F20 Self Contained Change: Enlightenment

Jaroslav Reznik jreznik at redhat.com
Thu Jul 18 12:31:50 UTC 2013

= Proposed Self Contained Change: Enlightenment =

Change owner(s): Rahul Sundaram <sundaram AT fedoraproject org>, Christopher 
Meng <i AT cicku me>, Dan Mashal <dan.mashal AT fedoraproject org>

Enlightenment 0.17 a new stable release has been released after 12 years or so 
of development. As many desktops are being landed on Fedora, Integrating 
Enlightenment in Fedora can not only enlarge the number of available desktops 
in Fedora, but also improve user experiences and give users another choice of 
Desktop Environment. 

== Detailed description ==
Enlightenment 0.17 (a.k.a E17) is the next generation of graphical desktop 
shell from the Enlightenment project. When you first run it and get past the 
initial setup wizard, you should end up with a desktop not unlike the above. 
It is a very traditional UNIX/X11 style desktop, because that is what E 
primarily is and attempts to be, BUT with a bunch of bells, whistles and 
modernities that were never there, as well as a different core design 
philosophy. There seems to be some obsession with Window Manager vs. Desktop 
Environment debates. It doesn't much matter what you call it. It manages 
windows. It does compositing. It manages files. It launches applications. It 
handles UI and system settings.

Before we go any further, it is time to clean up some common misconceptions.

* First, Enlightenment is not new. It is OLD.
* It predates larger desktop environments like GNOME or XFCE. It is just 
barely younger than KDE.
* It never started life as an attempt to "be a full desktop environment".
* It started life as simply a window manager. This was back towards the latter 
part of 1996, and its first 0.1 release came in the first part of 1997. It was a 
window manager with some extras to scratch the itch that "everything was gray 
bevels and UIs had to be plain to be functional or useful, and that 
computers/X11 were not capable of more".
* It handily proved that to be wrong. It could manage function AND form more 
flexibly than anything else, and to this date is still in an enviable position 
of flexibility in both behavior features and in terms of visuals. In fact, its 
Achilles heel simply may be that it has too many options and too much 
flexibility. Some of the extras filled in the gaps, like setting wallpaper, that 
was always done by 3rd party tools and not the window manager at the time. If 
you are after a constrained and simple UI, then Enlightenment (E) is not for 
you. It can be configured to be plain and simple if you try, or to be buzzing 
with activity and complexity, but this is up to you. Its default is somewhere 
in between these to give you a taste of what it can do on both ends of the 

The default look is not what you are stuck with. Enlightenment was the first 
Window Manager (WM) to introduce themes in X11 (pre-packaged sets of data that 
you just grab and select, providing you with a vast new look and feel). Today 
in Enlightenment, these themes come as "Edje" files (.edj), and are pre-
packaged data files containing all images, layout, animation etc. that you may 
need. They never get "unpacked". They are used "live as-is", and only the data 
needed from the file is sourced and decoded, so even if the theme is massive, 
only the pieces needed at any one time are decoded into memory, which is 
normally a fraction of the actual file size. They are also live data and need 
to be there while E17 runs as it is forever digging bits of data out of these 
files as it needs it. It is an accepted fact that the default look will not be 
for everyone. It tries to strike a balance of being unique (not mimicking some 
other desktop look), yet still being stylish. It is meant to echo some of the 
past from where Enlightenment comes from, and yet roll in modern effects and 
feels. It sacrifices some "usability" for look, yet tries to keep a balance and 
still be functional. It will not be for everyone, but it is hoped that it 
keeps you mostly happy until you find other themes that exactly meet your 
visual needs. You will find this as an on-going philosophy in Enlightenment. 
One size does NOT fit all. That's what options are for. Thats why we have 
themes. Do not have the misconception that what you see is what you are stuck 
with. You are expected to experiment and discover what is good for you. Maybe 
the default is fine. Maybe it is not. That's why we pioneered themes and spent 
immense amounts of time making them nicely packaged, efficient and powerful 
enough to fine-tune almost any aspect of the UI. 

== Scope ==
Just package every dependency and promise that they can be reviewed 'PASS'.

* Proposal owners: Package all dependencies and push them to review queue. 
* Other developers: Keep existed dependency packages updated, make sure the 
default backgrounds and theme is available. 
* Release engineering: Nothing here currently. If there are sufficient interests 
and participation, a Fedora Enlightenment spin could be released. 
* Policies and guidelines: N/A (not a System Wide Change) 

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