KWin in KDE4.0

What was it ... ah, yes ... KDE4.0 has been just released ... just in case you haven't noticed yet in all the other blog posts all around.

No, in fact, the thing I really wanted, was: People, the proper capitalization is "KWin". Not "KWIN", not "Kwin". It is the KDE Window Manager, just like KCalc is the KDE Calculator, KPat is the KDE Patience Game or KMenuEdit is the KDE Menu Editor. Okay :) ?

And, the one more thing I wanted: In addition to the KDE4.0 Visual Guide, which includes KWin, it was planned to also create a KDE4.0 KWin video, which would present most of the effects shipped with KDE4.0 and would explain them (so that people would know how to use them well and also would not go commenting 'useless' about things like the Invert effect which perhaps may be useless for some but can be very useful for others). This unfortunately did not happen in time for 4.0, but hopefully somewhen later. You can now at least check http://www.digg.com/linux_unix/KDE_4_0_0_KWin_Composite_Showcase for a recent video made by somebody else, which I found completely accidentally while Gooling.

One of the things that distracted me from making the video were KDE4.0 KWin release notes, which I actually currently consider more important than the video. It includes introduction, setting KWin composite up, basic description of using some of the effects, troubleshooting and various other things that seemed important to mention.

It also includes a FAQ section that will probably grow. Right now it includes explanations about (apparently very popular) why not simply drop KWin in favour of Compiz, why not at least use Compiz plugins in KWin when we don't drop KWin completely and why it is actually worth bothering with KWin when Compiz is so much better anyway. I've got such a strange feeling the list will need to get bigger.


I always had the feeling that giving to KWin the compositing features would have been the best way to go.
Many small KWin features are not there in Compiz and Compiz shows nasty bugs when run in KDE (dunno for GNOME, never tried).
Your FAQ answer "Why not Compiz?" backed my "feelings" with actual technical explanations, that I now completely share.
From what you said about Metacity I also have to guess that Compiz will soon be a playground for compositing ├╝bergeeks, which also makes sense.

Anyhow, I will be checking KWin compositing features as soon as I upgrade my computers, in 4-6 months (Kubuntu 8.04 and OpenSUSE 11).

From what I have read, I like the fact that KWin compositing implementation is small, lean and smooth, it did not follow the beryl-sch path to hell.

Thanks for the hard work! :)

By nicoladinisio at Fri, 01/11/2008 - 16:04

Hey Lubos,
Thanks for KWin it works great. I couldn't find a way to use the mouse (buttons and scrolling) as a shortcut to trigger some effects such as zooming, is that possible yet? I really miss that from compiz. Also it would great if effects that compiz and KWin share would use the same shortcut by default. Other than that, KWin Composite is really great so congrats :)

By patcito at Fri, 01/11/2008 - 16:00

eheh, funny post :) but also informative!

By mxttie at Fri, 01/11/2008 - 16:28

You know, KWin is definitely *the* highlight in KDE 4.0. Most other stuff is essentially half-baken and buggy (while still being great :P), but KWin is awesome. I didn't expect it to be this great, which makes it even easier for me to love it :D

Keep on rocking Lubus, you're the man!

By jakob petsovits at Sat, 01/12/2008 - 13:23