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Enlightenment GUI Graphics Open Source Upgrades Linux

After 12 years of Development, E17 Is Out 259

The Enlightenment front page bears this small announcement: "E17 release HAS HAPPENED!" The release announcement is remarkably spartan — it's mostly a tribute to the dozens of contributors who have worked on the software itself and on translating it into many languages besides system-default English. On the other hand, if you've been waiting since December 2000 for E17 (also known as Enlightenment 0.17), you probably have some idea that Enlightenment is a window manager (or possibly a desktop environment: the developers try to defuse any dispute on that front, but suffice it to say that you can think of it either way), and that the coders are more interested in putting out the software that they consider sufficiently done than in incrementing release numbers. That means they've made some side trips along the way, Knuth-like, to do things like create an entire set of underlying portable libraries. The release candidate changelog of a few days ago gives an idea of the very latest changes, but this overview shows and tells what to expect in E17. If you're among those disappointed in the way some desktop environments have tended toward simplicity at the expense of flexibility, you can be sure that Enlightenment runs the other way: "We don't go quietly into the night and remove options when no one is looking. None of those new big version releases with fanfare and "Hey look! Now with half the options you used to have!". We sneak in when you least expect it and plant a whole forest of new option seeds, watching them spring to life. We nail new options to walls on a regular basis. We bake options-cakes and hand them out at parties. Options are good. Options are awesome. We have lots of them. Spend some quality time getting to know your new garden of options in E17. It may just finally give you the control you have been pining for."
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After 12 years of Development, E17 Is Out

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  • Congrats, rasterman. (sorry, wmaker user)
    • This was what first brought me to "Chips & Dips".

      • by Phaid ( 938 )

        Ditto. Malda had all these cool little applets for E that I played around with, and then I noticed there was a link to this little forum I hadn't heard about...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by X0563511 ( 793323 )

      I'll use it, as soon as someone packages it.

      No way can I be bothered to deal with all those source packages.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        want me to google it for you too?
        Nah, just go to the homepage and click download?
        I recommend CentOS rpm.
        I got a better idea. don't use it. you are probably to lazy to configure it as well, and will endlessly complain while staring at a blank desktop.

        • by cheekyboy ( 598084 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @01:25AM (#42367257) Homepage Journal

          Its time like these, that hopefully will change in 2020.

          These stupid ass distros who are so hard up and anal, they should be the ones who find all these cool apps and programs, and re-package it up into their REPO servers ASAP, or on the day of the release.

          If conical wants an app store, PUT all the damn cool shit on it. Not old shit, new shit.

          Linux needs a none-distro specific Super Store.

          Click download app - dont ask for what distro I am using, figure it out lame asses. Use a app store client that runs on 5 major distros. And can install app XYZ easily, that doesnt break other apps, and that wont stop and get stupid python errors, coz again some lame ass coded his scripts with 2.6, but fails in 2.7. Fix your shit, stop breaking old shit, stop removing old apis, you want to reduce bloat? then dont package up 167 languages that take 89 megs.

          • by semi-extrinsic ( 1997002 ) <asmunder.stud@ntnu@no> on Saturday December 22, 2012 @04:24AM (#42367751)
            You want bleeding edge software, use a bleeding edge distro! Official E17 packages for Archlinux have been 0-2 days behind upstream for the last 10 preview releases. Those install in about one minute.
        • Spoken like a Gentoo user.

          I want packages because it makes it easy to update (or remove). If I go hybrid (using packages for everything else, source for this) I am asking for a maintenance nightmare.

      • I don't blame you. E17 looks promising but building it has been a real pain in the ass so far. First, I neeeded to d/l, build, and install the dependencies/core libraries (and their dependencies). Even when that part was done and I got through a successful ./configure for the main E17, I still ran into errors during the build (most recently, "No rule to make target `illume-keyboard/e-module-illume-keyboard.edj").

      • Elive [] is Debian with Enlightnment E16 and regularly updated E17 builds. It's a live CD so you can test it out before deciding to install. If you install the leading edge Debian Wheezy, e17 is packaged too [].

      • Re:Congrats (Score:4, Informative)

        by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @09:09AM (#42368499) []

        The lead dev is on xmas vacation at the moment, but Bodhi 2.2.0 is expected to be released before the new year, and it will come with this release. The current release has an earlier dev release, but it is still very stable and functional. I've been using it on my main system for more than a year.

  • by detain ( 687995 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:18PM (#42366537) Homepage
    E was left behind in the window manager wars but it was probably the one that first featured alot of the UI changes that sparked the UI revolution that was the last 12 years. Its good to see they are finally out with a new version and I hope it gains some ground but it would be hard at this point to become the #1 WM. Im sure many of the people who used E in the past will want to try it again but beyond that I dont see it being adopted much. I would probably rather E over Ubuntu's Unity any day (Although i'd take just about any WM over Unity)
  • Am I the only one who interpreted "out" as meaning "abandoned" or "given up on?"

    • Re:Out? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:38PM (#42366623)

      Am I the only one who interpreted "out" as meaning "abandoned" or "given up on?"

      No. Enlightenment was a really promising window manager. I used it from the late 90's until the early 2000's. It was pretty nice even with all of the warts. They kept scrapping it and starting over so many times that I kinda gave up on it. Honestly, I thought it was dead years ago. I figured they finally officially threw in the towel.

    • No. It means homosexual by confession. :-)

  • What's the difference between a window manager and a desktop environment?

    Or was it "desktop manager" and "window environment"?

    No, seriously, I don't know the difference.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Windows managers simply manage your windows. A desktop environment provides libraries, toolkits, services, applications, system configurations, etc. For instance GNOME and KDE are desktop environments that provide access to your hardware devices, network management, etc. Enlightenment is somewhere in-between since it offers some things like libraries to build applications with but I don't know of many native E applications out there. DE's focus on the whole user experience when using an operating system

    • by morcego ( 260031 )

      What's the difference between a window manager and a desktop environment?

      Or was it "desktop manager" and "window environment"?

      No, seriously, I don't know the difference.

      For the end user, not much. Technically, the different is big, and they can be completely separated. A Window Manager will offer a set of features for, literally, manage the Windows on the screen. Even a root menu are not required. A Desktop Manager will offer an application environment and so on. I remember using X11 + Gnome + Enlightenment a few years back. Gnome was a Desktop Manager that required a Window Manager (E was one of the option).

      I know I'm not doing a good job explaining this, so if someone co

    • A window manager handles the position and decoration if mere windows. Some simple window managers may offer some extra functionality such as a taskbar or a settings panel.

      A desktop environment contains pretty much all you need on top of a window manager, user interface APIs, a collection of programs (that go together in terms of appearance and behavior), and service daemons.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @12:10PM (#42369465) Journal

      A desktop environment is just an extremely bloated window manager.

  • by mfearby ( 1653 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:42PM (#42366643) Homepage

    10 years too late, I reckon. We've all moved on from this kind of "gratuitous eye candy above all else philosophy" and it's all about consistency, usability, integration, and last but not least, features now.

    • by LinuxGeek ( 6139 ) * <djand DOT nc AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:54PM (#42366701)

      It has grown way beyond "eyecandy", check it out. []

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        Why does the video have a repeating "ling-ling-ling" sound in it? Also all that noice + 35 minutes long.

        • Why does the video have a repeating "ling-ling-ling" sound in it?

          It was made by Santa.

      • Yo dawg, I hear you like settings, so I put some settings in your settings, so you can set your settings while you set your settings.

        This is a highly confusing, very inconsistent desktop environment like program. Items that deal with setting the user interface are all over the place, items that deal with power settings are all over the place, and so on. There are desk top icons/indicators for apparently random things, but for others there isn't one. I'm not comparing E17 to other Unix/Linux/Xwindows alterna

    • Indeed, things have changed. It's all about huge interface elements that waste space, as little configurability as possible (even if it throws away features that enhance usability) and catering to the lowest common denominator (i.e. people who aren't actually using Linux.)

    • Eye candy above all else is clearly not their philosophy. Check out their site: "Beauty without sacrifice, and all the options you can eat" is their philosophy. What a wonderful and needed philosophy to introduce into the linux UX ecosystem.
  • by sk999 ( 846068 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @10:57PM (#42366713)

    I'll stick with e16 - it does all that I need. Basically, I only use the e16 window manager, along with a GNOME desktop - kind of odd but it works. Even at that, the only features I rely on from e16 are edge-flip and "annihilate" - features that used to exist in Red Hat but were dumped long ago.

  • This ranks among many software-things that I never expected to see happen. (up there with a "new" BeOS (never happened *for real reals*))

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @11:43PM (#42366875)

    Users don't want options, don't these guys get it?

    Yours Truly,
    GNOME Development team

  • So the product they just released is already 12 years behind? This is good, how?
    • No... I suggest you try it out in a virtual machine and see for yourself. What you'll realize is that it's current, and everybody else took a decade to catch up to what Enlightenment was doing in the 90's.

  • 17 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Myopic ( 18616 ) * on Saturday December 22, 2012 @12:25AM (#42367053)

    Can anyone explain why some open source* people have a fetish for tiny version numbers? If you are going to spend ten years developing a new version, is that REALLY not worth a primary version number? What is the attraction to having versions as near to zero as possible? In a dotted-decimal notation, why do some people think only the second decimal should be incremented, and at that only once per decade, and the first decimal should remain zero forever?

    The primary decimal should be zero when the project is started and should be 1 when it reaches initial functional maturity. Major versions with substantial new features warrant primary-decimal increments. Minor features warrant secondary-decimal increments. Bug fixes warrant tertiary-decimal increments. Otherwise one of the main benefits of the dotted-decimal notation is lost.

    * and not other open source cf. emacs

    • Re:17 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @01:27AM (#42367269)

      its a e-peen thing, the lower the version number, the less you screwed up

    • Unless your an attention seeker and its pure marketing.... then

      Then the only time to move the primary number up, is if you have intruduced enough incompatibility or broken lagacy functions, that it warrants an indicator number, to show, what works with what.

      Keep calling it 1.758 (Release 2012)

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      To me open means free. You number your software as you please. I do it as I please and others do it as they please.

      I would drop the whole version number stuff and just use the date. Add Beta for beta products and Alpha for Alpha. Use a product name for the product.

      Enlightment 20121221
      Why would you stick with 1, 2, 3 ... 21, 22 and such low numbers?

      Car analogy: A 1965 Mustang and a 2012 Mustang (From Ford). I bet people who are into cars know the difference. I know which one is newer.

    • As far as I'm concerned:
      minor: patches - bugfixes and security issues. No new functionality, won't break backwards compatibility
      major: new features, but maintain backwards compatibility
      primary: major changes, usually including structural stuff under the hood. No backwards compatibility guarantees

      So yeah, I don't know why they never increment the primary (to me, at least, 0 means "beta" or below) but I'd disagree that just

  • multi-screen win! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 22, 2012 @12:25AM (#42367057)

    I've been using E17 for many years, and every time I try other WM/DE's I keep going back to E17 for one simple reason. The way E17 handles multi-monitors is such a vast improvement over others I don't know why everyone doesn't do it this way. Desktops on each monitor can be independantly switched!

    Seriously, I don't know how anyone gets work done with multi-monitor any other way. Being able to switch the contents of a single monitor without switching everything on the other one is just what I always expected for desktop management, and can't understand a situation where I would want to switch both monitor virtual desktops simulaneously ALL the freaking time! This is very similar to getting use to virtual desktops on linux then trying to switch back to the single-desktop of ms windows systems.

    Guess that point is not as imporant to most as to me, but I can't imagine doing it any other way without a feeling of something being wrong.

    Congrats E17!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Desktops on each monitor can be independantly switched!

      Xmonad also has this ability by default. It's the one feature that keeps me from moving to Awesome or DWM.

  • I have a 4.2Ghz quad core AMD cpu, 16 gigs of 2ghz ram and a pair of SSD's in raid

    so do I really give a shit about a graphic tachometer telling me that a text editor will bump that needle up by a fraction of a pixel?

    yea I know its just a thing, and it can be removed, but from the first screen shot, I get the impression that this software is STILL stuck in 1996, and I am 16 years old

    • Because the SAME window manager might run on your Android phone and there you DO care if your battery drains in 10 minutes?
    • by raster ( 13531 )

      and you spent 0 seconds even trying e17 or reading the page about it that tells you that that needle is the cpu freq.. and if you ever had a battery or care about the whining noise of your fans... you'd care about that needle. if you dont care.. you can remove it. it solves stuff like "my machine performs badly" and have to file a bug with your distro and hope it fixes it.. when a click of a men has it doing exactly what u want. control handed to you. you want to chew through power. want it to sip? ondemand

  • I thought Bodhi Linux [] was already using E17? Was that a pre-release? Does anyone know when Bodhi Linux will get this new release? I'm curious because I'm about to install the new version of Bodhi, and I don't want to install it and then have to re-install it with the newest version in just a couple of weeks.
    • E17 "previews" (betas or whatever you want to call them) have been available for years, I had it installed as a secondary desktop on both Mageia releases and on Mandriva before that ... but the official version number was 16.99. (For the record, KDE is my primary DE, but I also install Enlightenment, XFCE and fluxbox.)

      No plans on building from source, I'm sure Mageia will have it up shortly.

    • Bodhi's been using the nightlies from the e17 project, with a couple of patches to the code to add their options to the menu.

      If you install the current version of Bodhi (2.1.0) you'll get a build from a couple of months ago. The nightlies from the current lead up to the release are in testing, and Jeff has said he's going to be getting 2.2.0 out (with this official release) before the new year. That being said, Bodhi's using a semi-rolling release, and if you install 2.1 now, and update through synaptic or

  • Can I drag a file from a lower, unfocused folder to anywhere without either raising or focusing that folder? You know, like Windows and Mac users have been able to do almost as long as those have existed?

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      I call bullshit - how can you select the file in MS Windows or Mac without focus?
      • You've used neither and have access to neither?


        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          It appears you mean "sloppy focus" from what another poster has written. If that's the case it's been in various window managers for X longer than MS Windows has existed, even if it's not the default in most now.
          If you can select something you have "focus" on the window the thing you are selecting is in by definition (thus your statement above as written makes zero sense unless you have some different definition that you have not yet outlined to us). Whether it is raised or not when it gets focus is typic

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