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Enlightenment GUI Graphics Open Source Software

Rasterman On The Impending Release of Enlightenment 17 117

In development for the better part of the last decade, the 0.17 release of the Enlightenment window manager is slated for November 5th. Leading up to this, the H has an enlightening interview with project lead Rasterman on what to expect. From the article: "Today Enlightenment offers most of what you get from GNOME and KDE, and probably the same if not a bit more than XFCE. It just doesn't try and ship a suite of apps with it. It is the desktop (Window manager, settings, file manager, application launching and management) minus the apps. ... The biggest thing E17 brings to the table is universal compositing. This means you can use a composited desktop without any GPU acceleration at all, and use it nicely. We don't rely on software fallback implementations of OpenGL. We literally have a specific software engine that is so fast that some developers spent weeks using it accidentally, not realizing they had software compositing on their setup."
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Rasterman On The Impending Release of Enlightenment 17

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Awesome. Best Eyecandy desktop. Ever.

    • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @11:38AM (#41830809) Homepage Journal

      So. Slashdot will die, as it began - with dev update news on the Enlightenment project. :-)

      Where's my Windowmaker submission?

      • Re:Very Cool... (Score:5, Informative)

        by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @11:46AM (#41830897)
        Right here [] from February 2012.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        As a current WindowMaker user, I resent that comment, you insensitive clod.

      • Re:Very Cool... (Score:4, Informative)

        by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @03:11PM (#41833593) Homepage Journal

        So. Slashdot will die, as it began - with dev update news on the Enlightenment project. :-)

        Where's my Windowmaker submission?

        Grr... I'm still looking for WindowMaker features in some of my "modern" WMs...

        * Desktop naming. It had a great effect where you could name each desktop with a task or whatever (mine were usually "Main", "Web", "Graphics", and "Root") and they would flash and fade briefly onscreen whenever you switched desktops. Haven't seen any other desktop manager try to do that. I faked something like that using xosd, but that's kinda clunky and persists too long when jumping over multiple desktops.

        * Clip : a desktop-sensitive dock. This is a great idea... it worked a lot like the Windows 7 taskbar does now, where an app would appear there when you're using it, and you have the option of permanently attaching it to the clip on that desktop. I'm annoyed with most docks / taskbars that get cluttered up with everything... but it makes sense to have one for each desktop, so you could have all your graphics programs in your toolchain on one desktop clip, web tools on another, admin tools on another. etc.

        * WM dockapps : These little monitors were great! I mostly just using gkrellm and its plugins now, though, which is probably more efficient and flexible.

        * Awesome skinability : it was ridiculously simple to create themes, for the most part it was just a background, a handful of titlebar textures, and some color selections, and it would do the rest of the work. Done!

        Only reason I stopped using WM was because it didn't do compositing... I needs me my transparent xterms :P

        • XFCE? ....
          Actually looking for the option, I did not find gave me this page though, []

          I know one of the window managers I've used frequently in the past would do that...I thought XFCE, but maybe it was a *box or Enlightenment. Middle click in xfce will show you workspace names, and you can change them.

        • Re:Very Cool... (Score:4, Informative)

          by raster ( 13531 ) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @04:55AM (#41839733) Homepage

          Desktop naming: E17 does this. :) it flashes not just the name but a full preview of all desktops in a "larger size" with their contents etc.
          Clip: e17 shelf. can be customized per desktop.

          WM dockapps: e17 modules+gadgets. not separate processes but plug-ins so they hare generally lighter weight - you CAN implement them as a module "glue" plus slave process if u like.

          Awesome skinability: we have a whole toolset for it. edje_cc compiles them and after that just select the output edj file from the theme browser. the theme though is complex, but insanely powerful.

          Compositing: yeah. E17 dos that too. it also solve world peace and hunger. :)

        • by fwarren ( 579763 )

          Enlightenment would have me as a user if they properly supported WM dockapps.

          Since XFCE as WMDOCK a spend about 50% of my time in XFCE and 50% of my time in Fluxbox.

          E16 was awesome. Way to got E17 development team. Glad to see someone is still writing light and fast software.

    • by _merlin ( 160982 )

      Awesome. Best Eyecandy desktop. Ever.

      No way man! The best eyecandy desktop would have to have boobs on it! I see no boobs in TFA! (I know, I'm not supposed to read it, but the there was the promise of eyecandy!)

    • E is mostly masturbation. It was a major desktop option in Mandrake 7.2 but that was it.
      • by markhb ( 11721 )

        ISTR it was the default option in Red Hat Linux at some point in the late '90s, when the logo featured the weird kris-knife thing (or maybe it was a drizzle of solder).

      • by deek ( 22697 )

        If E is mostly masturbation, then I have been masturbating for the last four or five years. Daily. At work and at home. In front of friends and family.

        Even more, if you count E16, although I only switched to using E17 at work around four or five years ago.

      • by raster ( 13531 )

        And it feels so good...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just kidding.

    • by rnturn ( 11092 )

      Why? Jeez, I've been reading about E17 for so long now that it I'm starting to wonder if the thing'll ever see the light of day. A 3010 release doesn't seem all that unlikely the way it's been going. (Did they bring in the release manager from the Duke Nukem team?)

      • by Lennie ( 16154 )

        They've been releasing new versions of their libraries regularly for the past few years.

        So yes, they will release it soon enough.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Soon enough for what? For dinosaurs to re-evolve? For the sun to explode? For RMS to issue the GNU OS??

      • It's been usable for most of the time it's been in development, and I'm actually running the nightly RPM builds on my laptop at work. I think the lack of a formal stable release just reflects the high rate of change in the underlying libraries, where things are refactored or rewritten quite often. Despite this churn, the window manager itself has remained remarkably stable.
  • We don't rely on software fallback implementations of OpenGL. We literally have a specific software engine that is so fast that some developers spent weeks using it accidentally, not realizing they had software compositing on their setup."

    How is that not a software fallback? Did they mean to say that they wrote their own software fallback?

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      That's what I was thinking.

      It also got me thinking, that since they use some kind of a wrapper that developers interface to, one could just as easily implement a new wrapper to use OpenGL or a hardware solution if one knows the specifications. Hell, maybe someone will write a DirectX wrapper!
    • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @11:42AM (#41830859)

      How is that not a software fallback?

      They didn't say it's not a software fallback, they say it isn't a software fallback implementation of OpenGL.

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      Yes, when you chop out part of the sentence it makes it easy to criticize as seeming to contradict itself. They said they don't rely on "software fallback implementations of OpenGL". You're supposed to read to the end of the sentence.

    • Because it's no an implementation of openGL would be the obvious conclusion if you read the claim.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @11:49AM (#41830929)

      We don't rely on software fallback implementations of OpenGL.
      How is that not a software fallback?

      They're not using a software fallback implementation of OpenGL. Since compositing windows doesn't require 3D mesh rendering, etc. this can be faster and more purpose-tuned than a generic software OpenGL.

      Did they mean to say that they wrote their own software fallback?

      I suspect what they *meant* is for you to use your reading comprehension skills, which the taxpayer worked hard to provide for you.

    • We don't rely on software fallback implementations of OpenGL.

      prepositions sure are hard.

    • by raster ( 13531 )

      rely on software fallbacks *OF OPENGL* i.e. mes'a s software implementations (swrast/llvmpipe). there is a special software rendering engine that is unrelated to opengl in any way or form. it's the same software engine powering the rest of the display/widgets/gadgets/wallpaper etc. it happens to also do the compositing. it ALSO happens to be switchable between software and GL and thus why comopsiting CAN use GL.

  • Similar development cycles, hopefully E17 won't land with the same *thud* as DNF.

    • E17 is not just landing. I have been using it for 7 years now. There have been some bugs and occasionally configuration broke on upgrade, but it has been usable. It is just approaching official release.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @11:45AM (#41830879)

    Been using e17 for the better part of the last decade. It might not have been released, but CVS head (now SVN head) has usually been completely stable to run.

    I hope more folks adopt EFL (Enlightenment foundation libraries) for their projects too. It would be great to just have to re-theme an app to use it on a phone, or a desktop with keyboard as EFL allows you to do.

    Again, congrats on coming through with a full featured, fast, lightweight, with all the eye candy you could want, and limitless customization allowing, window manager/desktop.

  • Didn't Enlightenment (and Raster himself) get purged from the GNOME project because the community turned on him because of the poor quality of his code?

    • by sebt3 ( 923707 )

      Someone suggesting Rasterman's code quality is bad havent read Rasterman's code obviously

    • Re:GNOME (Score:4, Informative)

      by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:18PM (#41832073)
      I seem to recall that he worked for Red Hat and the relationship went sour. I expect Red Hat wanted a professional, functional and clean desktop and GNOME was going the direction they wanted and E wasn't.
      • Re:GNOME (Score:5, Funny)

        by gamanimatron ( 1327245 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @01:38PM (#41832335) Journal
        Wow. It's rare that you can actually see sarcasm dipping from a comment.
        • by tyrione ( 134248 )

          Wow. It's rare that you can actually see sarcasm dipping from a comment.

          And all this time I've been waiting for the drip.

      • Selective recall? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @11:10PM (#41838251)
        Considering that the email insults that rasters manager cced to all of redhat ended up on the net your expectations could have been easily replaced with fact. Broken promises, an idiot manager that didn't last much longer than raster before being fired outright and a better paid offer in his home country filled out the story. What would you do in that situation? I know I would walk and take my project with me.
        • Re:Selective recall? (Score:4, Informative)

          by raster ( 13531 ) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @05:27AM (#41839911) Homepage

          actually better opportunity was not in my home country... it was in california (vs north carolian)... it was a good move at the time. :)

        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          Well I did a follow up search and first hit came up with this quote straight from Rasterman himself "They want a windows clone distribution and OS. I do not. They don't believe users really count - corporates and "partners" count and what they percieve as the "business world that wants an exact windows clone" count. "

          So yes I think my summary was correct. I don't think he got who Red Hat's customers were. They were companies stepping into a brave new world of open source and they wanted stuff to be reliab

    • by silviuc ( 676999 )
      Oh yeah, because the gnome project is known for delivering top notch products. Esp true since Gnome 3. Their way of fixing bugs seems to be that of just yanking code out of everything. Does some feature in nautilus not work right? Damn. Sparky, yank it out! Looking forward to the day when all that's left of Gnome is reduced to "Hello World!"
    • by jonadab ( 583620 )
      > Didn't Enlightenment (and Raster himself) get purged from the
      > GNOME project because the community turned on him because
      > of the poor quality of his code?

      I think it was more that the Gnome people were (at that time)
      determined to have multiple possible Gnome-compliant window
      managers so the user would have a choice. (This was _before_
      the anti-choice jihad that brought us Gnome 2.) Their plan, at
      the time, was to feature a different default window manager in
      each release. After Enlightenment, the n
      • So I stuck with Sawfish. It works for me. It does what
        I want a window manager to do, and it stays out of my
        way apart from that.

        You should see what you can do about those spurious carriage returns.

    • by aok ( 5389 )

      Back when both Rasterman and Alan Cox worked at Red Hat, Alan had mentioned doing a security audit of Raster's code and made a comment that it was rather spagghetti-like.

      After the big news of Raster angrily quitting Red Hat, rumours circlated and Alan came out and posted on Slashdot apologizng to Raster stating that he didn't mean to offend him if that's what it was. It wasn't Alan, but an unnamed middle manager that caused Raster to quit.

      • by raster ( 13531 )

        yeah. alan had nothing to do with that. alan is a great guy - i like him and yes - some of my code was a bit spaghetti-like at the time. other bits were clean and nice. it depends which bit you look at. current EFL code is much better. everyone learns as they go along and improves their code. i did too.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Other way around - raster etc dropped gnome since including it broke all cross platform support in e16 and the 2nd largest contributor to e16 worked on solaris. The gnome people that were more interested in playing politics would not give way and insisted that it be a linux only desktop. Gnome really was such an utter piece of shit back then (before the useless idiots left to play politics elsewhere) that the gnome3 fuss looks trivial.
    • Re:GNOME (Score:5, Informative)

      by raster ( 13531 ) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @05:25AM (#41839899) Homepage

      bwahahahaha. love the FUD man. i suggest you school up on history.

      *I* quit doing gnome stuff because redhat was not paying me anymore indicating that i must work on gnome, thus i had the freedom to choose, and i CHOSE not to, because i hated the direction it was going and my CHOICE was to veer away and e stopped bending to gnome's will and thus it became hard for gnome to use e because it conflicted with what they wanted to do.

      early on before gnome was known about, redhat caught wind of gnome and wanted me to help. i offered to tailor e for gnome at the start. miguel (hi!) stated that gnome needed no wm and would work with all and any wm just fine. i disagreed. since i wrote wm's i kind of had an idea of what would be needed. a year later it was "oh halp! we need a wm! we can't do x, y, z without one". too late. i was tailoring e to be independent of any desktop like gnome. gnome wanted to have a virtual desktop set up totally incompatible with e's because gnomes concept of desktops was too simple. it wanted to take over pager desktop switching and task switching. it wanted to be master and wm be a dumb slave and take over a lot of the functionality of e. i disagreed and by now it was too late as i wasn't going to kill all the features already now in e because gnome didn't want them. i ultimately put in some support for gnome, ability to disable such features in configuration, and it happened to be one of the first wm's with gnome support but it was limited and i had no plans to extend it or integrate it more in gnome and that is why gnome stopped using e because they wanted a wm that JUST is a wm and doesn't do anything more that a very limited set of things.

      you need to get your history right.

    • Rasterman's code is elegant and very readable. From what I remember, he parted ways with the GNOME project because he wasn't particularly interested in working on the GTK libraries as a RedHat staffer.
  • by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @12:01PM (#41831111)

    the year of Linux on the desktop!

    • Android's marketshare on smartphones is approaching 70%. Linux isn't winning on the desktop, it's outmoding the desktop.
      • by Lennie ( 16154 )

        E17 runs fine on mobile too, look at Tizen.

        Hell, it already ran on the old HP IPaq.

        • by Lennie ( 16154 )

          Now that I think about it, I think some company even created a fridge with Internet which uses E17-libraries (called EFL) to provide the GUI/browser experience.

  • See it to believe it (Score:5, Informative)

    by water-and-sewer ( 612923 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2012 @12:02PM (#41831123) Homepage

    Anyone who wonders if it's going to be a dud, needs to get over to [] immediately to check out a distro that showcases E17 beautifully (it's Ubuntu underneath). I had some issues on a 64bit desktop but it runs wonderfully on my Core Duo netbook, and it's fast.

    Likes: gorgeous, responsive desktop, fast, low memory usage, and it's easy to bend it into whatever shape you like. It offers a pretty standard desktop for anybody sick of Unity/Gnome3 but you can also have some radical interfaces too, like a tiling interface that looks like it would work great on a tablet (in fact I wish I had a Linux tablet I could try it on but am scared to nuke my Google Nexus 7 trying it). The "run anything" gizmo - kind of like Alt-F2 - is fantastic; I think it works better than Gnome_Do and Krunner and even Apple's Quicksilver (which is damned good). Their Terminology terminal is pretty sweet; I increasingly spend 90% of my linux day in it.

    Dislikes: it takes a bit of getting used to, and the distinction between modules, shelves, modes, and extensions has taken some time to figure out. My version of E7 (Bodhi 2.0.0) also occasionally segfaults, so there must be some remaining bugs to work out.

    But this netbook came with Ubuntu/Gnome and I find Bodhi running E17 to be a huge improvement. I love it. If you want to see what E17 is like, what it does, and what it *can* do, there's no better way to start.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Bodhi Linux uses E WM

      I tried Bodhi Linux a few versions back and while the experience was somewhat pleasing, I found several bugs and gave up. I may try a newer version in the future.

      "Bodhi Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution for the desktop featuring the elegant and lightweight Enlightenment window manager. The project, which integrates and pre-configures the very latest builds of Enlightenment directly from the project's development repository, offers modularity, high level of customisation, and choice

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Hmm, thanks for the review...

      At some point a few years ago Raster was talking about putting in some neat interactive stuff in the window decorations, like CPU/mem/IO utilization meters per window process and stuff like that... has any of that come to fruition?

      I had an awesome E16-based "enlightenome" desktop a while ago, but I really screwed up my .enlightenment profile after trying to build my own theme, and eventually started using compiz-fusion since it had enough configurability (and eye candy too I sup

      • by raster ( 13531 )

        never got around to it. :( it's still on the todo list. we've been distracted into doing whole widget sets and toolkits and other stuff. :)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Still looks like an ugly toy.

      KDE 3.x is still the most professional desktop Linux has ever had, with GNOME 2.x a decent second. Sadly though, SOME people saw fit to undermine that. Whether for their own misguidance, their own interests, or for money/backkicks from MS/Apple/Sun, I don't know. It's amazing how fast the Linux desktop fell apart though.

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 )
    from: []

    New E17 Snapshot (76819) Sep 18, 2012 at 03:00 PM

    I'm sure there are people out there saying "There's no way two E17 snapshots will ever come out on the same day." My response is as follows:

    This time, in addition to featuring the usual improvements of LESS CRASHING and IMPROVEMENTS TO NOT CRASHING, I'm pleased to announce some other changes, though this is not in any way a comprehensive list, and not all the changes were made by me:

    • DND no longer causes random hangs in some situations
    • Crashes now occur much less often when running executables from E17 as seen since last night
    • Filemanager will no longer sometimes crash when changing directories as seen since yesterday
    • Filemanager tooltips now properly hide when leaving the source icon of the tooltip


  • I was reading that old link, wow, bless their little hearts, discussing about Windows 98 and Office 2000...

    And Slashdot was *still* bitching about whether this was *news* or not... :D

  • O eh, o eh, o eh, o eh
    O eh, oo aah, o eh, oo aah
    Yah ya goh
    O eh, o eh, o eh, o eh
    O eh, oo aah, o eh, oo aah
    O eh, o eh
    Yah ya goh

    At night when you turn off all the lights
    There's no place that you can hide
    Oh no, Rasterman is gonna get'cha

    In bed, throw the covers on your head
    You pretend like you are dead
    But I know it
    Rasterman is gonna gey'cha

    Rasterman is gonna get'cha
    Rasterman is gonna get'cha
    Rasterman is gonna get you

    Rasterman is gonna get you tonight

    No way, you can fight it every day
    But no matter what you say

  • So 2011 saw Duke Nukem Forever. 2012 sees E 17. Is there a bigger piece of vaporware out there for 2013?
  • I use Enlightenment on Bodhi Linux for my older machines and it performs wonderfully! It's fast and lean and, once it's all configured, very productive. The community forums are active and helpful, you'll even get a reply from Rasterman himself on occasion. Kudos for keeping this project alive for all those years, it keeps getting better!
  • Will Enlightenment be moving to Wayland any time soon, or is it hopelessly intertwined with X?

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