Enlightenment (window manager)

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Enlightenment, also known simply as E, is a stacking window manager for the X Window System which can be used alone or in conjunction with a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. Enlightenment is often used as a substitute for a full desktop environment.

Contents

History

The first version of Enlightenment was released by Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler) in 1997.[1]

Enlightenment has been under development for over a decade; its latest stable release is version E16 1.0.7.

Version 0.17, also referred to as DR17 or E17, has been in development since December 2000.[2] It is a complete rewrite on DR16 and was designed to be a full-fledged desktop shell, based on the new Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL).

Features

E16

Some of its features include:

  • Enlightenment allows you to have a grid of workspaces called virtual desktops. Switching between them is achieved by hurling the mouse cursor to the edge of the screen, at which the desktop appears to slide across to reveal the next. The maximum grid size is currently 8 by 8 desktops, and you can have 32 grids (each with a different background), making 2048 total possible desktop spaces. (Users can enable a map of the desktops, in case they get lost, which is called the pager.)
  • The desktop dragbar allows a desktop to be 'slid back' to reveal the desktop 'underneath'. The E team use the analogy of sheets of paper, stacked on top of each other, where you can slide off a piece partially to reveal what's beneath.
  • Window grouping – the ability to put windows into groups so that they can all be moved, resized, closed, etc. together.
  • Iconification – reducing windows to an icon, stored in 'iconboxes' that can be placed about the screen.
  • Ability to change window borders (or remove borders and title bars completely).
  • Users can create keybindings for actions such as maximizing windows, launching programs, moving between desktops and moving the mouse cursor, hence making it possible to use Enlightenment solely with a keyboard. e16keyedit is a graphical program for simplifying keybinding creation.
  • It contains a command line interface, eesh, which affects the window manager actions, and makes it possible to write powerful shell scripts controlling most features on the desktop - from settings to single window manipulations.
  • Newer versions include compositing effects such as fading and transparency.

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