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This is the Frequently Asked Questions page for Enlightenment DR 0.17, commonly referred to as E17. Questions listed here have been asked repeatedly in either the mailing lists, forum, or IRC (#e for English users, for French users, for Germam users, #e-it for Italian users, all channels hosted on Freenode). If you have a question not answered below please search these places, and in this wiki, before emailing someone or posting questions in the IRC channel, as it may have been answered already.

About E17

What are the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL)?

In Enlightenment DR17's development cycle many new libraries have been created. We collectively call these libraries "The Enlightenment Foundation Libraries" (or EFL) to distinguish them from the window manager itself. Please read the EFL pages for more information.

What is the current status of E17 development?

It's current status is that it is a lot better than a lot of open source projects are on their first release.
The central window manager has been rock solid for quite a while. On the other hand, as it is yet to be released software, everything is subject to change without notice.

Why has E17 taken so long?

The current stable release of the window manager is DR16.8.15, which was released to the world on January 4th 2009. A previous stable release was DR16.5, which was released to the world on Oct 27th 2000. At that time work was already well underway toward DR17, Imlib2 1.4.1 was released on Jun 10th 2008 and EVAS v0.0.1 was released on Oct 24th 2000.

Extensive work has been done creating a set of foundation libraries for the next Enlightenment release for more information see the EFL FAQ.

Since that time the EFL has grown into a mature suite of libraries which are now capable of supporting the applications and window manager for Enlightenments DR17 release. In the interim we saw a lot of people and code come and go. GEVAS was a created to use EVAS with GTK, Eprog simplified EVAS, Ebits became the theming and interface library for E applications, Etcher and Ebony were created as tools for creating Ebit themes and backgrounds, EFSD was written to support the file management for E which grew out of a prototype (EFM) that worked with DR16, not to mention an advanced prototype of the window manager itself! But as the code matured and we moved closer to what we wanted DR17 to become it became clear that many of the components had already been pushed beyond their initial design and it was clear that they would need to be replaced. The debates raged on whether to release what was there or start rewriting in order to get things done right the first time.

As it should be, Raster decided he would not release code that would just need to be immediately replaced and that we'd need to get it right. And so EVAS 0.6.0 gave way to a rewrite known for a short time as EVAS2, later renamed back to EVAS 1.0. Ebits gave way to it's rewrite renamed to Edje, which meant that applications using Ebits were no longer needed (Etcher and Ebony). EET was developed to more efficiently handle many of the tasks Edb was being used for, namely packing theme data and images. And other libraries such as EWL and Etox went along for the ride evolving with EVAS. Ecore was built to tie everything together and thus displaced Eprog. And now that the back end is now roughly where it should be work on the replacement for the window manager can occur.

We know it has been a long frustrating wait for users and we appreciate everyones patience. Enlightenment has a long proud history of producing the best ahead-of-it's-time eye-candy on the planet that is emulated for years to come, and we have no desire to release a half arsed product just to make people happy for 2 or 3 days until they start complaining. The results will be well worth the wait. And if you're a developer there are plenty of toys for you to play with now. If you aren't a developer you'll find no better or more inviting place to start learning than with the EFL. The work being done to make the next generation of the Enlightenment Window Manager will bring a lot more than just some pretty borders around your Eterm, it will drive the development of graphical applications industry wide for several years to come.

Why does nothing in E17 work?

E17 has not yet been released, and is not considered to be in a finished state. This means that although large parts of E17 are working, and currently stable, there is more work to be done. The development process used for E17, and most other open source projects that have yet to be released, means that there is no point in time where a stable, fully working, version can be delivered. You would have got your E17 in one of two ways - direct from SVN, or someone else got it direct from SVN and created some sort of package for you. At the time that your copy of E17 was downloaded direct from SVN, it is entirely likely that there where half fixed bugs, and partly implemented features. On a semi regular basis, once a week when he has the time, raster will create a SVN snapshot at a point when he feels things are more stable and upload the snapshot to the Download page.

When will E17 be released?

See the Release Release Plan page.

What exactly do you mean by "Enlightenment DR17 will be a desktop shell?"

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 found a bug in E17, how can I provide you with some useful information?

Create a new ticket in our tracking system.
When you report a problem with E17, the developers will sometimes ask for a backtrace, or bt. Debugging Here is a useful guide on how to go about that.

Where can I get new themes? How can I create my own?

A number of E17 themes are available at Exchange, and the popular Detour theme is available from its Google Code page. For information about creating themes for E17, look to Edje.

E17 Features

Does compositing (compiz, beryl, etc) work in E17?

No, except for this: Ecomorph, and this: Compositemanager.

Does E17 have a systray?

Yes! Load Systray module, place it on a shelf and enjoy.

E17 and E16 compatibility

I have E16 installed. Do I need to uninstall it so I can install E17?

No you don't. They can co-exist. They don't conflict as long as you have one installed in /usr/local and the other in /usr. You'll just have the specify the full path to the binary (for example in .xinitrc if you use one) if they use the same name. The config files use different directories. E16.8 can co-exist with E17 even if installed in the same path. If your using the SVN version of E16, it should also have a different binary name than E17. All this may depend on your distribution though, Gentoo's E17 binary is called enlightenment-0.17 for example.

Will E16's themes work with E17?

No - the theme formats are completely different. You can find some working E17 themes on this site. Also note that the theme format in E17 is not final and thus constantly evolves. This means that unmaintained themes will not work after a certain period if they aren't updated correctly.

Will the epplets in E16 work in E17?

No - the system for that is also completely different. You'll need to use E17 modules instead.

Imported from
1 mcalamelli 2009-01-09 05:30:22
2 mcalamelli 2009-01-09 05:30:45
3 mcalamelli 2009-01-09 05:37:25 TOC in sidebar is better than inline
4 mcalamelli 2009-01-09 05:47:50 See TODO on top
5 mcalamelli 2009-01-25 16:54:53 Add H1 title on top
6 mcalamelli 2009-03-18 02:54:38 Added IRC channels for specific languages
7 mcalamelli 2009-05-13 02:08:18 Now we have a systray module
8 ppurka 2011-03-20 09:17:49

Last Author
Last Edited
Aug 26 2013, 1:00 PM