Enlightenment 0.17 a new stable release has been released after 12 years or so of development. As many desktops are being landed on Fedora, Integrating Enlightenment in Fedora can not only enlarge the number of available desktops in Fedora, but also improve user experiences and give users another choice of Desktop Environment.
- Name: Rahul Sundaram , Christopher Meng, Dan Mashal
- Email: sundaram AT fedoraproject DOT org, i AT cicku DOT me, dan.mashal AT fedoraproject DOT org
- Release notes owner:
Enlightenment 0.17 (a.k.a E17) is the next generation of graphical desktop shell from the Enlightenment project. When you first run it and get past the initial setup wizard, you should end up with a desktop not unlike the above. It is a very traditional UNIX/X11 style desktop, because that is what E primarily is and attempts to be, BUT with a bunch of bells, whistles and modernities that were never there, as well as a different core design philosophy. There seems to be some obsession with Window Manager vs. Desktop Environment debates. It doesn't much matter what you call it. It manages windows. It does compositing. It manages files. It launches applications. It handles UI and system settings.
Before we go any further, it is time to clean up some common misconceptions.
- First, Enlightenment is not new. It is OLD.
- It predates larger desktop environments like GNOME or XFCE. It is just barely younger than KDE.
- It never started life as an attempt to "be a full desktop environment".
- It started life as simply a window manager. This was back towards the latter part of 1996, and its first 0.1 release came in the first part of 1997. It was a window manager with some extras to scratch the itch that "everything was gray bevels and UIs had to be plain to be functional or useful, and that computers/X11 were not capable of more".
- It handily proved that to be wrong. It could manage function AND form more flexibly than anything else, and to this date is still in an enviable position of flexibility in both behavior features and in terms of visuals. In fact, its Achilles heel simply may be that it has too many options and too much flexibility. Some of the extras filled in the gaps, like setting wallpaper, that was always done by 3rd party tools and not the window manager at the time. If you are after a constrained and simple UI, then Enlightenment (E) is not for you. It can be configured to be plain and simple if you try, or to be buzzing with activity and complexity, but this is up to you. Its default is somewhere in between these to give you a taste of what it can do on both ends of the spectrum.
The default look is not what you are stuck with. Enlightenment was the first Window Manager (WM) to introduce themes in X11 (pre-packaged sets of data that you just grab and select, providing you with a vast new look and feel). Today in Enlightenment, these themes come as "Edje" files (.edj), and are pre-packaged data files containing all images, layout, animation etc. that you may need. They never get "unpacked". They are used "live as-is", and only the data needed from the file is sourced and decoded, so even if the theme is massive, only the pieces needed at any one time are decoded into memory, which is normally a fraction of the actual file size. They are also live data and need to be there while E17 runs as it is forever digging bits of data out of these files as it needs it. It is an accepted fact that the default look will not be for everyone. It tries to strike a balance of being unique (not mimicking some other desktop look), yet still being stylish. It is meant to echo some of the past from where Enlightenment comes from, and yet roll in modern effects and feels. It sacrifices some "usability" for look, yet tries to keep a balance and still be functional. It will not be for everyone, but it is hoped that it keeps you mostly happy until you find other themes that exactly meet your visual needs. You will find this as an on-going philosophy in Enlightenment. One size does NOT fit all. That's what options are for. Thats why we have themes. Do not have the misconception that what you see is what you are stuck with. You are expected to experiment and discover what is good for you. Maybe the default is fine. Maybe it is not. That's why we pioneered themes and spent immense amounts of time making them nicely packaged, efficient and powerful enough to fine-tune almost any aspect of the UI.
These are the packages need to be reviewed:
Benefit to Fedora
Of course users can benefit from this new DE in Fedora.
In the past Fedora users can only use yum to install GNOME/KDE/LXDE/XFCE, after Fedora 18 released, MATE/Cinnamon are available for yum, too. Although users can compile DE by themselves, it's really painful and hard to maintain. Think about every time after reinstall the OS :). It would be more convenient to provide RPMs to users, so install/update/uninstall will be very easy.
Moreover, Enlightenment is a famous desktop environment with a long history, thus there must be many fans/users of it. We think bringing it into Fedora can also attract more users.
Just package every dependency and promise that they can be reviewed 'PASS'.
- Proposal owners: Package all dependencies and push them to review queue.
- Other developers: Keep existed dependency packages updated, make sure the default backgrounds and theme is available.
- Release engineering: Nothing here currently. If there are sufficient interests and participation, a Fedora Enlightenment spin could be released.
- Policies and guidelines: N/A (not a System Wide Change)
N/A (not applicable)
How To Test
Once the packages are APPROVED. we can test this easily.
- Branched users: We will set up a temporary repo at http://repos.fedorapeople.org/repos/sundaram/enlightenment/.
- Rawhide users: Install via
yum install @enlightenment.
yum install @enlightenmentshould install the new desktop environment
All packages listed in the tracker need to be reviewed and tested.
These are just RPMs and we just need to do push or unpush. So we don't need to care about reverting the changes.
Upstream components has a number of man pages and HTML content that will be included within the packages.