Long time no post on what has changed in KWin lately. So I’m going to show you some new features.
There has been some work going on to improve the tabbox (alt+tab) when no effect is used. Andreas Pakulat added an outline for the currently selected window like it was in KDE 3 time. Very nice and usefuel – thanks a lot. The tabbox has received some face lifting and uses the Plasma style. On that part I want to thank Nuno for his great help on making the whole thing nice. Adding some pixels here and there – I could not have done it.
Well nothing is as good as a screenshot:
But that’s not the only thing which has improved. Some might have noticed that they activated an effect but it just doesn’t work. This can have different reasons: you want to activate an OpenGL only effect and you are using XRender or the effect requires OpenGL shaders and your hardware or driver does not support shaders. To solve this problem the best solution would be to deactivate the not supported effects in the plugin selection, but that’s not possible as you can change the effects if compositing is suspended or deactivated. So testing if OpenGL is used does not work and we cannot deactivate the effects in the UI.
To give some feedback to the user a notification is shown when you change effects and you have selected a not supported effect. It just checks which effects are loaded and which effects are selected when you change your settings.
We also added a D-Bus method toggleCompositing to suspend/resume compositing. This is already used by PowerDevil when the option to disable Compositing is set. In that case another notification is shown, telling you the shortcut to resume compositing. So if you are the author of an application which you know performs badly with compositing (I have heard there are some drivers which don’t like you to play videos when compositing is enabled – should be solved with DRI2) you can automatically suspend compositing.
And last but not least there is a new on-screen-display which is shown when you change the desktop. It’s Plasma styled as well and looks very much like the pager. It highlights the new desktop and arrows from the old desktop to the new desktop are shown. Please don’t tell me that this is just a copy from Mac OS – of course it is inspired. But this one is better. Ever looked at the Mac OS spaces OSD? Does it look like the other parts of the workspace? No it doesn’t. Our OSD uses the workspace style, so it’s better integrated 🙂
This OSD replaces the old popup info. So you just have to check the “Show desktop name on change” option to receive this OSD. If you want to keep the old just name option: please leave a note. If there is need for it I will add an option to select between OSD and only desktop name.
And as an image can’t show the dynamic animations (Plasma has really great stuff for that) here’s the video (Link for planet reader):