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Cellphones GUI Handhelds Linux

E17, Slimmed Down For Cell Phones 166

Posted by timothy
from the durned-amazing-looking dept.
twitter writes "Want to run Enlightenment on your cell phone? The Rasterman's recent efforts bring E17 to Open Moko FreeRunner and Treo 650: 'According to the Rasterman, when used with his updated illume stack and new Elementary widget set, E17 can now run in just 32MB of RAM, on an ARM9 processor clocked at 317MHz. To prove it, he is distributing a Linux kernel and E17/Illume/Elementary stack for Palm's Treo650. The stack can be launched from PalmOS without touching the device's flash storage, he says.' While Microsoft fumbles with limited 'instant on,' GNU/Linux rules the embedded world and that's the only thing going in the IT market right now."
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E17, Slimmed Down For Cell Phones

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  • What a guy (Score:5, Informative)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday October 16, 2008 @05:21PM (#25405601) Homepage
    Raster has always seemed to me one of the unsung heroes of the open source world. Richard Stallman has his following and has even seen a biography [amazon.com] published by O'Reilly, and Eric S. Raymond's witty sayings have often been chronicled here and on other tech sites, but Raster just doesn't get the attention he deserves for his elegant technical solutions--even coverage on Enlightenment here is more about eye candy than superb architecture.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      but Raster just doesn't get the attention he deserves for his elegant technical solutions

      This is because a long time ago, Rasterman refused to sign the NDA*, so the Powers that Be banished him to Japan to lock him out of the limelight.

      *No Deodorant Agreement

    • Re:What a guy (Score:4, Informative)

      by chromatic (9471) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @05:51PM (#25405929) Homepage

      Raster just doesn't get the attention he deserves for his elegant technical solutions...

      He did a lot of work on imlib2, which languished for years until better software replaced it (where "better" might mean "less buggy" or "released more frequently" or "appears maintained"). I've never thought that he had much interest in releasing stable versions of his code with any frequency or rhythm. That's not the sole criterion for positive notoriety, but releasing software that people can actually use is important.

      (One caveat is that I stopped using Enlightenment a decade ago, around E14, because the new versions weren't stable or releasable.)

      • He did a lot of work on imlib2, which languished for years until better software replaced it (where "better" might mean "less buggy" or "released more frequently" or "appears maintained").

        To which software are you referring? (Honest question, not rhetorical.)

        I've never thought that he had much interest in releasing stable versions of his code with any frequency or rhythm. That's not the sole criterion for positive notoriety, but releasing software that people can actually use is important.

        The release cycle is painfully slow, or possibly even non-existent. One of the lowest layers in the E17 actually has a release version [enlightenment.org]. And I just now noticed that there is a release snapshot for E17 and EFL. I haven't taken the time to look at the actual bug lists for the whole E17 project, but I am one of the many people saying "E17 has been quite stable for me and I use it every day". So there's some positive hearsay for whateve

    • Re:What a guy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @06:15PM (#25406157)

      Maybe because other people actually releases stable code that other people can use. That plays a big role in getting fans - people being able to use your software. They don't care too much about you when you don't release anything.

      E17 was awesome from the start, it made things that windows and os x didn't do at its time, and it's still very powerful. But, you know, while E is "technically ahead" of other graphic toolkits, some of the things it does have already been implemented, tested, released and perfectioned in other environments.

      I no longer have faith in E. They're technically ahead in their development versions, but their stable versions are always behind of other environments. I can use features that E implemented first than anyone in stable environments others than E, but not in E, because, you know, they're too busy making it "perfect"

      • Maybe because other people actually releases stable code that other people can use

        So Imlib, E 0.16 etc etc do not exist?

        The other comments such as being behind other environments are just completely wrong in this context. Remember that Slashdot grew out of Rob Malda's enlightenment theme site which offered themes that could do more than Vista can now.

      • by deek (22697) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @10:19PM (#25408049) Homepage Journal

        I'm running E17 on my desktop right now. Been running it both at home and work for the last few years. It's by far my favourite window manager, for a variety of reasons:

        * It's fast. Very fast.
        * It feels clean and simple.
        * Looks very good.
        * Very customisable.
        * Keyboard shortcuts for just about anything!
        * Just about everything can be controlled or configured from the command prompt.

        With E17, I can configure my desktop to be just a background picture. No start menus, strips, clocks, nothing. Then I can add whatever I want, starting with a simple left click on the background to bring up the Enlightenment configuration menu. From there, you can build it to your taste. Sure, it has it's own way of doing things, but it never forces a display feature onto you. It's all your choice to show.

        Given, I run the development version, so it's not the easiest to get running. There's a nice script I use to download via CVS, compile up the source, and package it into deb files. I keep a copy of the deb packages for the last version I liked, and revert to that if the latest version is buggy. It's worked well for me so far.

        As such, I wouldn't recommend E17 to your average user. For the more technically inclined, though, it beats anything I've ever used. I've tweaked E17 to behave exactly how I want it. Now I feel like I'm working with my computer, instead of struggling against it. Truly, I have been enlightened.

        • * It's fast. Very fast.
          * It feels clean and simple.
          * Looks very good.
          * Very customisable.
          * Keyboard shortcuts for just about anything!
          * Just about everything can be controlled or configured from the command prompt.

          Apart from that last point, the same could be said about fluxbox [fluxbox.org].

          I myself migrated from E to fluxbox a few months ago, and found it to have that same no-frills attitude. (Or rather, just-the-frills-you-want-and-nothing-else.) From what I gather, Blackbox [sourceforge.net] and its offspring [icculus.org] appear to have filled t

          • by deek (22697)

            Nice. I've never seen fluxbox before. Had a read of the features, and it looks very nifty. I love the concept of tabs and the keys-file.

            I can't seem to find any reference to virtual desktops or a pager though. It's a shame, because that's a major feature for me, along with the ability to set zero edge resistance.

            • by dbIII (701233)
              It certainly has virtual desktops, not sure about the pager since I ALT-F* between them and don't show a pager.
              • by deek (22697)

                Thanks for that. I thought it'd be unlikely that a modern Linux window manager was missing virtual desktops. It's good to know that fluxbox has it.

                I don't necessarily use the pager to move between virtual desktops. I generally use it to see what windows are located on what desktop. I also use the pager to move windows between different desktops, when I need to reshuffle things.

          • by dbIII (701233)
            I use both and have fluxbox set up on a lot of machines for when people need to use some ancient software that only runs in 8 bit colour. The users will typically use it only once per year (so would be prone to forget everything between uses) but it is simple enough to use that I haven't had a single question about how to do things with it.

            I've also used E with KDE due to kwin having problems with remote windows from some old motif based software.

            Also E16 is still getting bugfixes, it's nice to use the sam

      • by drew (2081)

        While obviously we need people in the community who actually release code every now and then, I think Raster has done more for the community than many people give him credit for. Over the years, he has been an incredible source of ideas that others have run with to do some amazing things. I'll admit that it's been years since I've used any software that he's written, and I'm frustrated to the point of no longer caring that the last stable release of Enlightenment was something like eight years ago. But when

    • Re:What a guy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @08:36PM (#25407381) Journal

      What is there to cover. Enlightenment "1" was out a decade ago and since then work has been going on E17 with countless 'restarts' on the core libraries to make it all work.

      Others have taken e17 on occasion and tried to make a working desktop out of it all, with some success if you are willing to go without essential tools working consistently, it is a good window manager but only for the hardcore.

      It is the Duke Nukem Forever of the Linux world. After a certain amount of time you just have to produce SOMETHING and Raster hasn't.

      The problem is now that e17 really has to look for a new home. So what that e17 is lightweight when every PC has a dual core, 4 gigs of ram and a powerful gpu? 10 years ago E17 would have been groundbreaking. 5 years ago it would have ruled the desktop. Today. Who needs it. You can have a PC that can run any hardware accelerated window manager for peanuts, even laptops got GPU's for ages now.

      For that matter, this is hardly the first time e17 been shown on a phone.

      Raster make some intresting concepts and some of libraries are widely used, but e17 is a pipedream by now outdated by advancing tech. The world has moved on. Don't get me wrong, I got e17 installed and with a lot of tweaking I got it working just as I want it, but I have had to work at it for over half a decade at now to get it working and keep it working with each 'rewrite'. ENOUGH.

      Linus is the best known hero of opensource, because he delivers. Stallman has shown real vision and delivered the GNU but gets flack for HERD (or however it is spelled), Raster did E16, then started E17 and not produced anything but core libraries for some future project. Useful they may be to others but some of us are getting tired of waiting.

      • Re:What a guy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lysergic.acid (845423) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @09:43PM (#25407833) Homepage

        while i can't comment on the technical merits of Enlightenment, i strongly disagree with you that a lightweight window manager or desktop environment is irrelevant these days. if anything, lightweight GUI toolkits are more relevant now than ever before. with the rapid growth of the mobile computing market and rise of smart devices like smartphones, portable media players/entertainment devices, netbooks/sub-laptops, internet tablets, etc., there is an ever-growing need for lightweight software platforms--especially open source ones.

        it's easy to see how wireless internet access is poised to change the consumer computing paradigm as public wireless access becomes more and more ubiquitous. increasingly, the internet/web is being integrated into the daily lives of ordinary individuals. people want to keep in touch with their friends/associates via IM or e-mail. web services like google maps, wikipedia, gmail, flickr, etc. are becoming indispensable tools for everyday life. and more and more people are seeing the benefits of having access to the web, and all of the information it contains, at all times via information appliances. such smart devices have essentially become an accessory to life.

        this has not only pushed more and more portable devices to include wireless & web browsing capabilities, but it has also made them smarter & more powerful. naturally, more robust software platforms need to be developed to match the advances in portable hardware. just compare the first generation iPod firmware to the iPod Touch's operating system.

        obviously Elementary isn't meant to run on conventional computing platforms like desktop PCs or laptops; it's clearly designed for sub-laptop devices like smartphones and information appliances. this is an emerging market that will only grow even faster as wireless internet access becomes a basic public infrastructure, especially as more and more cities roll out municipal WiFi/WiMax networks. and people will not want to run Windows Vista on their portable devices.

        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday October 17, 2008 @03:35AM (#25409419) Journal

          Enlightment (e16) has been used for a longtime as the actual window manager for Gnome.

          But PC's have gotten more powerful, we are now dual core. That means a window manager no longer locks up because the CPU is busy. Even windows (and windows has ALWAYS been terrible as a window manager) runs smoothly now.

          E17 doesn't use the GPU, the most powerful component on your PC that is often idle when showing the desktop, by design. That idea was GOOD when GPU's weren't common, but on the PC they are now.

          In fact mobile phones are now getting GPU's. Since E17 is far from ready, even if goes to the mobile phones, will it be needed?

          I use the Duke Nukem Forever reference for a reason. Part of the reason for its eternal delays is that they took so long that each time the engine they used got outdated. As the industry moved on, DNF got left behind and had to get started again. E17 is running the same risk.

          Linux is good, a low powered OS is good, but is anybody waiting for say an 8 bit OS? That is low power, but we moved on.

          As said, I use E17 because it is good at something else beside being fast, being minimal. I don't need desktop icons and don't want them. Nor sounds not bells and whistles. I just want the basics to look pretty and E17 does that. But I don't need it anymore, I only still run it because I really do NOT like KDE or Gnome. I do NOT want a coherent desktop where everything works together. I run an app, the app does what I want and the window manager draws the window and THAT is it.

          But I am a very small market. Others want transparancy, something e17 doesn't do. Others want hardware accelerated graphics, something e17 doesn't do.

          When raster first showed a vid of E17 running on a mobile app (Zaurus if I remember right) it was nice looking. But we got more power now. We got iPhone and Android and Nokia's phones. E17 is out of date before it every launched, just like every build of DNF.

          • by Bert64 (520050)

            Personally i want hardware accelerated graphics, not to look pretty but to offload work from the CPU...
            Most computers these days come with a reasonably powerful GPU, makes no sense for it to sit idle while your CPU could be better occupied doing other things.

          • by dorward (129628)

            Enlightment (e16) has been used for a longtime as the actual window manager for Gnome.

            Well it was. It was replaced by Metacity as the default window manager for Gnome over half a decade ago.

            • Enlightment (e16) has been used for a longtime as the actual window manager for Gnome.

              Well it was. It was replaced by Metacity as the default window manager for Gnome over half a decade ago.

              Wasn't it Enlightnment, then Sawfish then Metacity?

              • by dorward (129628)

                Wasn't it Enlightnment, then Sawfish then Metacity?

                I think you're right - which would count out E even earlier then 2003 (which is when Metacity got in)

          • by dhasenan (758719)

            There's the bling module for e17 that supports transparency and other effects. I haven't found a use for it, but it exists.

      • by MattBurke (58682)

        > So what that e17 is lightweight when every PC has a dual core, 4 gigs of ram and a powerful gpu? ...
        > Today. Who needs it. You can have a PC that can run any hardware accelerated window manager for peanuts, even laptops got GPU's for ages now.

        Some of us use computers for working on, not for playing about on.

        I don't care if someone's desktop flips over with a flashy 3D accelerated rotating cube effect, if it were me I'd be annoyed that my computer's unusable for the 2 seconds or so while the flip's i

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      The problem with Enlightenment (and thus Raster's work) is that it's always been in development; there hasn't been a release made in the past 8 or so years, and in that time there have been at least two or three (that I'm aware of - probably a lot more) code disposals, rewrites, and general reconstruction/redesign.

      With E, it's always been: it'll be done "real soon now" and if you want to try it you've got to pull it from cvs and build it yourself. Also, if it doesn't build, don't tell us about it; we either

      • by Lennie (16154)

        It really isn't so hard to understand.

        The problem has always been, Rasterman is the projectleader and he never got a job where he could dedicate all his time to the project. If that would have happend he could have done some real 'damage'.

        He had been working on embedded before and he alwasy wanted to make E17 be usable for that as well.

        Have a look at this video of e17 running on an Compaq/HP iPaq from some years ago (the webserver says last-modified: 23 Oct 2004):

        http://www.rasterman.com/files/eem.avi [rasterman.com]

        Now he

  • While this might be 'neat', its the applications that really matter.

    • by plover (150551) *

      Actually, there is another piece that matters even more than the apps, and that's the standardization of the user experience. Iron-fisted control of every aspect of GUI, from control placement to responses, relentless paring down to the essentials, usability labs, testing, all those details that make Apple products so popular, that's what Linux needs, and that's what Enlightenment could bring. It's an exciting prospect.

      Whether or not it happens is a different question.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Ok, ill give you that, and i agree consistency is a good thing, but an interface alone is sort of useless. The phone has to DO something..

      • by digidave (259925)

        Consistency is overrated. If there is a program that is better than all the rest, people will learn use even if it doesn't fit the exact mold of other programs.

        • Re:Ok..... why? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by plover (150551) * on Thursday October 16, 2008 @06:58PM (#25406609) Homepage Journal

          Consistency is overrated. If there is a program that is better than all the rest, people will learn use even if it doesn't fit the exact mold of other programs.

          x million iPod and iPhone users would strongly suggest otherwise. As a music player, the concepts behind iPods suck -- here's proprietary client software, we sell DRM music, our music doesn't work on any other player, can't replace the battery, higher priced than most other players with similar audio quality -- there's a lot to dislike about the iPod.

          So why do so many people buy and use and love them? It's the user interface. It's intuitive, it's consistent across the platforms, it's responsive, and it's not butt-ugly. It's the part that people see and interact with that make them desire the product.

          Open Source projects are starting to learn this. Ubuntu is a big success in large part because they're pushing hard for a consistent GUI experience, and making it easy to use. We hackers may think that "being the best on the inside" is enough, but for Joe Sixpack to accept it, for it to be a commercial success, it's far more important that it looks good and is easy to use. To an end user, that is performance.

          • Re:Ok..... why? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by chromatic (9471) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @07:38PM (#25406975) Homepage

            More people play DVDs than use iPods and iPhones, and DVD menus are by no means consistent.

            More people drive cars than use iPods and iPhones, and minor things such as light controls, wiper controls, and parking breaks are not consistent between makes or even models.

            You're just parroting the industrial designer's version of the geek fallacy that the best technology always wins. People buy iPods and iPhones because that brand is particularly popular and because music players let you carry thousands of songs in your pocket.

            • by pizzach (1011925)

              You're just parroting the industrial designer's version of the geek fallacy that the best technology always wins. People buy iPods and iPhones because that brand is particularly popular and because music players let you carry thousands of songs in your pocket.

              Saying that people buy something just because it is popular is not even attempting to search for a root reason. Mind you, the iPod popped up before Apple really became popular again.

              A large part of the reason why the iPod gained the popularity it did was because the dang scroll-wheel thinger was fun and easy to use for average people. Their eyes would glow with delight when they touched it. It is/was the major gimmick of the iPod brand.

              Average people (not geeks) tell other average people something is

          • It's the user interface. It's intuitive, it's consistent across the platforms, it's responsive, and it's not butt-ugly.

            I dare you to show me an actual study stating that. It's just as likely that people buy them because they're fashionable or because the media refers to "ipods" rather than "mp3 players" in virtually any article relating to digital music.
        • by Burz (138833)

          Consistency is overrated.

          Bzzzt! Try again...

          Consistency is why RIM and Windows Mobile dominate in the business market. With those platforms, you know that access to certain types of data and synchronizing that customers care about (email, calendars, etc.) absolutely WILL be available.

          Having a phone with a Linux kernel and misc. GUI on it guarantees, erm, uh....

          Even on phones, Linux looks like a platform only to software engineers (even most app developers won't recognize it as a platform).

          Maybe Google can make good with Linux-base

  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @05:24PM (#25405627) Homepage

    According to the Rasterman, when used with his updated illume stack and new Elementary widget set, E17 can now run in just 32MB of RAM, on an ARM9 processor clocked at 317MHz.

    Cool!

    Next step: Running E17 and an application! =D

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Warbothong (905464)

      I've got an OpenMoko and I'm very happy with it hardware-wise. However, the software is currently Enlightenment, some Enlightenment ToolKit based apps, some GTK stuff (some of which is left over from the previous OpenMoko GUI) and all of the holes patched up with QTopia/QT Extended tools.

      It's not really a case of E17 and an application, its a case of E17 and GTK libraries and daemons, and QT libraries..... and an application.

      I'm trying to get started hacking on it to fix this, but I'm having some trouble wi

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @05:29PM (#25405691) Homepage

    It is clear that the Windows API with all its backward compatibility and all that are completely unsuitable for the variety of computing devices in use and development today. When the push was for bigger and faster, that was not a problem for Microsoft -- their bloat and instability were less noticeable in that environment. But now that things are shifting to smaller, lighter, more efficient devices, the pressure is on Microsoft to answer that need -- and so far, their answer is WindowsXP... which isn't good enough. (Makes me wonder why they don't pull Win98se out of moth balls, hide DOS and work from there.) WindowsCE seems like something they might try to use but it doesn't "look" suitable in all the places I have seen it applied... I could be wrong, but as Microsoft's efforts seem to be focused on putting WindowsXP on everything that a small computer that normally sells with Linux, I would have to say that Microsoft sees WinCE as functionally unsuitable to compete in that arena. (perhaps it is because there are few apps for WinCE and those are typically written by the OEM distributor of the devices that contain WinCE?)

    Bottom line? WinXP isn't suitable and Microsoft will have to make something ENTIRELY new if they want to complete with Linux in this market... or... adapt FreeBSD like Apple did. Either way, it would be a huge blow to the Microsoft ego and very upsetting to their developers.

    It's funny that Microsoft feels they can't afford NOT to compete.

    • You are correct, on many of the points; but I don't think that things are quite as dire for MS as you say(or as I would like). As you say, the future of win32 is not all that thrilling and something new is needed, particularly if they are to have any reasonable hope of putting together a coherent set of software on multiple architectures.

      This, however, is were .net comes in. Note that, for .net, MS introduced a VM, the Common Language Runtime, which allows programs to be distributed in CIL instead of a pl
      • Forget MS vs Linux, or MS vs Apple, this is gonna be the *real* computing holy war of the future: MS as computing institution vs MS as springboard for screwy new technology.

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        As you pointed out, win32 compatibility is a powerful selling point, infact it's probably their biggest selling point...

        They don't have write once run anywhere with .net yet, java on the other hand is years ahead, although in both cases the overhead of running a VM on an embedded device is far from ideal.

        It seems they can't get win32 running on an embedded device, whereas the linux/osx apis do run on such devices...

        Even if they did get win32 running on an embedded device, it would still be a different proce

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      (Makes me wonder why they don't pull Win98se out of moth balls, hide DOS and work from there.) WindowsCE seems like something they might try to use but it doesn't "look" suitable in all the places I have seen it applied... I could be wrong, but as Microsoft's efforts seem to be focused on putting WindowsXP on everything that a small computer that normally sells with Linux, I would have to say that Microsoft sees WinCE as functionally unsuitable to compete in that arena.

      Windows CE basically is Windows 9x; or

      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Most people could get along just fine with a CE device, provided it had a decent web browser, Office, image and video viewing, audio playing, silly flash games and cards, and access to their MFD printers.

        Yes, they would, but why microsoft? their biggest advantage is compatibility with their existing mass of apps, which would be lost using a ce-based machine... Giving them no advantage over linux, while still retaining the majority of the disadvantages.

        The linux based small laptops work well, tho the manufacturers could put a lot more effort in towards making them work better... My eee for instance runs much faster with gentoo than it did with the default xandros, since it comes preinstalled on a single piec

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Your right that XP isn't suitable, because of it's size and complexity...
      And CE doesn't offer compatibility with existing apps, it needs apps specifically written for it...
      Here's where the problem lies tho.

      Apps already exist for XP, but implementing the same APIs to make something compatible with existing apps results in XP, something rather too big for small machines...
      But when they try and design something new, they lose their biggest advantage - existing locked in userbase and applications. Infact, this

  • They can leave XP available for another several years. Just enough for Moore's Law to finally make it not look stupidly fat! Honest!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    One of the things that's neat about e17 and the way that they get it to run on things like a phone is that every thing they can is run as a module now. For an embedded device like a phone you maybe aren't that interested in some special effects like a dropshadow or resolution widget so you can turn off anything that's not needed.

    Another thing that makes this possible is that e17 themes are very customizable. You can define nearly everything about how the window borders and modules are drawn in the theme i

  • Blackbox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evilviper (135110) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @05:40PM (#25405813) Journal

    Wouldn't a slimmed-down Enlightenment just be Blackbox with transparency, menus that "slide" a bit, and more "textured" themes? What did I miss?

    E17 can now run in just 32MB of RAM, on an ARM9 processor clocked at 317MHz.

    Blackbox seems to be using all of 4MBs of RAM here, and next to no CPU time. With a 3MB binary, that's not surprising.

    • See Raster's news page [rasterman.com]. Scroll down to Sunday 29 May 2005 or search for "E17 is being optimised". It's obviously quite dated, but interesting anyway. Granted, if someone's product looks good because of the tests the same person wrote, you have to take the results with a grain of salt... but it is all open source. I have always hoped someone who knew X really well would come along and make a more complete window manager performance and benchmarking suite.

      Also of interest on the same news page is the

    • Re:Blackbox (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@NoSPaM.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Thursday October 16, 2008 @06:19PM (#25406225) Homepage

      Maybe. But those effects are what make a GUI look less 1990 and more 2009. Enlightenment is more or less where lightweight meets design and "prettiness", rather than the polarity of KDE, Gnome or Blackbox and Fluxbox, etc.

      • by evilviper (135110)

        Enlightenment is more or less where lightweight meets design and "prettiness", rather than the polarity of KDE, Gnome or Blackbox and Fluxbox, etc.

        Okay. And how about Sawfish...? (Without GNOME)

        You certainly can't say it doesn't look modern, since it IS the entire basis (WM) for the GNOME desktop (just as Enlightenment was back in the 0.x days), and it's certainly fast when used on its own.

        • by pizzach (1011925)
          That comparison is a bit outdated. E17 for all of it's rewrites is really turning into it's own desktop environment. People are writing applications for efl (Enlightenment Foundation Libraries) much like people write applications for gtk or qt. It doesn't rely on gnome to fill in missing functionality like it used to.

          Quote from their page:

          DR17 of the Enlightenment window manager represents an evolution into the next generation of desktop environments: the desktop shell. DR17 will provide integration between files and your environment in a seamless manner while encompassing a graphically rich and flexible architecture. It will not compete with GNOME or KDE, but be a completely new way of visualizing your desktop, based around the EFL which was built from the ground up for this task.

          In other words, they're aiming for a Desktop Environment...but they are trying to be original.

    • by shish (588640)

      Blackbox seems to be using all of 4MBs of RAM here, and next to no CPU time. With a 3MB binary, that's not surprising.

      E17 is using 12MB here, no cpu time, with a 1.1MB binary :P

    • by MattBurke (58682)

      For many users, myself included, the themes make the window manager.

      I use Enlightenment DR16 with the Arctic theme and have done for around 10 years because it's very minimal, uses colours that are easy to the eye and I can middle-click the title bar to 'shade' a window which reduces to pretty much just the width of the titlebar text.

      Sure, almost any other window manager could probably also give me what I want, but I'm crap with graphics software and haven't got the time nor inclination to figure out stuff

  • I switched to E from my aging Amiga. Now both of them are primarily used to power cell phones.

    Sorry about that, folks. Maybe I'll switch to Vista to balance it out.

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      I installed linux (redhat 5.1) on my amiga back in the day and ran enlightenment on it... It was surprisingly quick too, even with just the AGA chipset and no zorro video card.

  • Looking at the screenshots... In the same way the qt people didn't "get it" with Qtopia (do they now? I haven't checked for several years).

    You can't simply dump a desktop windowing metaphor onto a phone. A phone has a tiny display and painfully inconvenient buttons. Lets see you hit one of those menus, pull a scroll bar. Try reading the tiny fonts.
     

  • by efalk (935211) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @05:52PM (#25405937)
    Excuse me, did I read that right? 32 meg? I hope that was supposed to be 32k. For 32M, I would expect it to do my taxes as well.
    • by Anpheus (908711)

      The US tax code is probably more than 32 megabytes, even in its most efficient coding implementation.

  • by CottonThePirate (769463) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @05:55PM (#25405971) Homepage
    So enlightenment has been hanging around almost non-updated for 10 years (seems like anyway, I ran it in 2000 on Mandrake). Back then I was running a 500MHz Celeron. They were just waiting for cell phones to catch up to pick back up on development. Brilliant!
  • Fluffyspider www.fluffyspider.com in Australia have had an E17-derived platform for MIDS, phones, set top boxes and the like for some time ("Fancypants"). But it's a commercial product.
  • by ahecht (567934) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @06:31PM (#25406333) Homepage
    Would it have killed the submitter to clue us in to what Enlightenment is? All I can get from the summary is that it is Linux related and now runs on cell phones. This isn't a telegraph, you're not paying by the letter, and there is nothing wrong with saying "the Enlightenment window manager" instead of just "Enlightenment".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by paniq (833972)
      No no, this is about actual enlightenment. Gautama Buddha will lecture from your cellphones built-in speakers, educating you and everyone else around you about the noble eightfold path, as you travel by train and cab.

      I can hardly restrain myself. I want two!
      • by BPPG (1181851)

        No no, this is about actual enlightenment.

        Well, then there's no surprise that it's open source.

    • by Ant P. (974313) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @07:05PM (#25406691) Homepage

      This isn't a tabloid either. The readers are assumed to generally have a clue, and how to use google.

    • by hugzz (712021)

      Would it have killed the submitter to clue us in to what Enlightenment is? All I can get from the summary is that it is Linux related and now runs on cell phones. This isn't a telegraph, you're not paying by the letter, and there is nothing wrong with saying "the Enlightenment window manager" instead of just "Enlightenment".

      If you dont already know what E17 is then this article isn't really for you anyway. The article is only of any interest to those who have used E17 on their desktop computer and thus migh

      • by CAIMLAS (41445)

        Interested in using it on their phone?

        Buddy, I'd be interested in actually getting a stable download of the fucking thing before the sources changed mid-checkout. I'd be bloody overjoyed to use it on my desktop.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ZerdZerd (1250080)
      Let me Enlighten you [wikipedia.org].
    • You read /. and you don't know what Enlightenment is?
    • by aug24 (38229)

      Would it have killed you to clue us in to what Linux is? All I can get from your post is that it is computer related and now runs on cell phones. This isn't a telegraph, you're not paying by the letter, and there is nothing wrong with saying "the Linux Operating System" instead of just "Linux".

      In other words, it's where you draw the line. No-one is going to explain the entire world to you, sooner or later you will have to teach yourself, not wait to be taught. Apparently that time is now.

      Justin.

    • I would normally agree, but in this case I think if you don't know about different WMs and their history, you are probably on the wrong site. It's sad that everyone these days thinks that Gnome or KDE are the only things out there. I personally did try E long ago, but didn't like having to hand-configure everything, so ended up using Windowmaker. If I want a file manager/app launcher, I turn to Rox.

  • Uncanny! (Score:2, Informative)

    by yttrstein (891553)
    "E17 can now run in just 32MB of RAM, on an ARM9 processor clocked at 317MHz."

    The last time I tortured myself with Enlightenment, that's almost exactly the kind of machine I ran it on, about ten years ago.

    I wonder why Rasterman didn't just grab some old Enlightenment code from his geriatric tree and nearly do a straight port.....oh.
  • Aw, snap! (Score:4, Funny)

    by paniq (833972) on Thursday October 16, 2008 @06:48PM (#25406471) Homepage
    At a first glance I thought this was about E17, the boyband.

    My reaction remains unaltered though: wow, it's still around?
  • I agree it's cool that E17 runs on cellphones. Whether it's as cool as the UI of my HTC Touch is another matter.

    But more to the point is the question of what's been sacrificed in order for this to happen. I think I've got the answer ...

    Raster has been pushing in this direction for years now. Even before his year-long stint at OpenMoko, he's been devoting much time and effort to get E17 running respectably on very lean hardware. But at the same time, he's flatly refused to support compositing, and in particu

  • by drew (2081)

    Now when can I run it on my desktop?

    And no, compiling from svn doesn't count, especially given the number of components / dependencies. I may have had time to dork with that when I was in college, but not now...

    • by shish (588640)

      And no, compiling from svn doesn't count, especially given the number of components / dependencies

      Dependencies are minimal, it's designed to run anywhere. The components can be downloaded and built with a simple shell script [homeip.net]

      I may have had time to dork with that when I was in college, but not now...

      You're on slashdot, you have free time :P

    • by lanc (762334)
      look for easy_e17.sh [homeip.net] on the web.
      single script to build and install e17 for you. HTH.
  • This is pretty funny on several levels for someone who's been dabbling with old (circa 2000-2002) HPCs and linux/netbsd, used E16 (and briefly E17) in the 1999-2002 time frame. It just astounds me that E could run on something like this.

    Anyone remember how E was (still is?) a bloated hog and required a LOT of system resources to run? Now, can you imagine E running on a portable handheld from the same computing era? That blows my mind.

    Any chance of this scaled down E being available for desktop use? At the v

  • The repository is here [enlightenment.org], it works fine.

    I'm not sure whether to be happy, because desktop linux is simple to the point where building from source is considered unusual and hard; or sad, because I'm hearing this from people who are supposed to be geeks...

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday October 17, 2008 @05:10AM (#25409815)

    No, I don't want to run software designed for a desktop on my phone. Stop trying to shoe horn software into places it doesn't belong and focus on releasing it where it belongs.

    Why is it that techies think this sort if thing is cool, but if a handyman or construction worker saw you trying to use a jackhammer to put a nail in your house they would realize you were a complete moron instantly?

    Do because you should, not because you can.

    • No, I don't want to run software designed for a desktop on my phone. Stop trying to shoe horn software into places it doesn't belong and focus on releasing it where it belongs.

      Not that I particularly care about Enlightenment, but what distinction are you drawing between large, stationary computers and small, portable computers? The main relevant difference in this case is screen size - E isn't an RDBMS or DVD transcoder - and surely E can be adjusted to account for that.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Screen size, input methods, shortcut methods, methods to alert the user of problems, memory usage, processor usage, storage usage, everything about the two? The only things they have in common are that they both take input and both display it to the user. For the most part the way they display it to the user is via a 'screen' of some sort, but other than that they two devices share very little in common as far as the way the user interface should be done to make it efficient.

        On a desktop you pretty much a

  • Actually, I've always liked Enlightenment - it's small and very powerful and at the time it's effects were ahead of compiz.
    It also runs on an old 500Mhz, 192Mb ram laptop (on my other computer it just flys - and I don't mean in a "throw it out the window" kind of way!)

    It's the simplicity of software like this that makes me think that modern desktops today seem to be almost a "law unto itself".

    Compiz et all make great eye candy but after a while I like to disable the effects and give my laptop cpu fan a rest

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