview of ALL your open windows. Now I feel you have the same information twice on screen for no added value.

    Thanks for the work,
    Best regards
    Tom

  3. @Tom: the boxswitch part shows thumbnails of ALL your open windows and the thumbnails are scaled so that there is a best fit. As with the normal boxswitch effect. If you have lot’s of opened windows then the thumbnails are much smaller.

    And that’s the advantage of adding boxswitch to coverswitch. Coverswitch does not handle many windows (>10) very well. You only see a small part of it. Boxswitch can present a complete preview. So it combines the eyecandy of coverswitch with the overview given by boxswitch. Another added advantage is that you can use your mouse to select the window by clicking the thumbnail. I want to add it for covers as well, but that will be tricky ;-)

    But I agree for only few windows the added feature does not provide more information. Currently I have three open apps. So I will probably stick to the classic mode :-D

  4. Really nice work !

    I agree with your decision of not making it default as it adds no value for a small number of windows. But what do you think of an option where we could define the number of windows after which the boxswitch is displayed ?

    For example, if we put 10 in this option, from 1 to 9 windows there’s only coverswitch, and >= 10 windows theres boxswitch and coverswitch.

    And perhaps this behaviour could be made default as it would “enhance” the coverswitch experience for a large number of windows, as you said yourself : “Coverswitch does not handle many windows (>10) very well”.

  5. Yup, Ektor’s idea is like the natural consequence of your own words, Martin haha

    It would be optimal if you would change the number dynamically, depending on how many windows are visible in the coverswitch effect. Like in the first screenshot, there are 5 coverswitch windows visible, so the number should be 6 then. In the second, only 3 are visible, so show the box effect when you have 4 windows open.

    Thanks for implementing it.
    best regards,
    Tom,

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