Dashboard: A KWin effect plugin
I wanted to learn Qt, so I started off by reading some KDE source files and making small cosmetic changes here and there (e.g. GUI improvements for the NetworkManagement plasmoid, adding blur to some plasmoids). I also patched KWin’s change screen OSD, which was missing the blur effect. This was the first time, I got my hands on KWin code.
The KWin people on IRC have been kindly helpful (thx mgraesslin, notmart, sebas and everyone else). When I suggested to patch the Plasma dashboard code in order to have the dashboard blur its background, a discussion started that this should be done by a KWin plugin.
Said, done. I had a look at some other KWin plugins which looked easy enough for me to understand and used them as template for my first own KWin plugin. Needless to say that I ran into a bazillion problems! Not only the KWin infrastructure was the first hurdle to take but also some Plasma internals wanted to be learned. And all this while I had to remember my poor C++ skills, which were almost non-existing so many years after having been to university. Luckily, I managed to dig my way through. I wanted my effect plugin to be configurable, so I learned about the concepts behind Qt GUIs and used Nokias Qt Creator to build a nice looking configuration dialog, where you can adjust brightness, saturation and even can add some fancy blur to the background (who would have thought? *G*).
And without any further words, I present you the result of my work during the last weeks:
There are still some few glitches to fix. Since KDE SC 4.5 is already in feature freeze, there is no need to hurry. As soon as 4.5 is branched and the trunk opens again, I will post my work to the reviewboard for discussion. I am really looking forward to have this plugin included in KDE 4.6.