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Call for Questions: Rasterman, Founder of the Enlightenment Project 124

Since before all other interfaces, Enlightenment has been making computers look and feel like they're from the future. On December 21, the decade long effort to rewrite Enlightenment will see the first officially stable release. With e17 a few days away, project founder and master of X11 graphics hacking Carsten Haitzler (the Rasterman) has agreed to answer your questions. Ask as many questions as you like, but only one per post please.
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Call for Questions: Rasterman, Founder of the Enlightenment Project

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:30PM (#42315889)

    What keeps you motivated? You had a long release cycle, a few dubious quality releases, all the while an abysmally small fraction of linux machines actually run your software.

  • Who cares? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:32PM (#42315903)

    Enlightenment is always "about" to achieve something great but it never quite manages to actually do it. Why should I care about a point release of a WM that will probably be obsolete by the time its finished?

  • Design philosophy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Camaro ( 13996 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:48PM (#42316081)

    As a longtime Enlightenment user (since 0.9 I think!) I have seen a lot of changes to it's look and feel over the years. Has your design philosphy changed over time or is it more a matter of changes in technology?

  • The Future (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:54PM (#42316163)

    When KDE made their big transition from 3->4, most of the followup releases were on stability and minor improvements on the paradigm.

    With E17, it seems that the amount of time taken was to ensure that the 'final' release of E17 would be bug free.

    Assuming that E17 release is stable and solid, where do you see the enlightenment project going from here?

  • Tizen and EFL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:55PM (#42316169)

    Your work at Samsung involves making EFL a great library for designing touch-based interfaces for use in a future Linux-based smartphone platform, presumably Tizen. But every time I've heard about Tizen in the press Samsung has made a big deal about HTML5 being the development platform. How do these two development platforms play together? Also can you provide any information about when we can expect to see the first Tizen phones hitting the US?

  • Usability vs beauty (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:57PM (#42316193)

    Your thoughts on usability vs beauty... Must they always be opposed?

  • by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:58PM (#42316201) Homepage Journal

    Back when i first heard about enlightenment - late 90's early 00's it was totally the best looking Window Manager / UI around.
    I've just checked out some screenshots from e17 and I can help but think it looks really dated. Enlightenment used to stand out from the crowd
    but now it seems to lag behind in this department.

    What will you be doing to ensure that the new Enlightenment will once again showcase how slick and awesome a Desktop UI can look?


  • Wayland? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:59PM (#42316219)

    As one of the few non-minimal DE projects out there, what do you guys think of Wayland? From a leader's standpoint, is it relevant? From a designer standpoint, are you looking forward to working with a newer API? From a user standpoint, do you think it will be better enough than X to be justified?

  • KDE (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Seeteufel ( 1736784 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:02PM (#42316257) Homepage
    Do you like KDE?
  • by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:14PM (#42316367)

    I thought that the conventional wisdom in Open Source, was to engage users and coders by releasing early, and releasing often.

    Given that software never really is ever "done"; please enlighten us (cough) about the thinking behind waiting so long to do a stable release. Was this a calculated risk, given the risk for erstwhile E fans to simply lose interest?

  • by undeadbill ( 2490070 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:28PM (#42316477)

    I've noted that while Enlightenment is BSD licensed, but some of the foundational libraries are licensed under *various* versions of the GPL. What gives? This would be confusing to most people who are looking to repackage E for use on various devices. Is there going to be a resolution for the licensing mess, or will development continue with multiple licenses that have to be negotiated by vendors and others interested in using this with their products? The issue isn't free beer vs free speech, the issue is how does one decide which license takes greatest precedence. Is the project going to go forward as GPLv3, v2, v1, or 2 clause BSD, or what?

  • Share the strategy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by glebovitz ( 202712 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:37PM (#42316547) Journal

    I would like to know how you managed to convince Intel and Samsung to build yet another mobile framework on a technology that has been really difficult to use, and has a very small share of the UI framework "market?" Is it that Enlightenment is providing UIs of the future, or is everything better encumbered by their ownership or stakeholders?

  • Desktop trends (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WayToGoPhil ( 1341289 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:21PM (#42317041)
    Whats your view on the current trend of desktops to be more like their tablet/phone cousins? Do you see any features that can be brought over from either side without sacrificing usability? Also how do you feel about black turtleneck shirts?
  • by WhiteDragon ( 4556 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:26PM (#42317111) Homepage Journal

    When Enlightenment came out, it also included ESD, the Enlightened Sound Daemon. Window events could cause sounds, which was nice, but ESD was also a sound multiplexing and remote sound protocol that was way ahead of its time. Now, there are PulseAudio, Jack, Yiff, Phonon, etc. and many people say the whole thing's a big mess. What's your opinion on the current state of sound / mixing on Linux desktops.

  • by redelm ( 54142 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @06:28PM (#42318891) Homepage

    You've done a lot of X programming, so as a user of that API, you must have strong opinions about it. What are the worst design decisions in X11? (The toughest things to get around/fix) What are the best? (Timesavers)

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire