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E17 Available From CVS 308

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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  • fluxbox (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Gyorg_Lavode ( 520114 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:16PM (#10940050)
    Personally, fluxbox is my favorite light desktop. What advantages do enlightenment or XFCE have over fluxbox? (if any)
  • Too Late? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Retribution ( 35798 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:25PM (#10940091) Journal
    There was a time, long ago, when Enlightenment was my WM of choice, and WindowMaker played backup, when I needed things to either be a bit more lightweight, or I was working over the network, or whatever.

    Nowadays, I want a lot less visually from a WM--I want it to be as unobtrusive and thin as possible. I put up with Gnome/KDE (depends on what machine I'm working on) because of the nicer and nicer applications being built around them, but I dislike all of that extra overhead--"this app depends on *WHAT*?" This is, of course, my personal taste, and nothing more.

    Enlightenment, how I used to long for you. I yearned for another release. I ached to spend long nights interfacing with you... but that was long ago. I've grown up, you've chnaged. We've moved apart. Can it ever really work again between us? Can't we just let the past stay the past, beautiful in what it is, but nothing more?

    Call me.
  • progress (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Misanthropy ( 31291 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:29PM (#10940109)
    Enlightenment has been a work in progress since 97 or so I'd guess (been a fan ever since the fvwm-xpm days). Seemed like whenever it would start getting good Rasterman would decide to do a complete rewrite. Not that I'm complaining. I think it's cool that he has all these different ideas that he wants to try out. I guess it's more of a hobby/art project than a realworld solution.
  • by auzy ( 680819 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:45PM (#10940190)
    E17 has been around for a very long time, but about a year ago they started a total rewrite, so technically, only 1 or 2 years.

    And you must understand, what rasterman, etc are trying to do is a hell of a lot more advanced then anything tried before. They for instance are developing their own composite system instead of using Xorg's, and they do a lot of work optimisation wise.

    They have also been developing it to be completely dynamic. In retrospect for instance, the windows start bar, the best you can do is theme it, but it will always be the same. Rasterman and the rest of the enlightenment team are making it so that the way things work on the bar are completely dynamic for instance. An example would be when you put your mouse away from the applications button, it moves to the right (bad example, but you get the point).

    So, I hate to say it, but I dont think you realise the real benefits. The default theme cannot show off the full power of enlightenment 17, and you can only see it after using it for a while. And btw, I'm sure they'll add virtual desktops, its still an early alpha. virtual desktops dont take many lines of code...

    As a programmer, I actually very eagerly await e17, because the foundation libraries and concepts seem pretty amazing, and believe me, all the other window libraries like GTK and QT are mostly static.. In fact, the library seems so cool that I might be changing the application I'm programming to EFL from gtk
  • Re:Took a while (Score:5, Interesting)

    by auzy ( 680819 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:52PM (#10940220)
    actually, the reason its taken so long is because they have completely made EFL uber dynamic.. Believe me, after trying out entrance (the Enlightenment GDM/KDM/XDM equiv), I just seriously sat there staring at it for 20mins.. They can easily beat gnome/kde.

    I personally think KDE and gnome (or GTk/QT) are in need of a rewrite, and many programmers have agreed with me.. GTK# might save GTK, but the C code for it can be hell. I think its extremely promising considering E17 is still barely finished yet.

    Take my advice and give at least engage and entrance a try from CVS.. You'll see its very newsworthy
  • Re:fluxbox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @10:56PM (#10940235) Homepage
    Making fluxbox and it's kin usable winds up requireing I run half a dozen other apps. Xfce is those apps, bundled together. You can think of it as Gnome done right.
    I guess I'll come off as a troll, but I'm honestly wondering if you could explain a little more. I use fluxbox, and I don't feel anything is lacking. I right-click, and I get a menu that lets me run the apps I want to run, or I can open an aterm and start other gui apps from the command line. Is it the file browser that you really feel is missing from fluxbox? Personally I'm happier with ls, rm, etc. from the command line. Some of the stuff you listed I either don't consider part of the desktop (like a development environment), or I'm not sure what you're describing ("backdrop system, a session manager, a plugin capable settings manager").

    Maybe part of it is that I've had right-hand tendonitis problems from the mouse, so I actually prefer to type as much as possible and avoid the mouse.

  • E16 vs. E17 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:04PM (#10940257)
    If I were still a Linux desktop user, I'd be using E16 without a doubt. Enlightenment always seemed to just offer more than other X11 window managers; even if it was a bit finicky. After E16 development was turned over to new folks and picked up steam again (making it compliant with the freedesktop window hints and such), it was once again the most advanced window manager available.

    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. Should they ever actually FINISH - then let us know.
  • Re:fluxbox (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:14PM (#10940292)
    Give it a try and you'll understand. I used to use Fluxbox a lot, but being only a WM it's rather limited in what it can and can't do. I then moved to KDE, whose interface i loved but was dog-ass slow. From there i moved to GNOME, which was still dog-ass slow, and while it's interface is not as polished as KDEs, it looks (for me) a whole lot better.

    Now i'm settled with XFCE 4, and i have to say is the first time i've ever been really comfortable with an *NIX desktop enviroment. Think of it as being somewhere between a WM and a DE: it borrows the best from both worlds. XFCE looks much like GNOME, being GTK based, but it just *flies*. In fact, i'm pretty sure that if your system runs Fluxbox well it will also run XFCE well.

    The latest XFCE release is major in the sense they've started to polish the weak spots in the design - there's now a nice session manager, better configuration options, more eye candy :) and sleeker interface overall. Desktop icons are being developed for those who asked for it aswell. It's also one of the more Free Desktop [freedesktop.org]-compliants DE available. It does what it's supposed to do, with zero bloat. In fact, i think the GNOME crew should take a few hints from XFCE.
  • by x.Draino.x ( 693782 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:17PM (#10940306)
    Here ya go guys.. I feel sorry for this guy's server [eshots.de.gg]
  • Re:Too Late? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nothinman ( 22765 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:26PM (#10940341)
    I can't stand a full Gnome or KDE desktop either so I still use E16. As long as you pick a good theme (and man are there a lot of bad ones out there) E16 is still one of the best WMs out there.
  • Re:fluxbox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:27PM (#10940346)
    I think he explained it rather well. XFCE has a bunch of little apps that don't come with Fluxbox or the other minimal window managers. If you use Fluxbox and add in those capabilities by running the equivalent individual programs, the only remaining difference is aesthetic.

    In the end, asking if XFCE is better than Fluxbox, or if KDE is better than Gnome, is a bit like asking if blue is better than yellow. It all depends on what you like to look at, because if you want, for example, to put a clock on your desktop, you're gonna hafta run a clock program.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:27PM (#10940347)
    I'm still running on vtwm. I just checked the source and it's the one from 1993. Happy 11th birthday!

    I tried KDE and Gnome recently. All junk. Sorry! Total waste of time and space. Better luck next time. :-)
  • by kardar ( 636122 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:44PM (#10940417)
    maybe it's the trackball I use... I don't know. It's great with trackballs (good ones).

    Mine (16.6 right now) is set up 3x3x3 - 9 virtual desktops, times 3 multiple desktops (each with a different background). It's a 3x3x3 cube.

    alt-shift combined with right,left,up,down arrows moves you around the virtual desktops (same background, the virtual desktops also wrap around)

    ctrl-alt combined with left and right arrows takes you from one multiple desktop to another (different backgrounds, no wrapping)

    you kind of have to remember where you are, and right click on the top bar helps you if you get lost.

    cd .enlightenment, vim user_apps.menu - add those favorite programs you use all the time to your menu

    you can have any menus you want, name them what you want - then link from one to another - the syntax is very easy to pick up - not unlike building a website or something.

    I made the first item in the main menu my personalized xterm, so anytime I click the double-click key on my fancy trackball anywhere on the background and an xterm pops up. Then I can dict, or calc, or anything I need. (First click opens up the main menu, second click clicks the first item)

    I don't know what more you could want - the only problems I tend to run into is if something is "built for" Gnome or KDE, for instance just the other day - the Straw RSS aggregator - you need to "set" a browser preference to follow the RSS links (like to this story, for instance) - but you need to set the browser preference in Gnome, not Straw. Duh. I found the "sage" RSS aggregator plugin for Firefox and I'm happy as a clam. Place your live RSS links into the "Sage Feeds" bookmark folder in Firefox. Not bad at all.

    Enlightenment has done everything, and more - that I have needed. I also like being able to have very nice pictures in the background - I love really nice nature photography, or other relaxing photography when working on a stressful project - it helps.

    I start up wmclockmon every time I turn on or reboot the PC, which is not that often - put it in the lower corner, make it sticky and borderless, turn on its "light" and there's my date and time.

    So far, anyway, I haven't needed anything badly enough that any other window manager or desktop environment offers to convince me to switch away from the things that I really like about E. Multiple desktops allow you to do several different things at once, keep things seperate, and spread those seperate things out if they too complicated using the virtual desktops within each multiple desktop. And talk about overkill, You can have up to 8x8 virtual desktops - 64 virtual desktops for each multiple desktop - so that's 64 TIMES 32 for each of the possible multiple desktops. That's 2,048 desktops. I use 3x3x3, or 27 and I haven't yet filled them up completely even when working on several complicated projects at the same time.

    I love E. That being said, I probably wouldn't use E17 for a while as anything regular - I am apprehensive, because I like E16 so much. Maybe I am alone, maybe it's the way I work, maybe it's the trackball/ergonomic keyboard/setup I have, but E is just -- I don't know - I haven't found anything better, and I have tried lots of things - blackbox, fluxbox, XFCE, Gnome, KDE, sawfish, FVWM, CDE -- nothing - nothing has even come close, in my opinion.

  • Re:fluxbox (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jacksonscottsly ( 699654 ) on Sunday November 28, 2004 @11:54PM (#10940444) Homepage
    enlightenment runs faster on my both of my x86 machines than xfce4...hell, it's almost as quick as fluxbox, depending on settings. I think i remember seeing some comparisons done on the gentoo forums where a lot of users actually had it running quicker than fluxbox.
  • Re:XFCE (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jacksonscottsly ( 699654 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @12:14AM (#10940532) Homepage
    since you've brought it up, and we're talking about e17 cvs, I might as well mention that the misc/ cvs of e contains a OSX-docker application that functions almost exactly like the OSX dock (though this form and function can change drastically if you change themes and settings.). anyway, it requires e17's EFL, and it's called engage. I've been using it for a few months now... it's effective and stable for me.
  • Re:fluxbox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mercuryresearch ( 680293 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @01:06AM (#10940697) Journal

    I couldn't agree more. XFCE feels like what Gnome used to be in the 1.4 days, fast and light and "just works." The other really nice trait about the XFCE 4 rewrite is that it's a DE built on the unix philosophy of simple, small components. For example, I have no need for a taskbar, and one just comments out that particular module in the startup script. There's still a few areas that could stand a bit of polish, but I've switched from gnome to XFCE 4 (and now 4.2) and am very pleased with the system overall.

    It's also worth highlighting that there is a graphical installer available for XFCE 4.2, which made installing it beyond simple.

  • Re:like the finder? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @01:18AM (#10940731) Homepage
    In other words, he doesn't follow the traditional OSS development at all.

    If all open source stuff was developed this way, Windows/MacOS would have died a long time ago.

    I also admire the guy for not releasing a final release at all 'til all the major bugs are polished out. Calling it 0.17 is gutsy as well. Most people would call something like this a whole version number bump.

    Pity that more people aren't working on this project and in this fashion.

    Look at Mozilla. Remember the old Milestone builds? Talk about unnecessary bloat/misguidance. While firefox is a lean machine compared to its older cousin, it's still got MILLIONS of lines of gratuitious code in it for unnecessary 'features'. As much as XUL sounds like a good idea, imagine how much faster the browser would be if it either used native widgets or XUL was stripped clean of unnecessary features which are now permanent.
  • by jacksonscottsly ( 699654 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @01:35AM (#10940771) Homepage
    ""it'll be interesting to see which of the two.. x.org or enlightenment have the better performance.""

    I'm pretty sure the answer to that question is "e". If i recall correctly, there was an irc discussion posted on xcomputerman's site that showed a few stats...EFL murdered xorg. I wish i could get back at the site to doublecheck the results, but it's been slashdotted.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @06:36AM (#10941440) Journal
    Enlightenment is not like KDE or Gnome. It is a different way of looking at a desktop and with E17 Rasterman is trying some things that might finally get Hollywood to use a real desktop in the movies. It just really looks that good. Entrance is finally worthy of being "hacked" by a pretty girl by pressing the "hack" key.

    Linux is not the linux of old. You got a lot of people who grew up with windows only for whom the whole idea of configuration files is alien. Now that isn't much of a problem. Some distros have come a long way into making a linux install extremely easy. But any new desktop user soon wants to chance the look and goes searching on the internet for pretty desktops. E has some very very pretty ones. Then they try it and hit the learning curve. It ain't a wall. It is a ceiling. Breaking through it is hard if you come from a windows gui for everything background. The reward is full control but the price is RTFM.

    Add to it that most E users don't want or need things like a start button. Its far more extreme use of virtual desktops. Themes wich look cool in screenshot but perhaps grey on black text in real life is hard to read.

    This then soon scares people off who are scared and humiliated that they could not use it. This is the "sucks" era. If you can't use something it must suck, it is never your fault.

    So now you got two camps. Those that managed to break through the learning curve and those who didn't (of course you also got a camp who could care less either way but they are boring) and the perfect setup for a holy war.

    On the one hand you got those who miss their GUI theme configurations and start button on the bottom left corner. On the other hand you got people who enjoy a window manager that just draws the bloody windows as they want it without turning into the bloat that is KDE or the "you can't do this because it would be confusing" that is Gnome.

    Welcome to Linux where people got choice. The price for freedom might be eternal vigilance but the price for choice is eternal holy wars. Choice is all very well but unless you choose what I choose you are the sucks.

    The difference about E17 is not just the desktop layout, it is how things are drawn. ALL windows managers use the similar model at the moment wether it is MS windows or Apple or any of the linux ones. If Rasterman realizes his vision then E17 could be one of the most important steps forward in desktops (as he has already used it on his Zaurus. Yeah that is right. E17 on a pda. Try that MS.) Remember that most enlightenment haters are probably using it already. The libraries developed for E have found widespread use. Just check for something like imlib2 on your average linux desktop.

  • Re:Work in progress (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shrykk ( 747039 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @07:28AM (#10941556)
    It's surely a bad idea to rewrite and take a step backwards. After all, Code doesn't get rusty. [joelonsoftware.com]
  • by auzy ( 680819 ) on Monday November 29, 2004 @08:23AM (#10941700)
    GTK-QT will never work 100%, because QT and GTK have different widgets, and some dont exist within the others libraries, and some widgets have different functionalities.. The only way they will ever work completely together is when GTK gets all the QT elements embedded within the language, and vice versa.

    Meanwhile, EFL has completely dynamic elements, so any QT or GTK theme would be missing a lot of critical elements, and wouldn't be dynamic at all. Thats the beauty of EFL, its completely dynamic. At the very least, I couldn't foresee any way of porting EFL themes to GTK or QT anyway, so either way, it would be a one way conversion.

    Either way, QT and GTK need a rewrite anyway to be more dynamic (if you want proof, try learning GTK and you'll see exactly what I mean. GTK is ok for standard applications aimed at businesses and GIMP, etc.. but when it gets around to designing something dynamic which can attract any crowd, and provide a visually nice desktop to impress people, GTK can be a pain.

    GTK has its uses, and EFL does too.. I severely doubt that EFL is best for everything yet (obviously for starters, GTK is more stable so better for businesses).

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard