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Enlightenment's Compositor Gets A Huge Rewrite

Desktop

Published on 15 January 2014 05:55 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop
12 Comments

It's been less than one month since the release of Enlightenment E18, but already there are exciting changes landed for its follow on release. Pushed on Tuesday were many more interesting changes to Enlightenment's Git repository. The most important change was a huge window management and compositor rewrite.

Among the Git commits pushed to Enlightement's master repository were:

- Support for X Present. The Present extension is new to X.Org Server 1.15 and can now be optionally taken advantage of in Enlightenment. Enlightenment's use of this new X.Org feature will reduce compositing overhead.

- There's now an advanced compositing feature option. Hidden behind this user option are various features that are potentially risky for the user in terms of stability, etc. It's a nice way to test the experimental features in Enlightenment.

- Selective redirection toggling was another change.

- Personal decklock passwords has been revived.

- Support for custom flip effects.

- A Wayland frame-buffer output module. The new output module is the result of the compositor rewrite.

- An X11 frame-buffer output module. The new output module is the result of the compositor rewrite.

- Other Wayland improvements.

- Perhaps most importantly is the huge compositor rewrite. It's been coined by the developers themselves as a "charlie foxtrot situation" and a "huge fustercluck commit" as the compositor and window management code was completely rewritten. The work is described by Mike Blumenkrantz at Samsung as "compositor and window management completely rewritten. this was the goal for E19, but it pretty much required everything existing to be scrapped since it wasn't optimized, streamlined, or sensible. now instead of having the compositor strapped to the window manager like an outboard motor, it's housed more like an automobile engine." See the aforementioned link on the rewrite.

The major rewrite will certainly be a major improvement in Enlightenment E19 and with that the Wayland support enhancements. Look for E19 to officially premiere in late 2014.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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