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Enlightenment (X window manager)
In the field of computing, Enlightenment, also known simply as E, is a window manager for the X Window System, used alone or in conjunction with desktop environment like GNOME and KDE. It is far more complex and comprehensive than most window managers, with functionality that is common in desktop environments. It is graphically featureful and has a powerful facility for theming, yet is fairly fast and efficient. Enlightenment is frequently deployed on low-end systems with resource constraints instead of a full desktop environment. It is also popular to use E with a desktop environment such as GNOME.
Enlightenment, of course, is not exclusively for older systems. Many users prefer E even on high-end machines with lots of memory because of its many unique features. Some of its distinguishing features include:
- Its virtual desktop concept - 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, and you can have 32 of them (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 - this 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 slid 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).
One of the aims of the window manager is to be as configurable as possible, and to this end, it includes easy-to-use customization dialogs for focus settings, window movement, resizing, grouping and placement settings, audio, multiple desktop, desktop background, pager, tooltip and autoraise settings. It also includes a special effects dialog, including a desktop 'ripple' effect.
Since 2005, the latest stable release of the software has been version 0.16.7.2. The next major version, called DR17, is currently in development and is designed to be a full-fledged desktop shell based on the new Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL). DR17 is a complete rewrite from DR16, targetted toward a range of platforms from embedded systems to workstations.
- Official Enlightenment website
- Enlightenment Developers Blogs at edevelop.org
- Enlightenment at Freedesktop.org
- Enlightenment Sourceforge Project Page
- Enlightenment Screenshots at Lynucs.org
- Enlightenment Themes
- The Unofficial Enlightenment DR17 Setup Guide
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