On Getting Help for KWin and Helping KWin

Let me start this post with a big THANK YOU to our sysadmins and web designers for the awesome job on upgrading bugs.kde.org. The new design looks really great and the new bugzilla version brings some quite nice features. I really like the improved reports page and the HTML mails (although I normally never use HTML mails).

Currently a huge topic in the KWin channel is about providing help. Pablo has done a great job on documenting the Window Specific Rules. Luca from KDE Forum team asked me for a collection of things we could ask users to provide when providing support. I realized that this can be difficult, but that KWin itself knows everything which would help during support. So I added a d-bus and KWin Scripting call to print out support information.

qdbus org.kde.kwin /KWin supportInformation

or

print(workspace.supportInformation())

prints out a wonderful summary of the current state of KWin including used options, used compositing backend and relevant OpenGL driver capabilities. We plan to make this information even more accessible by adding it to our “useractions” menu.

For those who need help on writing KWin Scripts, I updated the KWin Scripting Tutorial to match the new API as used in 4.9. The example used in this tutorial got also updated in the kde-examples git repository. You will soon find there more examples: I intend to submit all the example code I write to test the API to this repository. The declarative scripting support has been merged into master and I intend to finalize the JavaScript bindings for KWin Effects this week.

But we do not only provide help, we also need more helping hands. And luckily we also get help. Just today I pushed a commit of a new contributor who refactored our inclusion checks for windows in the window switcher. Thanks a lot to Stefano for this great work.

Of course I have many more ideas for where KWin could be improved and I also have many ideas for small tasks a new KWin developer could solve (of course with mentoring), so I wrote them down in our community wiki. If you always wanted to contribute something to KWin, check out our Ideas and claim one for work. If you have any questions about one of the ideas feel free to contact us on IRC or mailing list.

7 thoughts on “On Getting Help for KWin and Helping KWin

  1. Ok, so, I am a student with 5 year experience in C++(sure, not daily programming on big projects). I made only 1 Qt application(a Collaborative Editor – unlimited users). Would you even take the risk to even read the code that I might try to write? :)
    Or 1 Qt application is not that level of experience that KDE is ready to accept? :)
    I think that it is not enough but I want to know what people with experience think…

    1. you know what my experience was when I started? I had no Qt experience at all, had only programmed with Java the last few years before and barely knew anything about OpenGL or Window Managers.

  2. Maybe you should add your support (and use case) to bug 217060 [1], which requests that components be able display custom instructions to reporters requesting specific information.

    Having an easy way to get all relevant configuration details is great, but would be even better if reporters knew to include it in reports without being asked.
    [1] https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=217060

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