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E17, Slimmed Down For Cell Phones

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the durned-amazing-looking dept.

Cellphones 166

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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What a guy (5, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405601)

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:What a guy (2, Funny)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405887)

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 (4, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405929)

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.)

Re:What a guy (1)

raw-sewage (679226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406103)

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 whatever that's worth. :)

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

In all fairness, E14 was a looooong time ago. When development for E17 got started, E16 got handed off. It's been a supported, "release quality" product for quite a while now (not as glamorous, obviously). I lurk on the enlightenment-users mailing list, and see a fair number of people asking questions about E16, bugs getting fixed, etc, relative to the general E17 traffic.

Anyway, I've got high hopes for an actual, true-to-life E17 release version... it was actually asked about recently [sourceforge.net] on the e-users mailing list. Raster said they are working towards a release. The snapshot news linked above supports they notion that he is following through with this.

Re:What a guy (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406957)

To which software are you referring?

For a direct replacement, probably Cairo, though plenty of projects seem to get by with the Gtk or QT primitives, if they don't use SVG or PNG libraries.

The release cycle is painfully slow, or possibly even non-existent.... Raster said they are working towards a release. The snapshot news linked above supports they notion that he is following through with this.

I seem to recall he's said that multiple times over the past decade, and my impression is that he eventually came back and said "All we need to do is rewrite a few pieces from scratch, and then we can release!" That's no skin off of my nose, but I'll take the software more seriously when it has something closer to a regular release cycle.

Re:What a guy (3, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#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"

Re:What a guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406299)

Indeed, that's the biggest problem with Enlightenment. I'm glad they're there as a source of inspiration, but I can't use E17 in a production environment.

Not paying attention and misleading folk (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407995)

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.

Running E17 full time. Wouldn't use anything else. (4, Informative)

deek (22697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408049)

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.

Re:Running E17 full time. Wouldn't use anything el (2, Informative)

fbriere (1038162) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408459)

* 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 the void left by E16 rotting away and E17 never releasing.

Re:Running E17 full time. Wouldn't use anything el (1)

deek (22697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408967)

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.

Re:Running E17 full time. Wouldn't use anything el (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409129)

It certainly has virtual desktops, not sure about the pager since I ALT-F* between them and don't show a pager.

Re:Running E17 full time. Wouldn't use anything el (1)

deek (22697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409177)

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.

Re:Running E17 full time. Wouldn't use anything el (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409109)

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 same theme I was using in 1999 even though both gnome and KDE are catching up to that point.

Re:What a guy (1)

drew (2081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409023)

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 you stop and think about how many aspects of a modern linux box are derived directly or indirectly from work that he did so many years ago, it's pretty impressive. (That said, I can't think of many significant contributions he's made more recently.)

So while I would say that it's unlikely that I'll ever run Enlightenment again, I still think it's nice to hear about new developments on that front, as there's a good chance I'll be using something derived from it in a few years...

Re:What a guy (1)

tvon (169105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407375)

Raster has always had interesting projects, but come on, comparing him to ESR and Stallman? That's some serious reaching.

I mean, really, that's out there.

Re:What a guy (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407381)

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 (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407833)

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.

Ok..... why? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405611)

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

Re:Ok..... why? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405991)

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.

Re:Ok..... why? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406203)

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..

Re:Ok..... why? (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406369)

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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406485)

And indeed, more and more we all use "applications" through our browser - which have no consistency whatsoever. Site A has menus here, that work this way, Site B has a totally different setup. . .

And people don't seem bothered by this. (It bothers me, but I seem to be in the minority among people I poll...)

Re:Ok..... why? (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406609)

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? (5, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406975)

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.

Re:Ok..... why? (0)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408689)

How cool would it be if DVD interfaces were consistent? People use inconsistent interfaces on DVDs because the alternative is??? ??
Car controls I think you will find generally conform to a few configurations, indicator on left / right of the wheel seems to be the biggest difference on most models.

Re:Ok..... why? (2, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408943)

People use inconsistent interfaces on DVDs because the alternative is???

Want some homework? Go find a hundred iPod owners who don't read Slashdot. Ask them about the alternatives to the iPod and how they decided to buy an iPod instead of another device. If 20% of them even mention the "intuitive interface", I'll admit shock and surprise.

Re:Ok..... why? (1)

Wobble-U (1112077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408749)

You're comparing things that aren't even competing directly with each other. GP is talking about people preferring iPods over other portable media players, not preferring iPods over EVERYTHING with a bad interface. I just can't see how your argument makes any sense...

Re:Ok..... why? (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407717)

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.

Re:Ok..... why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25409031)

Oh boy, this again.

As a music player, the concepts behind iPods suck -- here's proprietary client software,

Or you can use whatever other client software you like. This is like saying PCs suck because they can run Windows XP. (I have 2 iPods, and they work out-of-the-box on my Debian box just fine.)

we sell DRM music, our music doesn't work on any other player,

Through the iTunes Store, which isn't the only (or even the most popular) way to get music for your iPod. I fail to see how this reflects poorly on the iPod.

can't replace the battery,

Yeah, even though my 2001-vintage iPod still has great battery life. (Can't replace the CPU, either, yet nobody seems to complain about that, though there are legitimate reasons you'd want to.)

higher priced than most other players with similar audio quality

Not sure what you're comparing it to. When I bought an iPod nano last year, I looked for competitors, but nothing else was even close. Everything was either much (physically) bigger, or less storage, or whatnot. On Newegg right now, an iPod nano (8GB) is $144.95. They have 11 other 8GB flash players, and the iPod is right in the middle of the pack. Glancing at the stats, the cheaper ones are thicker, and the more expensive ones are thinner. The iPod fits this pattern exactly. I'm not seeing a price issue.

there's a lot to dislike about the iPod.

Perhaps, but you haven't seemed to hit any yet.

Re:Ok..... why? (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408649)

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-based Android, but if they do how much do you want to bet 1/2 the Slahdotters will be telling average users they should get it because it runs "Linux".

Awesome! (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405627)

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:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406019)

Does anyone else think that this guy, who is doing 2d graphics, has a last name of Rasterman?

Re:Awesome! (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406095)

No, I don't think he has a last name of Rasterman. I think that's his internet handle, and thus the connection between his name and 2D graphics is rather deliberate. :P

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406391)

His last name is Haitzler... but of course I already knew that :)

Re:Awesome! (2, Informative)

Warbothong (905464) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407115)

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 with getting Enlightenment libraries installed on my Debian laptop (no matter how nice the OpenMoko keyboard is, I'm not using it to program :P )

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407425)

Well, if you want to see E17 running with applications, take a look at the videos that have been made available by the people at ProFUSION, they have been working on getting E17 to run in other embedded devices. Just search for E17 and imx31 on Youtube or take a look here (http://blog.gustavobarbieri.com.br/2008/10/16/running-illume-everywhere/) or here (http://www.libertatia.org/blog/?p=66).

The Windows API is seeing its end (2, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405691)

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.

Re:The Windows API is seeing its end (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406271)

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 platform specific binary format. They haven't achieved write once, run anywhere yet by any means; but the logic behind the .net strategy is pretty obvious. If MS can shift windows programming over to .net, all they have to do is port the .net framework to whatever platform they wish to support.

MS needs to tread carefully with regards to the masses of win32 legacy stuff, because their ability to run it is a powerful selling point; but they are hardly without a strategy that is promising, at least in theory.

Re:The Windows API is seeing its end (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406523)

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.

Re:The Windows API is seeing its end (-1, Flamebait)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406677)

Windows CE can run on Devices with 8MB of RAM and 100mhz CPU, you linux geeks still got a ways to catch up.

Re:The Windows API is seeing its end (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406815)

Once upon a time, I ran Linux on a 386-33 with 4MB of RAM, a 40MB hard disk, and still had room for X11. Admittedly, not room for much else.

More recently, I've run it on a 586 clocked at around 66MHz with either 4 or 8MB of RAM and 32MB of storage space. And still run X11. *and* an application or two.

Windows CE ran on the same hardware, but was significantly more of a pain in the ass to work with.

Re:The Windows API is seeing its end (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406835)

actually, now that I think about it, I used to run a roomfull of 486DX2-66s with 16MB of RAM and 500MB hard disks. They ran Debian âoePotatoâ (2.2), just to give you an idea of vintage. They ran it rather *well*, at that.

I'm sure Microsoft will get there (1, Flamebait)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405693)

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

It's all about community. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405961)

If that's true, they could just use Win95 today right? What's missing? Modern applications. Non free software does not offer that and can't if M$ wants to keep selling new versions of Windows.

E17 uses software that has an active community following. GNU, the product is greater than the sum of the parts.

Warning, Wikipedia power monger and corrupt admin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406001)

over the top, much? (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406411)

Encyclopedia Dramatica and reality [davidgerard.co.uk] . It's amazing how much you people hate Wikipedia.

Re:over the top, much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406801)

actually, most of what's written in the ED's article is true, if you can get past the 3rd-grade poop humour. scary, isn't it?

and taking corrupt WP admins to task is exactly the opposite of hating it. if more people were willing to do it, WP would be a far better resource. it's no different than making sure everyone on slashdot knows about your shilling and dishonest activities.

BTW, who gave you permission to post more than twice a day?

Re:I'm sure Microsoft will get there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25409079)

Wow a Score:2, Flamebait. Congrats.

method that he does this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25405727)

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 itself so different themes can be completely different from each other. You can check out some of the variability in the themes site: http://exchange.enlightenment.org

Imagine (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25405765)

... a beowulf cluster of these!

Blackbox (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405813)

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.

Re:Blackbox (1)

raw-sewage (679226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406223)

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 Monday, 21 November 2005 entry, "Memory fragementation under Linux and Enlightenment". If nothing else, it's evidence that Rasterman truly has put a lot of time and effort---or at the very least, thought---into the performance and system requirements of his software. Can't fault him for that.

Re:Blackbox (4, Interesting)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406225)

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.

Re:Blackbox (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407523)

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.

Re:Blackbox (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408791)

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.

That's pretty big for blackbox. Mine's only 380 Kb.

not bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25405827)

... those screenshots look like iPhone.

So why isn't Enlightenment used on netbooks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25405855)

Netbooks using lightweight Linux desktops don't often seem to choose enlightment for their window manager. You see the likes of matchbox in Maemo and GNOME mobile, openbox in lxde, ICEwm on the eee PC, Xfwm4 in Xfce, etc.

I'm guessing that enlightenment is too heavy for netbooks (as is GNOME's metacity). Is this E17 possibly going to change that?

Re:So why isn't Enlightenment used on netbooks? (1)

Shade of Pyrrhus (992978) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405933)

From the article:

With the march of time and processor power, the current Enlightement 0.17 release, aka "E17," has come to be considered a lightweight alternative to GNOME and KDE, used for example in gOS 3.0 , a commercial Linux distribution aimed at "low-powered" netbooks. Yet, it appears that E17 could be primed for a renaissance of relevance in even smaller devices.

Re:So why isn't Enlightenment used on netbooks? (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406049)

E17 will be released right after Duke Nukem Forever by the look of it. And I'm talking about first alpha release here.

Re:So why isn't Enlightenment used on netbooks? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409147)

The alpha release was of course out a very long time ago, which is why people are making fun of it. The difference with "Duke Nukem Forever" is that people are doing that as a day job. Now we are finally getting to a point where Enlightenment is co-inciding with Raster's day job of working on embedded systems so there's a bit more movement.

Re:So why isn't Enlightenment used on netbooks? (1)

the plant doctor (842044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407467)

It is. At least it's used on my netbook.

I cursed it (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405881)

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.

He doesn't seem to "get it" yet. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405901)

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.
 

Re:He doesn't seem to "get it" yet. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406431)

Who said it was for phones?

Since when is 32M small? (3, Funny)

efalk (935211) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Since when is 32M small? (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406857)

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

Finally the lack of updates make sense (4, Funny)

CottonThePirate (769463) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405971)

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!

Re:Finally the lack of updates make sense (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406205)

There were no releases, but the development was in process.

Re:Finally the lack of updates make sense (2, Informative)

iNiTiUM (315622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406351)

The Revision Log [enlightenment.org] Begs to differ.

It gets updated quite a bit, there's releases every now and then, but it is still considered a development version.

Re:Finally the lack of updates make sense (1)

notamisfit (995619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406543)

It's the GNU Hurd of desktops!

Re:Finally the lack of updates make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406695)

well, i've been using E17 for over 2 years, and is as stable as any other window manager. Thing is,they are pushing farther it, ti's realy amazing

Fluffyspider is E17-derived (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25405981)

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.

Choice. (1)

felix85 (987753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406015)

It would be nice to see this work on an Openmoko phone. It seems that alot of people have complained about the current interface and this would give people another option (if it is implemented properly). Even if it doesn't work at first it may inspire someone else to do it better considering it is opensource.

Re:Choice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406167)

my understanding is that raster is doing work with openmoko now. The current om software is based on the EFL (see openmoko's main page)

Re:Choice. (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406579)

from outside, it's a bit confusing.
http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/17th_September%2C_2008_-_Activity_since_launch [openmoko.org] says - "Raster left the project."

http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/Community_Updates/October_3rd%2C_2008 [openmoko.org] - "Raster is still with us."

sounds like some weak hollywood movie with spirits and whatnot.

Re:Choice. (1)

dns_server (696283) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408081)

He is quite active in #openmoko on freenode.net and is still active as a developer.
I am not sure if he is still an employee or not but he is still involved.

E17 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406209)

Well, I guess Enlightenment won't be needing to skip version numbers anytime soon.

Architecture warning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406285)

ARM-based systems that have non-memory-aligned hardware may have to use slower techniques to communicate with peripherals, such as E/I/E IO.

- Luno (too lazy to login)

Can the summary be any more unclear? (2, Funny)

ahecht (567934) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406333)

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:Can the summary be any more unclear? (0, Troll)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406469)

You needed to use three more characters in your google search, specifically these: "E17"

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407365)

... and ignore all mention of some former band with the same abbreviation.

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (3, Funny)

paniq (833972) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406521)

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!

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (1)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407179)

No no, this is about actual enlightenment.

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

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (3, Interesting)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406691)

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

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25406711)

If you want to be pedantic, they *are* paying by the letter; bandwidth isn't free.

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (1)

hugzz (712021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406785)

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 might be excited at the prospect of being able to use it on their phone. For everyone else it's really a non-issue.

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (2, Informative)

ZerdZerd (1250080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406871)

Let me Enlighten you [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (-1, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406877)

Would it have killed the submitter to clue us in to what Enlightenment is?

here [justfuckinggoogleit.com] is a website that you may find of use in future.

there is nothing wrong with saying "the Enlightenment window manager" instead of just "Enlightenment".

And what about the windows/os x users on this forum who have no fucking idea what a window manager is? Should we cater to their stupidity too?

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (2)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408071)

You read /. and you don't know what Enlightenment is?

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (1)

Topis (953605) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408117)

Funny? No.

Re:Can the summary be any more unclear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25408695)

Enlightenment is the 2nd best WM after WMaker

Yes, its booming I got my first 'sale' (1)

shareme (897587) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406363)

Yeah its booming I got my first 'sale' of mobile OS kernel hacking service.. Life is grand..:)

Uncanny! (2, Informative)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406459)

"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! (4, Funny)

paniq (833972) | more than 5 years ago | (#25406471)

At a first glance I thought this was about E17, the boyband.

My reaction remains unaltered though: wow, it's still around?

At what cost though? (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407759)

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 particular, opengl compositing, ala texture_from_pixmap. The argument was that it's "not ready for prime time". But of course many people disagree with this and run Compiz on top of Gnome, KDE and XFCE. There have been a number of aborted attempts to get compiz ported to E17. Bang!, Egloo, Ecomorph projects come to mind, all of which at one point worked pretty well, but required changes to /e17/apps/e that weren't allowed at the time, and alas these projects have now all been abandoned.

As a result, Enlightenment has morphed from a project that pushed the envelope on linux desktops, to a project that just keeps up on cellphones. Sure it still runs on linux desktops, but so do other window managers that take better advantage of hardware and technology available this decade.

Raster says that compositing is 'back on the table' for an E18 release, which judging by current release timings, will be able 2015. Until then we get a half-arse hack of xcompmgr. I can't help feeling that all the users and developers after some bling have already moved to compiz, which is a pitty, as E17's infrastructure is still far better than the competition.

Re:At what cost though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25408561)

Yeah... cause all my cell phones are packing an 8800GTS...

Great... (1)

drew (2081) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409083)

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...

It's "Openmoko", not OpenMoko, not Open Moko (1)

MrvFD (711808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409145)

To make it worse, it was OpenMoko at first, after which it was changed to Openmoko. And that is the project, not the product. Also another similar nitpick, it's not Openmoko FreeRunner, it's Neo FreeRunner, and more precisely FIC Neo FreeRunner. I think I see these wrong more often than not. Then again, why they have to have "Openmoko" but "FreeRunner", and why there has to be Neo, FIC, Openmoko which all sound like they might be the manufacturer...

This is the funniest thing I've read in ages (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409377)

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 very least, I'm going to have to give that snapshot a try!

I'm going to have to see if this can build/run on my Mobilepro 780 - a 167MHz mipsel with 32Mb RAM. Doubtful - though I'm sure it'll run on something a little newer just fine.

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