Message: previous - next
Month: December 2012

Standalone build of KWin

From: Martin Gräßlin <mgraesslin@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2012 12:38:07 +0100
Hi Trinity developers,

finally I can announce the availability of a patch [1] to build KWin 
standalone. That is without building other parts of kde-workspace. The patch 
is on top of KDE/4.10 branch [2] as of Friday and available in git branch 
"kwin/standalone" of my kde-workspace clone [3].

I hope this patch can help you to provide a tailored version of KWin.  Most of 
the functionality which is required for this is already part of KWin master 
and also used in some KDE projects. E.g. for Plasma Active we use an adjusted 
KWin version without window decorations, without KCMs, with a different binary 
name and different configuration files. To make it easier to build KWin for 
new developers we introduced a build option to disable the Oxygen window 
decoration which required to build most parts of kde-workspace. All available 
build options are documented in [4].

*Build Options*
For the usage in your project I would suggest the following build options:
* adjust the "KWIN_NAME" variable in CMakeLists.txt

The steps on how to build KWin are probably well known given that it is a 
cmake project. If not there is a beginners guide available in [5].

The patch does not reduce the dependency on kdelibs and kde-runtime. We still 
have a dependency on kdelibs and that cannot change in the lifetime of KWin on 
Qt 4 due to part of KWin being implemented in kdelibs.

Also KWin has a pretty standard Plasma look'n'feel. But this can be easily 
* window decorations can be written in QML since 4.10 - with disabled Oxygen 
the default decoration is in fact on QML. Documentation for this is still 
missing, but is on my TODO list ;-)
* Alt+Tab window switchers can be written in QML. Documentation for this is 
available in [6] and this feature is e.g. used by Plasma Active to have a 
customized switcher
* QML scripts can be loaded - e.g. our "Desktop Change OSD" is written in QML. 
It would be easy to replace it with one that does not use Plasma Components. 
Documentation is available in [7] for the general JavaScript API.

*What are the next steps?*
Development focus is currently on porting KWin to Qt5. Given the strong usage 
of XLib this is more work than for most projects. But I hope that this will 
soon be finished. With Qt5 and KDE Frameworks 5 the dependencies will go down 
to what is really needed and quite some for KWin important functionality from 
kdelibs has been upstreamed into Qt.

Other plans are to use KConfigXT for the complete configuration of KWin. This 
is already used (since 4.10) for KWin effects and would allow to easily 
integrate our configuration interfaces in your available configuration module. 
With KConfigXT the configuration modules basically consist of .ui files and an 
xml description of the config values. (Note: the KCMs belonging to KWin do not 
support a changed binary name.)

Apart from that I want to have everything which is UI to be done in QML.

*Final Remarks*
This patch is a personal service provided by me and is not officially 
supported by KDE. I will not update the patch on a regular basis, though I 
intend to update it for each release cycle once a new version has been 
branched. This also means that I cannot guarantee that everything works 
correctly. If you hit a bug related to this patch let me know, but please 
don't open a report on

I hope this patch is helpful for you. If you need improvements you are of 
course more than welcome to contribute to KWin :-)

A Merry Christmas to you and a happy and successful new year 2013.

Kind Regards
Martin Gr��lin
KWin Maintainer