Enlightenment e19 vs e17 in openSUSE
I was Asked about this thread http://forums.bodhilinux.com/index.php?/topic/12322-e17-vs-e19-which-are-you-using-and-why/, and bodhi’s announcement about forking enlightenment e17 http://www.bodhilinux.com/2015/04/28/introducing-the-moksha-desktop/ if it means anything for openSUSE in the comments to http://simotek.net/tech/projects/opensuse-e/enlightenment-on-opensuse-13-2/.
The short answer is it won’t really have much effect. Elive also maintain there own fork of e17, I feel that the main difference between openSUSE and these distro’s is as openSUSE picked up enlightenment alot later then bodhi and Elive as a side effect we didn’t pick up a lot of the 3rd party modules like engage and comp scale in the main openSUSE release, that was also because I trusted the enlightenment devs judgment that modules that weren’t included in the core of e17 weren’t stable I also tested some and found similar. A lot could be replaced by external applications as shown in http://simotek.net/tech/projects/opensuse-e/enlightenment-wallpaper-changers-photo-frames-and-system-monitors/ We also didn’t have many e17 themes and though there were some they didn’t match the rest of openSUSE unlike the themes from the last couple of releases.
As a result of that when we swapped from e17 to e19 with openSUSE we didn’t really loose much, I ported the 1 theme we had alot of positive feedback from and we gained some new modules such as.
* Improved IBar
* Music Control
* Package Manager
We never really supported the old systray as it had alot of issues but instead we got a new systray that atleast works with some apps, by the next openSUSE release i’m working to have this supporting all the major systray apps people would want including nm-applet.
I have also had 2 quite old laptops over the last year as my main development machines which run e19 and e20 just fine, it may use slightly more resources in some places which people who pride themselves in having a absolute minimum system may not like but at least on the old hardware i’ve tried is still plenty usable.
As for bugs, e19 / e20(git) don’t crash under general use and don’t have any behaviors that make them unusable for me, currently i’m running from git with the X11:Enlightenment:Nightly repo and while occasionally bugs get introduced by using this repo it means I can report them and provide the info required to fix them. When I have done this the devs have been pretty good at fixing bugs. I think the bugs they are less interested in paying attention to are bugs where either no one can reproduce them or give enough info to fix them or bugs that say I think that this should behave like this instead of that.
Currently the enlightenment devs are busy refactoring the code base which is quite old in places this means at the moment we are getting less new features, but adding new features in the future will be easier with a better widget toolkit, amongst other things, it will also reduce the number of bugs over time and primarally will enable the replacement of X11 with wayland, which has a large number of benifits but is still a fair while off, once the xwayland code is there i’ll look at enabling it in the development repos. The refactor also means that its possible to add transparency to themes which wasn’t possible before and end up with themes like this one i’m working on https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CCO3pKdUkAAs_sQ.jpg.
The main features i’m looking at for the next release is support for the network manager applet and better network manager support. There will also hopefully be a improved wizard that only has the important pages along with hopefully better testing and lots of bug fixes. e17 will probably just stay as it is until efl 2.0 when it may not build anymore, currently it doesn’t get that much testing but at the same time it probably shouldn’t break. At the moment I doubt we would pick up Moksha releases for a couple of reasons, firstly it now includes a number of bodhi patches that i’d need to review and work out if they should also apply to openSUSE, currently bodhi and openSUSE have a very different base system and most of Moksha’s testing is going to be done on a very different system to openSUSE. The other major reason is time at the moment my time is pretty limited and the list of things I want to work on is pretty large, so at the moment I think there is better things I can spend my time on like integration and packaging some extra apps.
Finally I’d like to thank Samsung as they sponsor a lot of people to work on Enlightenment and Enlightenment wouldn’t be where it is now without them.