Thursday, June 2, 2011

trying to be enlightened

I've spent a good amount of time playing around with the Enlightenment window manager. I used E16 quite a bit in the past, and I have E17 installed in PCLinuxOS. I know that lots of people rave about Bodhi Linux, which features E17, but I haven't tried it, because, while I enjoy using Enlightenment sometimes, I've never been completely won over by it.

The desktop looks pretty nice. Here's a shot of it, using the A-Black-S1 theme:

I've got two panels (called "shelves" in E17 talk) -- my main shelf at the bottom center, and another one at the bottom right. The reason I put one at the bottom right is because of the first little annoyance that I want to mention here: The show desktop button, called Deskshow, looks too much like a desktop pager, so I don't like having it on my main shelf.

Here's a close-up of that shelf, with the Deskshow icon on the left:

Why did they make it look like a desktop pager?

The icon on the right is for the Slideshow gadget. I'm glad that E17 has it, but I want E17's Slideshow to work like the one in KDE4. Check out its settings window:

You can't set the timer for more than 300 seconds; I happen to like my wallpapers to change every 6 minutes, or sometimes every 10 minutes.

The sub-directory to use for backgrounds is ~/.e/e/backgrounds. It looks like you can change it, but you can't. You can't simply select a directory for your backgrounds, you have to add them one by one by going to Settings > Wallpaper:

Also, I'd like to have wallpapers changing on Desktop #1 while having set wallpapers on the other three desktops, but Slideshow gives you the following choices: 1) set wallpaper on all desktops; 2) set wallpaper on current desktop; 3) set wallpaper on current screen. When I choose #2, the wallpapers change on whatever desktop I happen to be using. Nice, but not what I'm trying for.

When I hover the cursor over an icon on the shelf, the application name that pops up looks kinda cool, but at the same time, kinda annoying. Here, I'm hovering over the Synaptic icon:

It would be better, I think, if the name showed up just above the icon, instead of right on top of it.

Here's an annoying "feature" (and I think they do call it a feature -- it isn't considered to be a bug): When you open up a menu too close to the right edge of the screen, you can't see the submenus to the right. Here, I've right-clicked on Deskshow; the submenus are off the edge of the screen:

You have to move the cursor way over to the right before the whole thing shifts left so that you can see the submenus:

Why not just open the submenus to the left when the menu opens up so close to the right edge of the screen?

E17's Settings menu is really nice. There are tons of configuration options, some of which might even address some of the issues I've mentioned above:

It's really a beautiful window manager, and I certainly could be doing a lot more with it than I am. I have fun using E17, but after about a day (and sometimes after only a few hours), I get to a point where I just want to go back to a nice, normal, quiet desktop - KDE4, or GNOME, or Openbox or whatever.

Different strokes for different folks. I guess I still haven't been enlightened.

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