I spent the past week at a fun developer conference in Samsung HQ; lots of great information and presentations to be had, and it was an enjoyable time all around.
Aside from this, I’ve been putting in a lot of time on preparing the E18 release, as the name of the blog implies. While I’m not setting a date yet, I can say that I’m totally on target, and E18 will be released this year. And probably much sooner than anyone will expect.
So, what exactly has been going on? Bugfixing, primarily, and lots of it. With the move to compositing-only, E18 has merged lots of surfaces onto its compositor canvas. What this means is that we can do a lot of neat effects, such as the previously-mentioned-but-not-recorded Sparklebear border theme. Now that I’ve fixed some pesky shaped window bugs, I’ve taken the time to make some movies. Here’s one for the previously-mentioned-and-now-recorded border theme:
As you can see, everything about the user experience is clearly better when using this enhanced usability theme.
Another thing that I dedicated some time to during a flight over the weekend was improving the usefulness of the ibar gadget. Most people know it as “that E gadget which is a launcher and not a taskbar even though I really want it to be a taskbar as well as a launcher”, or perhaps “the reason why there’s a separate taskbar gadget”. Regardless, in the E17 release it launched apps based on .desktop files, and that was it. I’m here today to say that here in E18land, we don’t have space for non-serious gadgets like this. So now ibar is super serious:
Running apps which are in the ibar causes the indicator light to appear, and then a slightly longer click on the ibar icon brings up the window menu with live window previews, courtesy of compositor image copies. The entries in the menu are selectable (and themable) and work much like a taskbar: you can click an entry to activate the corresponding window, and you can right click to bring up that window’s menu and manipulate it.
Other Serious Improvements Today:
- The action for moving windows to previous/next desk now functions as expected
- Windows with input shapes are slightly more likely (8%) to function as expected
- Shaped override windows now shape their input regions as expected
- Desktop gadget dragging once again functions as expected
- Compositor shadow effects no longer block mouse events
- enlightenment_start now valgrinds like an adult and sets num-callers to a serious number