Some software releases develop a notorious reputation for being in development for a prolonged period, so much that people almost forget about them. Enlightenment 0.17, also known as E17 is one such release, which has arrived after 12 years in development. To put things in perspective, that is how old the PlayStation 2 is!
Enlightenment has many advantages over other window managers. It is a full-fledged platform with libraries to create intriguing user interfaces rapidly. Known as the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL), this suite realizes a complete framework, with the window manager forming an integral, but not a decisive part.
The window manager is a lean, fast, modular and very extensible window manager for X11 and Linux. It is classed as a “desktop shell” providing the things you need to operate your desktop (or laptop), but is not a whole application suite. This covered launching applications, managing their windows and doing other system tasks like suspending, reboots, managing files etc.
The project has a huge growth potential as the Enlightenment Windows manager can work on a variety of devices (architectures). The next step should be packaging the release for various distros, which would facilitate a wider adoption. If this final step is not executed with care, this prolonged development effort will go to waste. Moreover, this step should come sooner for more people to be able to try out Enlightenment 17.