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E17 Available From CVS 308

Posted by timothy
from the decorating-the-ecosystem dept.
Lisandro writes "As stated by Rasterman on his site, Enlightenment 0.17's window manager is now available on CVS, which means you can build e17 completely from it, as it is, and give it a try. Of course, it's still work in progress, and lacking in several areas, but it is usable, and looks as gorgeous as ever. Also, in related news, the XFCE team, one of the best 'light' desktop environments for *NIX, has released the first release candidate for XFCE 4.2, with a lot of long due improvements." About e17, Rasterman's note says "It's limited in its support for ICCCM, no NETWM support and it has no iconification, virtual desktops, shading, keybindings or button bindings, but it does WORK (just). it's also fast and beautiful."
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E17 Available From CVS

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  • Work in progress (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:13PM (#10940039)
    Enlightment has been work in progress for many many years and did include a complete rewrite. Which is OK because Rasterman considers himself an artist not a programmer. As for real world every day use, I'll stick to sawfish.
  • by Yurian (164643) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:31PM (#10940122) Homepage
    From the website:
    Adding new backgrounds to E is easy. Just copy them into .enlightenment/backgrounds and restart!
    Gee, sounds great. I only have to restart the windowing system to add a new background? Not even a reboot? How painless.

    I think E is a long way from really being useable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:39PM (#10940163)
    For those of you who did not start using Linux back at the time when KDE and Gnome were still very primitive, E was the best WM in term of usability and look. Simple enough to use and beautiful enough to keep the users around.

    I have always chosen to use E for all these years as my primary WM, no matter what Gnome and KDE can bring to the tables.

    Linux is about the freedom of choices and you as the users have the freedom to use whatever WMs you please. I've been pleased with E and I can't wait to have E 17 officially released to enjoy so many new excellent features. Period.
  • by BlastM (663010) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @09:54PM (#10940229) Homepage Journal
    E16 has been quite-usable for a few years now. "Restarting" involves merely restarting the Enlightenment process, which takes a grand total of three seconds on any machine bought in the new millenium, during which time windows lose their positions and borders but are all back when E has finished reloading.

    There is a common misconception (or more of a preconception as I doubt most people who hold this opinion have actually tried Enlightenment) that anything pretty must sacrifice speed. E16 (and from what I've seen so far, E17) are very fast to load and don't even register in 'top'. The main reason for this is that Enlightenment is just a window manager, not a desktop environment which has an entire framework of libraries that must be loaded to run the simplest programs. Enlightenment with all its bells and whistles will run faster on an old machine than KDE 2.x series or Gnome 1.x.

    It seems that bashing Enlightenment of loading slow has become a Slashdotism as important as saying that Gentoo releases are made sooner than they can be compiled or Natalie Portman's hot grits.
  • Re:Took a while (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ajs (35943) <ajs@a[ ]com ['js.' in gap]> on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:21PM (#10940323) Homepage Journal
    Oh, but it's "fast"... I'm getting so tired of that. I remember when Sawfish came out and everyone loved it because it was so "fast"... then it added support for all of the desktop features everyone wanted and it was deemed too slow. There was a new "fast" window manager called Metacity. Gnome adopted Metacity as its primary window manager because they didn't want something that was that heavy-weight, but Metacity needed some additional features to be fully Gnomish.

    Today's Metacity is as heavy-weight as Sawfish.

    E has always been "fast", but fast in a different way. There are true optimizations that aren't just a result of feature incompleteness (mostly the rendering model which allows for greater hardware acceleration). Still, it's frustrating to see this process of the new toy being compared to a mature tool with a modern feature set. I love Gnome (and I'm sure I'd love KDE too) because it provides a deep and rich integration between applications. It doesn't really matter if the Window manager is Sawfish, Metacity, E or whatever comes out tomorrow, I'll still demand strong support for internationalization; multiple desktops; interaction with the session and desktop managers, panel and applications; configuration through the same configuration system as the rest of my apps; etc.

    If your window manager can do all of this, THEN I'll look at how fast it is. Same for a mailer or terminal or web browser, etc, etc.
  • like the finder? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:38PM (#10940387) Homepage
    From the FAQ
    It means that DR17 will combine features of a window manager and a file manager. It will provide nicely integrated GUI elements for managing your desktop elements, both files and windows. It does *not* mean that DR17 will be another application framework like Gnome and KDE.

    I'm not very familiar with E, so feel to correct me, but this sounds a heck of a lot like the function of the Finder in MacOS (both X and classic) and explorer.exe in Win9x.

    I'm not saying that this is a BAD thing, but it's hardly original. Needless to say, I think this will be a good thing overall for Linux if we're to actually get a good desktop. It's been established that the KDE/Gnome metaphor doesn't work at all and that the file manager and window manager need to be intergrated (as shown by the OS X Dock-like thing in the E17 screenshots)

    Now, of course, you do have the problem of an application framework. It REALLY should be intergrated into the WM / File Manager (FM). As said already, monolithic models like KDE and Gnome just don't work. They're bloated, ugly, and force developers to commit to one platform.

    E17 seems to be a step in the right direction but not quite enough. First off, this stuff is pretty basic and should probably be intergrated right into X11. Secondly, we need some sort of UI toolkit which could theoretically have more than one implementation (in the same way that there are several implementations of the X protocol).

    XUL could be the answer to all this. It's a cross-platform UI language. If someone wanted to make their own XUL implementation, they'd be free to do so and the K/Gnome folks could finally get along.

    So in short -- keep the current 'layering' model that we've got going on with the unix desktop metaphor, but make it so that different implementations of these layers don't break compatibility.
  • Re:Too Late? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lisandro (799651) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:39PM (#10940392)
    Actually, Enlightenment has as many shitty themes as every other WM/DE in existence - i've seen both e16 and e17 look pretty slick and nice with some themes and downright awful with others.

    The important thing about e17 is, IMHO, the technology that drives it. Some of the stuff that can be done with the Enlightenment libraries (particularly Evas) is amazing, and simply couldn't be done with software available before.
  • by jacksonscottsly (699654) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:41PM (#10940401) Homepage
    These screenshots, if you could see them, do not represent e17 in its current form last I checked (a day or two ago). They reflect, at best, legacy e17. The new e17 does not in any way resemble those teaser e17 screenshots we were seeing 2+ years ago or so. There are quite a few enthusiasts out there hosting videos and pictures, but out of respect for them and their home servers, I'll not link to any of their sites. Those who are desperate enough to seek out the real thing will hopefully find images and sources without bogging down those who've donated their bandwidth.

    Anyway, the real treat in e17 isn't what is apparent in the wm cvs... as the team has emphasized time and again, the beauty right now is in the EFL (the enlightenment foundation LIBRARIES) and the beautiful potential they hold for applications, including the upcoming desktop environment. e17 is pretty (i have it "running" on my gentoo box), but completely impractical for use now...the current e17-based apps are also beautiful and impressively useful and stable for me (including elicit, entice, engage, entrance, evidence, and a host of other great apps!). It's exciting to see the beginnings of e17 in cvs, indeed, but I expect a lot of changes and a good deal of time before the next e17 even makes it to beta-level.
  • Re:E16 vs. E17 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deek (22697) * on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:44PM (#10940415) Homepage Journal
    • If I were still a Linux desktop user, I'd be using E16 without a doubt.

    Absolutely! In fact, I'm using E16 right now, as I'm typing up this reply. It's simple, good looking, very customisable, and extremely suited to someone who has very good linux skills. It doesn't have the clutter of KDE/Gnome, nor their orientation towards giving users an almost windows-like menu feel. It's almost perfect for me.

    • But I remember building and running E17 from CVS something like two years ago; and I'm pretty sure it was further along then than it is now. I know Raster decided to rewrite everything from the ground up, but c'mon. This is in no way news.


    What you don't know is that Raster decided to rewrite the rewrite. And he possibly rewrote that too. This recent E17 release should really be called E20 or something around that. The CVS E17 hasn't actually had a window manager in it for ages, as they kept on working with the foundation libraries until they felt they finally got them right. Raster only started working on this new WM code in the last 3 or 4 months, and this is his first upload of that code to CSV, as far as I can tell.

    Personally, I feel that naming this E17 is confusing many people. They think it's the same E17 window manager from a few years back, which is completely incorrect. This update is definitely news, and it's news I've been waiting for.
  • Re:"Beautiful" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:46PM (#10940422)
    Well yeah but defaults matter.
  • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:50PM (#10940643) Homepage Journal
    Rasterman's way of writing software differs quite a bit from others' in some cases. His direction and goals often encompass both cool and correct code.

    Imlib2 for example has both efficient caching for remote image display as well as all-round support for image formats of various kinds and a lot of cool tricks up its sleave.

    His decisions to create libraries of code that are used by other modules so that like can be kept with like and linked together as necessary is wise, even if it slows down release schedules.

    I've been using DR16 for "ever" now and love it.

    PS, DR17 has been in CVS for "ever" as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 29, 2004 @01:51AM (#10940964)
    Like many others have said, E17 is a complete re-write, and it's not anywhere near finished.

    And since it's rewritten every few years, it'll never get anywhere.

    And it will be fast.

    Yeah, whatever. I want to see fast on a 400mhz celeron, not a 3ghz p4.

    Enlightenment has always been excessive in every aspect, to the point of being a joke. It's for people who are more concerned with the look of their desktop than being productive.
  • by Nailer (69468) on Monday November 29, 2004 @02:11AM (#10941013)
    . Think about that. A WM finally rendered in OpenGL. And think about the possibilities it will bring.

    A few, but much less than a windowing system - X - being rendered on top of OpenGL. Which is what freedesktop.org will do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 29, 2004 @04:06AM (#10941243)
    I am a bit tired of this rant, on Windows you have:
    -WMP (looks like nothing else)
    -Delphi apps (own buttons)
    -Qt apps (look "almost" windows)
    -Office 2000+ (if you're not on XP, they look completely different).
    -Swing apps

    Still think that consistency is that important for success?
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday November 29, 2004 @06:34AM (#10941569) Journal
    You can find hideous themes on any desktop. Weird borders, black on black apps with black buttons that light up black when you press them.

    E gives you the flexibilty, you can abuse it and create some pretty ugly/unworkable themes or you can make a very refined one. They do exist.

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