This weekend I played around with adding a slight animation to the BoxSwitch effect when the selection changes and when new windows are opened or existing closed. Here’s the video (sorry for bad quality):
The BoxSwitch effect is now animating the selection when pressing Tab. It’s moving instead of jumping as before. Another change is that all thumbnails adept to changes in their geometry when a new window is added or an existing is removed. They slide to the new position instead of just jumping there. Isn’t that elegant?
On this effect I worked together with a new possible KWin developer who does not know anything about OpenGL. So what do you think how many lines of OpenGL code this new animation contains? 100? 50? 10? or maybe 1? No you don’t need to know any OpenGL to write hardware accelerated animations in KWin. The complete animation code is part of the KWin animation framework and the only change to the code is adding a QTimeLine to the changing geometries. It’s currently just playing around but my plans are to add this new implementation into the rendering engine, so that any changing geometries are automatically animated without the effects to need to worry about.
What I want to highlight is that it is really easy to work on KWin. It’s not rocket science and you do not need to know anything about OpenGL to get awesome effects working. Our effect framework completely abstracts the dirty details making it easy for you to write awesome animations fast. There are lots of small things like here the BoxSwitch where improvements are more than welcome. Just come along to the #kwin channel, drop us a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org and have a look to the Plasma Task Wiki page, which will soon be filled with KWin tasks, too.
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