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Rasterman's New Toy: EVAS

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the i-can-do-hardware-acceleration-with-my-brain dept.

Enlightenment 198

renai42 writes: "Rasterman gave a very interesting speech about his new EVAS canvas software at this week. This article gives a fair idea of the gist of the speech. EVAS is interesting stuff for the Linux community - a hardware accelerated X desktop with anti-aliased fonts and alpha blending." They've been claiming that the next Enlightenment will be the fastest WM around thanks mostly to EVAS.

Totally Offtopic Side Note 1: I find it amusing that snatched my X icon: I always thought it was probably the crappiest Slashdot icon, and I never dreamed anyone would want to take it. My policy on Slashdot Icons has always been steal whatever ones you like, but credit us when you use 'em, and its not a big deal, but its just funny to see who takes what.)

Totally offtopic sidenote 2: while we're talking about toys, check out Jubei, my MAME front end I've been poking on in my enormous amounts of free time.

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Woohoo!!!! (1)

bobdole369 (267463) | more than 13 years ago | (#492258)

Finally, just what I need. An HW accelerated desktop. Does this mean I don't need to compile 3 seperate packages just to play a game?

WOW! I cannot wait it! (1)

stikves (127823) | more than 13 years ago | (#492259)

Enlightenment was my reason for switching to GNOME. It was shiny, beautiful, but slow.

Later i met saw(fish/mill) and forgot about my experience with enlightenment.

If ever enlightenment gets faster i will happily switch back! (By the way i have to check it again now my machine has 192M ram as it had 64M before)...

Thanx rasterman keep good work!

Enlightenment -- fast? (5)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#492260)

So, the idea is that Enlightenment will be fast because the tons of junk that it does will be hardware-accelerated? Wouldn't it be logical, then to assume that all of the other window managers out there that are faster than Enlightenment (Sawfish, fvwm{,2}, twm, etc, etc,) will be even faster than Enlightenment given the same hardware acceleration?

Sawfish seems to me to be about 2-10 times faster (purely subjective) than Enlightenment. Can that gap be bridged by hardware? Of course, but it still doesn't make E efficient.

X Render Extension. (2)

DGolden (17848) | more than 13 years ago | (#492261)

How does this relate to Keith Packard's new X Render extension, which so recently gave Qt/KDE antialiased fonts ?

Windows vs. XFree86 & WM's (1)

tshak (173364) | more than 13 years ago | (#492262)

One thing people forget when comparing the speed of a windows GUI and Linux WM's is hardware acceleration. Even back in the day of Windows 3.x, hardware manufactures (like Orchid, remember those cards?) built hardware accelerators for windows.

This being said, I think that XFree86 has some (minor?) performance issues when compared to Windows, but if use of hardware acceleration is introduced, at least we can compare the speed on an equal playing field.

GLUI (1)

rngadam (304) | more than 13 years ago | (#492263)

Great idea! Should make portability easier! Too bad we're still far from 1.0. Meanwhile, I'll use GLUI [] ... (Wonder why that one didn't catch on?)

Antialiased fonts and alpha blending ? (1)

tcc (140386) | more than 13 years ago | (#492264)

Just wondering, you linux guys using a GUI... you don't have that yet in any packages? each and every time I used linux I only used it as a shell. I'm wondering, I thought when you had drivers that worked for X, the hardware features would work as well (3d, antialiasing, etc) no?

desktop (3)

Kyobu (12511) | more than 13 years ago | (#492265)

Maybe their next version will be better than 0.16 in this regard, but aside from speed, one of the things I really don't like about E is its desire to controll all aspects of my life. For instance, its background selector is very ungainly, but it wants to use it instead of using the perfectly-good Gnome Control Center. And so on. I see no need to replace Gnome, when it's pretty good already and E is mostly reproducing its capabilities, but prettier.

Think different (2)

thetzar (30126) | more than 13 years ago | (#492266)

Am I the only person who, on seeing the subject line:
Rasterman's New Toy: EVAS

Thought that Rasterman had gone out and picked up some of those oh-so-cool Evangelion figures?

Re:What's wrong with Berlin? (1)

ranessin (205172) | more than 13 years ago | (#492267)

You didn't read the speach, did you? Nor, apparently, did you even read the full Slashdot intro that was given... If you had, you would have realized that this is simply a desktop for X, not a whole new windowing system.


Excellent news. (1)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 13 years ago | (#492268)

This is great news for the entire community. When I first used Enlightenment [] a good while ago, I was extremely impressed by it's configurability and the sheer volume of themes [] available for it, but my one complaint was its "sluggishness" as compared to AfterStep [] or WindowMaker [] .

I'm glad to hear that the project is still alive and doing so well and that this issue is being resolved. He's always been very passionate about E and no matter what window manager you use, you have to appreciate this kind of enthusiasm he has for his project. It's this kind of attitude that helps to continually drive the whole Linux community forward.

I knew it. :-) (2)

Gendou (234091) | more than 13 years ago | (#492269)

My friend and I were discussing how it wouldn't be long before Linux hacks got Jealous (with a capital 'J') of MacOS X's slick, pretty, OpenGL-accellerated interface. Well, here we are. This is the beginning foundation for much more powerful, fast, and flexable GUI's under X.

And of course, other than just for the sake of shear beauty, using 3D accellerators to draw interfaces makes perfect sense. Most companies that make accellerated cards put a LOT more effort and design consideration into the accellerators, but not so much into the 2D accelleration. As a result, 3D graphics are rendered more quickly on just about all cards. Let's use that power for more than just games! :-)

Enlightenment's backdrop config (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 13 years ago | (#492270)

I wouldn't be surprised if the crud, caused by the PC arch insistance to separate text mode from gfx mode - go Amiga!, which X has were removed, E could fly, though it would be further outrun by blackbox, uwm, and others.

I've experienced various ranges of performance between E and Sawfish. I've had E beat Sawfish at theme changes and window operations sometimes.

What I can't stand is the Gnome Background Config.

Why is everyone so bloody afraid of heirarchial structures? I love being able to install a symlink to wherever Propaganda.debs choose to install themselves and have it all be reflected in a menu without a lot of fuss. Face it traditional config GUIs make you do more work.

Re:Excellent news. (1)

Kryptonomic (161792) | more than 13 years ago | (#492271)


What I'm really looking forward though is the font anti-aliasing. It's almost embarrassing to show screenshots of KDE and Gnome desktops with all the jagged fonts all over the place.

Re:X Render Extension. (2)

DGolden (17848) | more than 13 years ago | (#492272)


Actually, really, I suppose it's not much to do with X Render anyway, and is more like the GLUI tollkit mentioned in this comment [] . (GL is actually rather good for pixely 2D stuff).

Then again, maybe I'm letting him off easy 'cause he's an ex-Amiga hacker like myself (only he's better, of course.)...

His archival screenshots ( 1 [] 2 [] ) of his amiga desktop from back in the day (early '90s)really illustrate how far behind Unix was on the GUI side
of things when the Amiga was at its peak - I had a similar looking desktop, and, boy, twm was a big step backwards...

Geez (1)

Pope Slackman (13727) | more than 13 years ago | (#492273)

EVAS and Jubei? Is this '*nix apps named after anime characters' day? ;)

Annnnyways...I had been wondering when someone was gonna use OpenGL
acceleration to render stuff in X... The idea has popped up in more than one
cofeeshop discussion between me and my friends, but no one
ever had the mad X hacking skillz to do it.
Way to go Raster!


Re:I knew it. :-) (2)

planet_hoth (3049) | more than 13 years ago | (#492274)

Uh, unless I'm mistaken, OS X doesn't use OpenGL acceleration for its interface. I know it supports OpenGL for 3D apps, and it probably uses 2D acceleration when rendering the UI.

Re:X Render Extension. (1)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 13 years ago | (#492275)

No, it appears he only uses OpenGL for this, which could mean there might be some very nasty slowdowns for games running on an E desktop, depending on how the glx for the card is programmed. And frankly, it doesn't really interest me. I use Linux and X on my laptop extensively, and conventionally 'anti-aliased' text just looks like blurred text on the LCD display. The X render extension on the other hand, supports subpixel rendering, which should increase the horizontal resolution (by a factor of three) that characters are rendered on that screen.

Re:Rasterman's software (2)

Karn (172441) | more than 13 years ago | (#492276)

Some people around here probably don't remember Enlightment as I remember. Enlightment was the ONLY decent-looking window manager for Linux back when Gnome and KDE didn't exist. I remember looking at screenshots of E running.. Enlightement was probably THE reason I started using Linux.

It wasn't a perfect window manager (and nobody claimed it was since it's still labeled as devel) but it kicked ass back in the early Windows 95 days.. I was so happy when I compiled Enlightement and could take a break for the bleak FVWM.

Oh, sure, EVAS seems great (2)

Field Marshall Stack (58180) | more than 13 years ago | (#492277)

...until you check the system requirements: The Lance of Longinus, an affectless fourteen-year-old albino Japanese clone girl, and Your Dead Mother. C'mon, how many people have actually have that kind of setup?

Re:I knew it. :-) (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 13 years ago | (#492278)

That's not true. Quake 3, Oni and all other 3D applications use accelerated OpenGL (well, except BattleZone :).
And windows can't move this way when not 2D accelerated. Just try out XFree on MacOS X, which does not support it.

The catch is: it only works with ATI's cards.

Re:Woohoo!!!! (2)

wik (10258) | more than 13 years ago | (#492279)

No, now you need three separate packages to just run your desktop environment. A step forward? :-)

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#492280)

No, actually it will be faster because of a lot of stuff. Binary config files and imlib2 among others. From what i've heard E itselfe - E the windowmanager - is not going to use hw accelerated eccept for the part that handles the root window (the desktop background etc) But evas is very fast even without hw accel. That's why E will continue to rule as it always has.

-- BitDancer

Way to go! (1)

captaineo (87164) | more than 13 years ago | (#492281)

Step back for a second and think through the possibilities:

1) Write a library of good-looking, wickedly fast GUI widgets using the EVAS API (rip some code from Gtk to get this going quickly)

2) Invent a high-level network protocol for creating, manipulating, and responding to events on these widgets. Heck, write one on top of CORBA if you must. Now client applications will connect directly to Enlightenment and build GUI interfaces using its facilities.

3) Give Enlightenment direct access to input devices through a library like SDL []


Please, Rasterman, realize that this technology won't just enable window managers to have fast eye-candy. It could form the basis for a completely independent, hardware-accelerated display server (not even OSX's Quartz is hardware-accelerated yet)! By managing and rendering widgets at the server, you will blow Windows, OSX, etc out of the water performance-wise, and keep X11-style network transparency!

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 13 years ago | (#492282)

I think the problem is that X drawing primatives are too small to be accelerated efficiently by cards designed for the Win32 GDI and Apple QuickDraw.

It seems that he is bypassing the X drawing layer somehow ("Raster showed us comparisons between X-accelerated displays and EVAS accelerated displays"). How that works with other X apps and the normal X feature set would be interesting.

Re:Oh, sure, EVAS seems great (1)

Brackney (257949) | more than 13 years ago | (#492283)

Heh. I wouldn't want to be near the thing when it goes berzerk; rending and eating all other nodes on the LAN. ;)

Re:desktop (2)

Error27 (100234) | more than 13 years ago | (#492284)

Or conversely, why does gnome replicate E's capabilities.

Personally I don't like/use gnome and so I like having a graphical way to change my background.

(Well actually, I like bonobo and gnome apps. I just don't like the huge tool bar and the way gnome thinks it is a window manager when it's not)

Re:I knew it. :-) (1)

Ig0r (154739) | more than 13 years ago | (#492285)

Uhm. He just said "MacOS X doesn't support GL acceleration" and you replied with "Yes Quake3 does!".
Notice the difference?


What hardware? (3)

Mike Hicks (244) | more than 13 years ago | (#492286)

I see that this is available at Sourceforge [] .. I downloaded the RPMs, and I noticed that they wanted, which appears to be an X module for the NVidia X servers. The stock XFree86 4.0.x servers come with a similar file libGLcore.a .

Anyway, I'm just wondering -- does this mean that this EVAS stuff only works with NVidia cards? Is there any chance I'll get it to work with my G400?

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (1)

R3 (15929) | more than 13 years ago | (#492287)

True....about 6 months ago I reached the point of saturation with E (read - didn't want to buy new video card just to be able manipulate windows fast enough), so I went back to the bare bones FVWM.
After the initial shock (no docking bars, cartoon icons and Hollywood style special effects), I actually started enjoying its....minimalism....:)
As for speed - it probably improved at least 10-fold, which comes as no surprise, considering just how basic FVWM is.

Linux going down the Windows road (2)

hubertf (124995) | more than 13 years ago | (#492288)

Nice to see portable, machine independent interfaces (X) replaced with non-portable, machine-dependent ones (svgalib, EVAS).

One more proof that Linux != Unix.

- Hubert (Unix lover)

Re:desktop (1)

blixel (158224) | more than 13 years ago | (#492289)

For instance, its background selector...

This is one area of Window Managers in general that has annoyed me for quite some time. That is the doubling up of features. In regards to setting a background though, Gnome has the ability to completely disable its control over setting the background. Therefor whatever else you are doing to set a background will always work... E on the otherhand only allows you to turn off having a background... so if you then set a background through Gnome and then bring up a transparent terminal, the terminal will just show a blank root window as opposed to the background that you set through Gnome. At least that has been my experience.

Re:Think different (1)

magi_caspar (307359) | more than 13 years ago | (#492290)

No, I'm afraid to say that you're not the only person who thought that. ^_^

WM choice (2)

Alioth (221270) | more than 13 years ago | (#492291)

I really do like Enlightenment. What I usually do under X is start about 5 xterms and a browser (rather than doing the GUI thing - incidentally, that's how I use WinNT too), I do appreciate a bit of eye-candy.

The themes that come with Debian are pleasing to the eye, and the WM seems easy to use. However, I do miss the right-mouse-button Lower feature (to send a window to the back) which FVWM supports.

But at least Windows users don't accuse my desktop of being "dull" any more

To broaden the appeal of Linux, it needs more work on this sort of thing. However, I think Linux is an awful long way from being a "consumer level" OS like Windows. Having just upgraded my system with the latest Debian, the installation leaves a lot to be desired when compared with Windows. Fortunately, I almost know what I'm doing when it comes to Linux (having first started with Linux when it was kernel 0.12!), so it wasn't a big deal for me to install Deb, but I can't imagine most of my friends (who are not in software development) installing it without my (or some other Linux aware person's) help.

Re:What hardware? (1)

cbwsdot (212913) | more than 13 years ago | (#492292)

I don't know if you need NVidia hardware, but reaster is a big fan of Geforce.


Re:I knew it. :-) (1)

Error27 (100234) | more than 13 years ago | (#492293)

I think you might mean windows 2000 instead of OSX.

a google search of OSX and opengl [] doesn't produce anything interesting. And Apple is fairly good about issueing press releases if they do something new. I've heard that the new interface for apple is pretty and that it's slick but I haven't heard too much about it being fast.

Anyways, your logic is a little bit screwy about using 3d acceleration to speed up 2d. Because if you could do that then 3d acceleration would be called 3d and 2d acceleration. Perhaps you are associating OpenGL with 3d only instead of 2d? But OpenGL can be used to accelerate 2d also if you add the following line (and one or two others) to your code.

gluOrtho2D(0, EzWinWidth , 0, EzWinHieght);

Re:What's wrong with Berlin? (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 13 years ago | (#492294)

You got it. If Berlin does nothing more than force X to innovate and figure out ways to get this functionality into the existing infrastructure, then more power to it. That along makes Berlin Not A Failure.

I think Berlin would have a serious chance if it was able to run X apps. Given that it currently can't, adoption is just not going to be widespread.

Re:desktop (2)

Dr. Donuts (232269) | more than 13 years ago | (#492295)

Err, actually you've got it backwards. E predated Gnome, and in most instances where they overlap, it is Gnome that duplicated a feature that was in E ( or any other WM).

With the advent of destop managers, of which there are two main competitors(KDE, Gnome), it's up to the WM developers to decide to go back and remove the "overlapping" functionality. Or detect if a desktop manager is running and disable that functionality.

For a lot of people that's a hard pill to swallow, especially given that you don't know for certain your users are going to be running ANY desktop software. The path of least resistance is just leave the code be.

XLib bypass? (1)

zoftie (195518) | more than 13 years ago | (#492296)

Yay, next great thing is happening... wait it is not, rasterman somehow forgot about whole network transparency with X... Your applications ran on the other host will not bring up the EVAS on yourscreen. Rasterman beangered GNOME development team with his hacky programming that only he can understand, and now he is at it again. Why wouldn't he just work with framebuffer? The direction X programming on Linux going, is to ditch XLib altogether, because it is slowing whole eyecandy enabling process for rasterman-likes, so they just communicate directly with GLlib, which in turn calls extended XServer directly without marshalizing calls into datastream... how sad.

Re:Excellent news. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#492297)

I'm running KDE right now with antialiased fonts. The latest XFree with the Render extension makes this possible.

Debs for E17 (3)

heikkih (100839) | more than 13 years ago | (#492298)

... and then I suggest all debian/E-users head over to ljlane's debian repository [] to check out the stuff :)
Figure out there how to get it apt-able.


Re:desktop (1)

labiss (73193) | more than 13 years ago | (#492299)

Keep in mind that Enlightenment is not really intended to be used with gnome anymore. It still works fine with gnome, of course and this compatability will remain. DR17, the next version is a complete rewrite. Not only will it be extremely faster, but it will include it's own file manager, EFM. It is quite amazing and certainly looks much better than all of the windows explorer ripoffs of other desktop environments. Also, we have a new binary config file format which will speed up the window manager startup considerably. There are tons of other features but the most important is of course this hardware accelerated eye candy.


Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (2)

DarkToast (18370) | more than 13 years ago | (#492300)

That's obvious!

<p>Although nowadays it's popular to hate Enlightenment, bash it's speed and fanciness, Enlightenment for me was more like a proof of concept, an attempt to achieve what's not directly achievable by X11. It was also a major eye candy in Linux advocasy demos (well, till MacOS X arrived, with the "swallowing taskbar" :).

<p>I'm talking about the rippling desktop, zooming workspaces, transparent terminals (eTerm). All of that stuff was done by hacks around X, without any dedicated effects API from X -- and they managed to do it.

<p>Now, OpenGL can offer those effects with real hardware acceleration - scaling, alpha blending, just the stuff all those effects need.

Re:Excellent news. (1)

Kryptonomic (161792) | more than 13 years ago | (#492301)


Do you have to re-compile KDE?

Re:Windows vs. XFree86 & WM's (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 13 years ago | (#492302)

I certainly haven't leveled a profiler on the X code, but I'm still pretty certain that the reason for it being so slow is that it is designed to run over a network. . . the client/server architecture is very versatile, but it does creat another abstraction layer.

I run E on a P233 and have no speed issues (3)

ry4an (1568) | more than 13 years ago | (#492303)

I run E on a P233 w/ 96Megs ram, a reasonably busy theme, and a $20 video card and have never had speed issues. I've tried other WMs and haven't noticed anything drawing or responding faster. What's the speed problems I'm always hearing talk of?

Re:What hardware? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#492304)

Sure You can run it on your G400. Just check out the E-develop mailing list archives [] Lots of people have the same problem and some of them even found the solution :) I personally don't have G400, so I don't have any experience in this field, however be prepared for recompiling the kernel and possibly X. In general EVAS stuff works on any hardware accelerated card supported by X, but it so happens that NVidia X drivers are WAY better(faster) than any other type.

Re:I run E on a P233 and have no speed issues (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#492305)

Well, some of us don't want to actually see the windows and widgets being drawn on the screen. We want them to appear at once.

Re:What hardware? (2)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 13 years ago | (#492306)

You can use the GNU tools to make a .so from the .a

Re:What hardware? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#492307)

I am not so sure about that: a .so by definition is compiled with -fPIC (position independent code) while a .a doesn't have that requirement...

Re:iiemyiwryfhopypwsyhuyapydosiiymwiniyhuyaatiwkya (1)

DysonSphere (307033) | more than 13 years ago | (#492308)

Give it up, Moe's better at this, and he's a cartoon.... Listen to me, you; when I catch you, I'm gonna pull out your eyes with a corkscrew and stick 'em down your pants, so you can watch me kick the crap outta you, then I'm going to shove a sausage down your throat and stick starving dogs in your butt! okay? Oh yea, then I'm gonna use your tongue to paint my boat.

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (2)

Hillie (63573) | more than 13 years ago | (#492309)

As far as WM's go, IceWM and BlackBox all the way! I currently run IceWM, and it's awesome.. very beautiful, fast and effecient in every way, BlackBox is the same, although you may have to get used to it's "no bitmap" policy.

as far as terminals go, it's Rxvt all the way, there's no other terminal that comes up as fast. I will trade that kind of speed for the obvious slowdown of using a hacked transparent terminal which ugly-ly blinks white everytime you click on it.

But on another, slightly off-topic note.. everyone here is talking about 3D hardware acceleration. What ever happened to 2D hardware acceleration and how to it's not supported in X or seemingly trying to be supported?

EVAS is good (1)

boris_the_hacker (125310) | more than 13 years ago | (#492310)

Evas is more than just a toy, and it's also goes beyond hardware acceleration. It's rendering backends allow for the ability to transparently shift between OpenGL, Imlib2 and plain X rendering - this provides great scalbility. It also means that those machines that can only do software opengl rendering dont get bogged down by Mesa - but use Imlib2 (which is alot faster) - or for those machines that wish to use just X's rendering can use that. It basically means that people like myself that has a graphics card with blisteringly good perfomance can use it - rather than it sit there wasted. Even people with G400's have had great performance (even more so since raster re-wrote the GL engine). And no. This doesn't mean E will have transparent menus as they are still a PITA to have properly.
boris at darkrock dot co dot uk

Re:Way to go! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#492311)

EVAS is built on OpenGL, which (on Linux at least) requires X. The only things EVAS accelerates that X doesn't is Alpha blending. As long as your widgets don't use Alpha blending, they won't be any faster. And if your widgets use Alpha blending extensively, your desktop is going to be pretty damn hard to use (but nice eyecandy, no doubt).

integrating RENDER and XAA (XFree86 Acceleration Architecture) is a much better solution, and the one that will catch on. EVAS can simply be retargetted to RENDER.

Of course, you're probably just another person who can't read top who thinks his X server is sucking up 30 megs (hint: its not). I wish there was some good reference on modern COW shared mapping paged VMs.

Slower Systems (3)

Hrunting (2191) | more than 13 years ago | (#492312)

A lot of people out there (me included) run Linux on much older computers (in my case a p120). WMs like WindowMaker and BlackBox run perfectly acceptable on these systems. Will hardware accelerating Enlightenment perhaps give a ray of hope to those of us with slower cards, or will even not pushing all that graphics work into the video card not help us?

As a sidenote, what kind of graphics cards are we looking at here? Anything that has an accelerated X server (like, say, an old Mach64) or are we only talking high-end cards?

Re:I knew it. :-) (1)

mgiammarco (129330) | more than 13 years ago | (#492313)

I agree. Max os X interface is better. Period. Perhaps it does not use open-gl but surely it uses 3d feature of cards like z buffer alpha blendins anti alias. 3d is not only for games but also for apps. 2d is not dead. They can improve it

Re:XLib bypass? (1)

Knos (30446) | more than 13 years ago | (#492314)

Evas supports plain xlib calls...

Re:What hardware? (1)

heikkih (100839) | more than 13 years ago | (#492315)

E17-cvs works fine with me under Debian Sid with an Ati 128.

I was just blown away when mozilla 0.7 popped up. The Slashdot front-page was completely loaded in tenths of a second. Then I figured out I wanted to test it with Opera 4beta.

Surfing will never be the same again :)


Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (3)

Surak (18578) | more than 13 years ago | (#492316)

So, the idea is that Enlightenment will be fast because the tons of junk that it does will be hardware-accelerated?

It seems like they are saying that Enlightenment will be faster because it will specifically coded for the accelerated X server.

I still kinda doubt it. Just because something's hardware accelerated, it doesn't mean that it will be fastest necessarily. Enlightment just has too much JUNK in tries to do EVERYTHING...its a victim of rampant featuritis, or at least freeping creaturism.

Re:Windows vs. XFree86 & WM's (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 13 years ago | (#492317)

I think that you would be quite surprised at how many of the XFree86 video drivers simply set up a (dumb) frame buffer and let the X code write into it, with next to no assistance from any hardware acceleration from the video chip in 2D.

You can blame this on the open source software development model.

Linux is a kernel, not an OS nor a religion - me

Re:Way to go! (1)

mgiammarco (129330) | more than 13 years ago | (#492318)

You forgot to mention kgi+libggi+libggi3d which is already doing the same thing. BTW: remember that someone has decided for you (with DRI) that if you want open-gl you must startx.

Re:I knew it. :-) (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 13 years ago | (#492319)

Correct, It utilizes a thing Apple calls Quartz which is a PDF based imaging system. It is vector based imaging system... which mean you can blend, scale, rotate, etc. and the images are rendered at the optimum resolution for the device it is displaying on (this includes things like printers).

Granted not all of the OS currently utilizes this ability to its fullest but as video and processing systems get better it will be leveraged more and more.

A nice thing about Quartz is you utilize its interfaces and its core can be ported to utilize 2D or SIMD acceleration behind your back. This is what Apple has done for the Velocity Engine in the PowerPC G4 (74x0).

It is fast!

Re:Windows vs. XFree86 & WM's (1)

Aunt Mable (301965) | more than 13 years ago | (#492320)

I have had a look at the XFree code and however well written a profiler wouldn't achieve much as X suffers from architectural bloat (though Network transparency does play a small role).

A large part is that X's primitives are too... primitive. Graphics cards are made for one operating system, and are made to be accerated with the higher level graphics primitives available on that system and not the rather crude 'draw line, move box' X'isms. Windows has move box to here with this amount of transparency - and the graphics card can accerate these features. As X primitives are too primitive there's little room for acceration and performance suffers.

OpenGL however has some very well thought-out primitives.

Apologies for fuzzing the primitive term. When X was made they were considered building-block primitives - but now what was primitive is archaic.

-- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

Re:Linux going down the Windows road (1)

mgiammarco (129330) | more than 13 years ago | (#492321)

I disagree with you. I like freedom, with X I will not have freedom: binary only drivers (NVIDIA) open GL can run only if you start X (thanks DRI), etc. Now I would like to have some open source alternative.

Re:What's wrong with Berlin? (2)

Aunt Mable (301965) | more than 13 years ago | (#492322)

I'm on the design mailing list and they have talked occasionally of doing XLib on Berlin - and they realise that it's a major step in people's adoption of Berlin [] . It will be done, but there's more important things right now.

-- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (1)

mother_superius (227373) | more than 13 years ago | (#492323)

According to the article, this was run without any speed issues. The other WMs do not have the speed problems E is famous for, but almost everyone will agree that E has more features. If E has no speed issues, then why use another WM? E is wonderful, and it is superior to the others in almost every other area.

Rxvt (1)

drsoran (979) | more than 13 years ago | (#492324)

You know, the thing that bothers me about rxvt though is that there's no way I've seen to resize the damned thing. You have to open another window with a different font size. With xterm it's easy to go from tiny to huge, reset the console, etc. Plus, xterm seems just as fast as rxvt on my modest system (piii-733).

Re:EVAS is good (1)

McKing (1017) | more than 13 years ago | (#492325)

Hrm, no transparent menus, eh?

How about this [] ? Or this [] ? These shots are from raster's web page, and are actual screenshots [] . They aren't even from 0.17, but from 0.16+EFM.

Re:Oh, sure, EVAS seems great (1)

pfft (23845) | more than 13 years ago | (#492326)

SEELE Member (green): But, Rastaman-kun, Nerv and EVA... you could use them in better ways, couldn't you?

SEELE Member (yellow): The cost of repairs for Unit Zero, and for the damage Unit One received in its first battle, would be a country's ruin.

SEELE Member(red): I heard you gave that toy to your laptop.

SEELE Member(blue): Lives, time and money... How much will be spent before you are satisfied?

SEELE Member(red): Besides, you have another job to do, don't you?

SEELE Member(red): Enlightenment 0.17--that is what you must give the highest priority.

Rasterman:I understand. Humanity has no more time.

Try Sawfish (2)

Sanity (1431) | more than 13 years ago | (#492327)

You should take a look at Sawfish [] . It is just as themeable as E, you can script stuff for it in Lisp, and it has a very slick, well written feel to it (in contrast to E which feels like it has been thrown together at a demo hacking convention).


Re:I knew it. :-) (2)

Enahs (1606) | more than 13 years ago | (#492328)

Oh, yay, and I suppose there's a nice, included PDF viewer that uses Display PDF to view PDF files, then. What happens when you open a corrupt PDF file?

Questions, questions. Apple DisplayPDF anyone? (2)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 13 years ago | (#492329)

Let's see if I have this straight:

EVAS is an API or library that allows for the WM, in this case E, to utilize hardware accelerated OpenGL hardware, not just the standard 2d raster stuff found on most video cards, right?

Does this mean E will only work on NVIDIA and 3dfx hardware, under Linux? I've heard other people mention this too.

Is this canvas software, EVAs, akin to Apple's DisplayPDF layer? Will it eventually mature into a display layer that sits between the hardware and the WM? I'm curious if Apple was an inspiration, or not.

Or is it literally just a wrapper around OpenGL? Instead of calling a 2d api, it just remaps to an equiv 3d function call to get the alpha blending and scaling?

If this is literally in it's infancy, maybe a long term design plan to create a Quartz type API would be nice.

Geek dating! []

Re:Think different (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 13 years ago | (#492330)

I saw one of those for sale at Software, Etc. On the box, it said, "Recommended for those age 14"

Re:Windows vs. XFree86 & WM's (2)

Enahs (1606) | more than 13 years ago | (#492331)

Nice troll. No, you can blame the closed-source hardware development model.

What's wrong with the guy? (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 13 years ago | (#492332)

Can you please explain where all this contempt for Raster comes from? I've read nasty-ish remarks on E and the man himself on ./ and the linuxtoday page. Quite frankly I cant' understand the reason so many peole can't stand him! I use wm and kde2 most often (I cant' get to terms with moving the mouse at 90 turns) but I'm not bashing the chap. If some dude instead of whipping him with a trout had written a coolish 'point & click' prefs setting I bet the masses wouldn't be so hard! Or is it because he left RH slamming the door?

Re:Windows vs. XFree86 & WM's (1)

eric17 (53263) | more than 13 years ago | (#492333)

"You can blame this on the open source software development model"

You could, but that would blindly ignore the fact that you would have neither Linux nor any drivers at all if it were not for the OSS development model.

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (1)

Shade, The (252176) | more than 13 years ago | (#492334)

True. Still, if EVAS makes enligntenment the fastest desktop around, then just think what it can do for the rest! KDE2, Gnome with Sawfish, et all would run at lightning speed. (Assuming the programmers of this system can be believed!)

Re:Linux going down the Windows road (1)

rodgerd (402) | more than 13 years ago | (#492335)

More like Linux Weenies != Clue about Unix philosophy.

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (1)

DGolden (17848) | more than 13 years ago | (#492336)

I would presume that, if it's all OpenGL, he just uses XFree86 GLX calls - i.e. the DRI. Little wonder it's fast.

Re:I knew it. :-) (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 13 years ago | (#492337)

Maybe because it's not OSX but "OS X" :-) Anyway, OS X definately uses OpenGL. Just take a look here []

Re:X Render Extension. (1)

DGolden (17848) | more than 13 years ago | (#492338)

WTF? I know that's a troll, but anyway - the Amiga icons are no more incomprehensible than gnome or kde's, and the windows are whatever size you size them to. In my experience, CDE sucked - was about as good as windows 3.1.

The latest release of the "classic" AmigaOS, 3.9, looks like this [] .

Raster's screenshots in my previous post are from an early-1990s 14 MHz amiga with 6 MByte of memory + 256 color graphics... They sure as hell look better than a similar specced PeeCee would...

Re:Windows vs. XFree86 & WM's (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 13 years ago | (#492339)

OTOH, I do wonder about some things in OpenGL. . admittedly it's the only set of graphics libraries I've ever used (Last time I did graphics programming it was pure DOS VGA programming), but a lot of stuff I do involves plotting the screen one pixel at a time. Hence, I find it annoying that it seems to take as many as 4 function calls to put a pixel.

Re:Way to go! (2)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 13 years ago | (#492340)

So, basically what you are saying is, re-invent X, but do it in a way that is incompatible with most of the existing X apps out there... all so you can get rid of X?? Hmm.. something doesn't make much sense here...

Those will be yanked (1)

Cardinal (311) | more than 13 years ago | (#492341)

Yes, efm had transparent menus. I enjoy them a lot, since I've been using efm as my desktop for something like 8 months now. However they were deemed too slow to add to E17.

Re:Linux going down the Windows road (1)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 13 years ago | (#492342)

Hmm, as far as I see, EVAS is based on OpenGL and X, which, are perfectly machine-independent.
OpenGL even more than X.

Please enlighten me, where the increased machine dependency can be found.

Re:Oh, sure, EVAS seems great (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#492343)

I'm sure there's a witty remark involving Caspar, Balthazar, Melchior, and the CPU power necessary to run Rasterman's code comfortably, but I can't think of a good one right now...

Jubei? (1)

jmp100 (91421) | more than 13 years ago | (#492344)

Jubei, as in Jubei Kibagawa from Ninja Scroll?

(why the hell are you talking about MAME in an article about E)

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (2)

frantzdb (22281) | more than 13 years ago | (#492345)

No one is saying that Enlightenment *is* the fastest window manager out there. It isn't. It's fast enough for many people, though, considering it's large feature set.

What Raster is saying is that actual tests of the *next* version of Enlightenment (using EVAS) show it to currently be the fastest window manager out there. I havn't tried that yet, but it sounds as though his claims are not without some evidence.


damn pretty (1)

dwbryson (104783) | more than 13 years ago | (#492346)

Wow, i just rean the evas_test and this is VERY pretty. It'll be interesting to see how they pull this off... it's definatly apparent that there is almost no optimized code, my P2 350 with a TNT2 varied between 770fps to 3fps on the demo depending on what was on the screen. I had switched to sawfish a while back because E was so slow... maybe this will be my reason for switching back to E.

Huge toolbar (or not). (2)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 13 years ago | (#492347)

In modern versions of (stable) GNOME the toolbar is ultra-configurable. It can be a tiny 12 pixels if you so desire.

Re:What hardware? (1)

Spirilis (3338) | more than 13 years ago | (#492348)

but on x86, I don't think it makes a damned difference. Many shared libraries on x86 are compiled without using -fPIC.

Re:I knew it. :-) (1)

mr_exit (216086) | more than 13 years ago | (#492349)

Mac osX does use open gl and Apple got help from Alias|Wavefront (make Maya and Studio, owned by SGI)

from the apple website: Apple has also integrated OpenGL -- the blisteringhot 3D technology used by games like Quake 3Arena from id Software, and heavy-duty authoring tools like Maya from Alias/Wavefront -- into Mac OS X. And the state-of-the-art plumbing in Darwin actually boosts OpenGL's performance to a whole new level on Mac OS X, making it the ultimate PC platform for 3D games and eye-popping photorealistic graphics

From what I understand. you can make 3d acceleration speed up 2d by simply making the desktop a 3d object (or series of) that is viewed straight on.

3d isnt all perspective and volumetric fog
although E. with fog might be fun, Cataract simulator anyone??????

Drink Coffee - Do Stupid Things Faster And With More Energy!

Re:Rxvt (1)

Bishop (4500) | more than 13 years ago | (#492350)

Read the man page. You can bind a key sequence to change the font size. You can set the 4 or 5 fonts through X resources.

Wow, buzzwords... (1)

KupekKupoppo (266229) | more than 13 years ago | (#492351)

It seems to me that since everybody is crapping themselves over the idea of anti-aliased fonts, Raster just went and said "you know all that good stuff that you want? I'll give it to you (someday)."

If you look at the facts, Enlightenment, while arguable the most visually attractive (not necessarily clean and/or easy to use) of the available window managers, is huge and clunky. Optimization and efficiency is often left by the wayside in order to just put out a hack that works.

Come on, this is the Linux community! <stereotype>We're fascist when it comes to processor and memory usage! We put away all things shiny for the power our OS allows us!</stereotype>

There are other, cleaner WMs out there, and without the eye candy are by far a nicer product. Even Blackbox has its appeal (and would be my personal preference). Simplicity in design and ease of use can override the power of eye candy, in my eyes, any day.

I'm sorry, I think we were fed a bunch of buzzwords, will get to grope at vapourware for a long time, and we're expected to just smile and nod at the prospect of something new.

Oh yes, we want those things. But first make Enlightenment work like a Linux app is supposed to--cleanly, and efficiently.

Re:Antialiased fonts and alpha blending ? (1)

Spirilis (3338) | more than 13 years ago | (#492352)

Nah; it's one thing to write code to support the usage of a card's framebuffer, and it's another to know the protocol and method for accessing acceleration hardware. This is where "closed" hardware specs get in the way; either you reverse-engineer the hardware (a pain in the ass?), or somehow convince the company to open the specs.

Elegant Simplicity (1)

Phaid (938) | more than 13 years ago | (#492353) not what stuff like EVAS and Enlightenment and Gnome and KDE are at all about. When your machine requires more resources to make pretty screenshots than it does to do anything actually useful, you're heading down the wrong path.

Fortunately, the brilliant thing about open source is that you're not stuck running this bloatware because someone says you have to. You can happily install the bits and pieces you want and make your desktop anything you like (or just run console and not have one at all).

Re:Linux going down the Windows road (1)

bartok (111886) | more than 13 years ago | (#492354)

How about E != Linux or E != Most used WM

Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 13 years ago | (#492355)

If so, that's a profoundly smart way to work around X's limitations, as soon as OGL support is more universal, that is.

Unfortunately tho, that approach only helps E (unless Enlightenment is becoming a 'desktop environment' API like Gnome/KDE). and doesn't address the fundamental problems due to X's archaic nature. I suppose it will take a "X11R7" or something to provide a richer 2D API to all apps.


Re:Enlightenment -- fast? (1)

Zagadka (6641) | more than 13 years ago | (#492356)

Okay, so E isn't slower than Sawfish as long as you use a crappy theme. Perhaps. Why should I have to put up with a crappy theme though? With Sawfish, I can use a theme that looks exactly like the one I used to use in E, and it's much faster.

Plus, if I need to do some really complicated modifications to my setup or my theme, I can use a real language (rep, a Lisp dialect), rather than the hacked up C preprocessor kludge that E uses.

Most of the people who complain about GNOME being slugggish are actually complaining about E. GNOME with Sawfish is actually fairly quick. I've enev got an old Pentium 133 with GNOME+Sawfish on it, and it runs fine. I tried running E on the same machine, with the E version of the same theme, and it was unbearably slow. (and yes, I turned off animations and the snapshot pager)

Re:Try Sawfish (1)

Zagadka (6641) | more than 13 years ago | (#492357)

From my experience, Sawfish is a lot faster than E, even when using the same theme and options. I had used E for several months, and one day I decided to try out Sawfish (back when it was called Sawmill). I stopped using E, because with sawfish I had exactly the same theme, but windows rendered much faster, and it has a real configuration language.
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