I first wanted to blog about KWin changes after returning from aKademy but then I never got to doing it. After that I've thought something like "once I'll complete this feature, I'll blog" a few times but then another interesting thing came up...
But finally, here's a summary of cool stuff that has happened in recent months:
One of the most interesting things is compositing settings autodetection. KWin now tries to detect your video driver and it's version and if it's good enough then compositing will be enabled by default. ATM it'll be enabled for NVidia drivers >= 96.39 and for Intel >= 20061017. If you know which settings work for another card/driver then please report it to kwin mailing list or post a comment here.
When you enable compositing yourself or change some of its settings, you'll get a confirmation dialog which will revert back to previous, hopefully working settings if you won't respond in 10 seconds (it's similar to the one you get when changing resolution. In fact there's plan to use exactly the same dialog). ATM it's a bit unreliable in that KWin sometimes crashes when reloading it's settings but hopefully it'll be fixed soon.
Speaking of KWin crashes, we're planning to make KWin restart itself in such cases (just like Plasma or KRunner) and eventually turn off compositing so that you'd always have a usable window manager, even when compositing has some problems.
Then there's the not-so-new-anymore compositing config module where you can turn on compositing and effects. Since a few days ago it also includes the entire list of effects so there's no separate "Window effects" config module for that anymore.
One of the biggest usability complaints - effect shortcuts aren't listed anywhere - is also starting to get solved. I added shortcuts to PresentWindows config module. I'm still not sure if all effects should have a config module just to show the shortcuts or if it would be better to just list the shortcut in effect's description (e.g. "Shows all desktops side by side when Ctrl+F8 is pressed"... or just "Shows all desktops side by side (Ctrl+F8)"). We've still got a little time to figure it out.
There are a few new effects as well. Invert and Sharpen effects were added during aKademy and Looking Glass - a fancier-looking magnifier - a little after it.
Old effects have received some polishing. PresentWindows and BoxSwitch both show window captions and icons. Shadows are nice and round (and unfortunately a bit slow). Some animations are faster, making KWin feel snappier.
I'm not posting any videos this time but if all goes well, you should see one in beta3's announcement.