The PhoneBoy Blog

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Slumming in Enlightenment

One of the downsides of running Gentoo on my desktop is the need to recompile stuff. Today, that involves my Window Manager, KDE. I’ve been trying to figure out why despite numerouis emerges that KDE 3.4.1 wasn’t coming up. Turns out they changed how KDE was packaged and I basically needed to clean and re-emerge KDE to get it to come. It’s been many hours and it’s still compiling.

Since I had to get work done despite my window manager being down, I had to use an alternate one. That’s the nice thing about Linux, there are lots of choices. Fluxbox is one I am familiar with, having spent a lot of time using it in Damn Small Linux. After trying to use it for serious work today, I decided that it was a bit too minimalist for my needs. The next thing I tried was Enlightenment, which one of my co-workers was raving about.

Enlightenment is fairly minimalistic as well, but does have some visual eye candy. There are two semi-cool features of the current “release” (E16) of Enlightenment: the way windows are minimized and the way the virtual desktop works. When you minimize a window, it goes to a sort of “Icon Bar” that actually takes a snapshot of the window in question and shows that “reduced snapshot” instead of just showing the application icon or generic text. You run your mouse over and it gives you the titlebar of the window that was minimized. I like this.

The virtual desktop takes a little getting used to, but the basic idea is this: if you move your mouse to the edge of your desktop, and it is held there for a specific period of time (adjustable), then you are taken to a “virtual desktop” where you can put other windows you’re not using or windows you are grouping together for various reasons. I had to adjust the default settings on this feature because I was constantly going back and forth between virtual desktops without wanting to.

The one downside I see to Enlightenment is that my Crossover Office applications have a few more visual defects in Enlightenment. Not quite sure why that is. Maybe the folks on the Crossover Office list will have a suggestion.

I might have to use Enlightenment some more. If nothing else, I need a decent window manager to use whenever I have to re-emerge all of KDE again. :)

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