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Stick a fork in it! KDE's window manager KWin officially has a full fork with a new project called KWinFT, with an aim to support modern development practices and further expand Wayland support.

Announced by Roman Gilg, the same developer who became a contractor for Valve last year and part of that work was actually to improve KWin so it looks like this may have come as a result of that. What's interesting about KWinFT, is that it's supposed to be a "drop-in replacements for KDE's window manager KWin and its accompanying KWayland library" making it easy to get started with it.

Gilg said they did this because "Classic KWin can only be moved with caution, since many people rely on it in their daily computing and there are just as many other stakeholders" so they can push through more advanced changes and overhauls.

What's already in? According to Gilg:

  • My rework of KWin's composition pipeline that, according to some early feedback last year, improves the presentation greatly on X11 and Wayland. Additionally a timer was added to minimize the latency from image creation to its depiction on screen.
  • The Wayland viewporter extension was implemented enabling better presentation of content for example for video players and with the next XWayland major release to emulate resolution changes for many older games.
  • Full support for output rotation and mirroring in the Wayland session.

The first public release was put out along with the announcement and if you use Manjaro Linux, it's already available in the unstable branch under the kwinft package. You can read the announcement here.

What are your thoughts on this? As someone who transitioned to KDE from the GNOME a while ago, anything that can further improve it sounds excellent.

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STiAT Apr 16, 2020
I am not for full forks. We'll see if this projects won't join together again once KWinFT has reasonable stability, or maybe it will replace KWin and the teams join together.

I understand the need to move faster at the risk of breaking, and that KDE is reluctant to do that. For the future it would be great if those improvements find their way to KWin / get upstreamed. Much like Proton and Wine or DXVK/D9VK.
gojul Apr 16, 2020
I hope the fork is merged back later on, otherwise it is a waste of time and energy.
CatKiller Apr 16, 2020
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An experimental branch that tests things out before they get polished and moved upstream would be great. This, though, sounds like someone just got grumpy that their "revolutionary" Wayland ideas weren't immediately accepted by Kwin. I hope it turns into the former even though it's starting out as the latter.
Mohandevir Apr 16, 2020
Does it means that Valve is planning on using KWinFt at some point? SteamOS Clockwerk? Gamescope?
axredneck Apr 16, 2020
Now waiting for XWayland acceleration on Nvidia
no_information_here Apr 16, 2020
This looks interesting. I hope his ideas can be rolled back in to KWin once the project is mature.

Quoting: MohandevirDoes it means that Valve is planning on using KWinFt at some point? SteamOS Clockwerk? Gamescope?
That was a question that jumped out to me, as well.
mylka Apr 16, 2020
Quoting: MohandevirDoes it means that Valve is planning on using KWinFt at some point? SteamOS Clockwerk? Gamescope?

didnt valve do something for KDE and VR?
TheRiddick Apr 17, 2020
in which millennium will NVIDIA drivers properly support Wayland?
Shmerl Apr 17, 2020
Nice! KWin + Wayland + Vulkan for the win!
Shmerl Apr 17, 2020
Quoting: TheRiddickin which millennium will NVIDIA drivers properly support Wayland?

Never. Seriously, if you care about modern Linux desktop it's long past due to ditch Nvidia for good :)
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