It was over 10 years ago that I started coding on Enlightenment, having discovered the window manager at Uni back when E 0.16 was what the cool geeks were using. The project was busy and full of excitement about the new libraries (EFL), the rewrite of the window manager for 0.17 and the many features this would provide. 3 years of fun coding later, many small applications and libraries and perhaps a heated debate or two and I somewhat lost touch with the project. Probably not coincidentally this was also around the time I moved to Mac and although it was possible back then to use a different window manager it was not without problems.
The years passed by and little visibly changed but at Christmas 2012 I heard that 0.17 had been released (over 10 years since we started developing it…) and it looked excellent. I slipped back into the habit of browsing screenshots, exploring what desktops could look like and what the EFL libraries provides these days. Dreaming once again of a geeks ideal desktop I realised how much Mac OSX had slowly removed flexibility and power features. But Macs just work and I was clearly productive using it.
That is until OSX Mavericks. The upgrade, whilst desirable for finally fixing virtual desktops, broke lots of other things. Mail doesn’t sync reliably with gmail and calendar has similar issues; the screen occasionally blanks then locks whilst in use and one day apps stopped launching altogether. I had to reinstall and create a whole new account to regain my computer – “just works” my foot. With such frustrations my reasons for being there were disappearing and I started thinking about realistic alternatives.
So back to exploring Linux, can it really be my full time desktop? Follow my explorations into Linux and the Enlightenment desktop in future posts.