[Help KWin] Document Effect Animations

Given the success of the two community involvements I recently tried with KConfigXT and UI files (both merged into master), I decided to set up regular tasks and announce them through my blog. I will mark those in the caption with [Help KWin].

And this weeks task is a no coding task, but a documentation task. It is a task which can be considered as part of the Extra Mile project.

Let me introduce to the idea: some days ago I sent a mail to the kde-artist mailing list to get help on having better animations, because somehow it doesn’t feel as smooth as other compositors, but performance is not a problem. So our animations have to be wrong (I assumed) and I wanted help from people who understand it.

Well we figured out quite fast that the actual issue is that our animations are not consistent, e.g. two fade animations don’t look the same. Now that is actually pretty easy to fix and would give a much better user experience.

But before we can do so we need to know our animations and to be honest we do not know. So I call for help! Help us document all the animations going on. This would allow us afterwards to define basic patterns for the animations.

I just created a wiki page to document the progress and to explain how one can find the animations even if one is not familiar with C++. While programming skills can be helpful it’s not required for this task, it’s basically just “reading text” in the browser.

9 Replies to “[Help KWin] Document Effect Animations”

  1. Thanks for your work on kwin and for involving regular users! As soon as I read “Effects” some ideas came to my mind what more could be done with the help of users when it comes to effects:

    1) Categorize effects for the same purpose (e.g. close a window, minimize) into one effect (called e.g. “Animate closing”) in the configuration panel, as it makes little sense to use them simultaneously (e.g. your windows either explodes or slides or falls apart; using all of them at the same time looks terrible) – the single effects may be chosen in the settings of e.g. close effect, from a dropdown list. Users may provide proposals for categories, although this may not be the perfect task for user involvement. 🙂

    2) Improve info text of effects: Some info texts don’t really make it clear what an effect does (two examples come to my mind, but I can’t translate them, sorry), some don’t contain info how to trigger an effect (e.g. screenshot), some are not 100% correct (e.g. Dashboard effect says it greys background, but the effect may also be used just to blur, without changing the colours). Having a bunch of users go over each info text and commenting on them (either stating it works for them or providing an alternative text) could provide some good insight, e.g. one could ask for comments from 3-5 different users for each info text.

    3) Record small videos of what each effect does in action. These could be shown in the info boxes of effects and improve usability for non-technical users (e.g. most users are probably not familiar with the concept of a parent window – however I have no idea how to better describe this using only text). Standardization would be needed here (same background picture, same window style, same icons an so on, but also movie format, duration (e.g. 5s), resolution), then users could record videos of different effects.

    However, as much as I’d like to contribute to these, they are just ideas and may not be feasible. Thanks again for your work on kwin!

    1. Thanks for your suggestions. None of them are unknown to us, we have discussed all these ideas already and plan to implement them. Though I cannot yet give an estimate on when it will happen (probably not 4.10)

      1. I agree, putting the effects into types. More so say to help organize them better to know what they effect over all.

  2. hi, i wanted to help with this task but it looks like all remaining effects have no QTimeLine constructs. What should be done for effect like, say, translucency? Mark them as N.A.?

  3. Martin, do you have another fun task like this? Since we’re done :p
    I say “we’re” because i had a few mid air collisions with “Cecconi” who was doing a lot of work as well.

    There are a bunch of effects where i can find what is being animated and the duration, but not the curve being used. All the javascript effects belong to those so do a few others. I just filled in “unknown” for the shape in that case.

    I couldn’t find the windowstrip plugin.

    Note: i might post this message in here, but i’m certainly not the one who did most of the work Those credits go to Cecconi and Docam. I just took the left overs :p

    Kind regards,

    1. My understanding is that when no curve is specified it falls back to EaseInOutCurve, as stated in the wiki page:

      “If there is no call for setting either the CurveShape or the EasingCurve on the QTimeLine the default behavior is a EaseInOutCurve” .

      Is this correct?

      1. not correct for the JavaScript Effects case. I had to check the source code and Qt documentation myself 🙂

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