Something you don’t see every day

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of image hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

Take a look at this if you can spare a second.

That’s not a GTK Windows knockoff again — that’s a full desktop done over only with fltk applications (well, okay, and one FOX toolkit app 🙄 ), styled in the Windows9x spirit courtesy of the Equinox Desktop Environment and eFLTK.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a run-in with EDE; I found it a long time ago, when SaxenOS used it as its preferred desktop environment. It’s been a couple of long years, and it’s definitely been a love-hate relationship.

I love the idea of EDE; I hate trying to get it to work.

In fact, the meager progress I made with EDE almost two years ago was finding these stale deb files stashed away in a forgotten corner of the web. And they’re still there, and they still work — that’s Intrepid running in the photo.

But in the years since those debs were posted, EDE itself has made only a few visible improvements, and I’ve made absolutely no progress in installing it.

It just won’t compile. And it’s not just me that has the problem; there are plenty of notes from potential users — some even within the past few weeks — asking if it works or if it can be fixed. Even Arch users, who usually won’t take no for an answer, are up against the wall on this one.

So as far as I can tell, and as far as my experience takes me, the answer is no. You can try the roughshod sourcecode editing that’s described in those “forum” posts, and if you have more experience with coding you might even be able to fix it. (Let me know if you do.)

But to be honest, I’m not going to wait around for it to be fixed, or at least not soon. The last updates to either EDE or eFLTK were nigh on a year ago, and if the code hasn’t been maintained in that amount of time, chances are it won’t be. This isn’t Dillo, awaiting a rebirth, or XMMS, having reached a state of Nirvana and transcending updates (and as a result being dropped from most distros … the irony still amazes me). I have a feeling this one just ran out of steam.

Which is a shame, really. A nice, lightweight desktop like this with an exceptionally clean and sharp look about it would be a welcome addition to the array of desktops that are available. And since it doesn’t rely on GTK or any of it’s incarnations, it’s uncanny fast and takes up almost zero space.

But without someone around to fix things, I don’t know how much time can be spent making it work. It has a remarkable array of control panels and comfort-zone additions that are a good cross between Windows9x and the traditional Linux panel-plus desktop arrangement (think: IceWM). And it can handle a lot of the frills without needing extra packages — such as the desktop icons you see there, or fade-in effects on tooltips and so forth.

But I fear this one is extinct; its fire has gone out of the universe. You can still take it for a spin and adjust it as you will, but from my perspective, unless you are a resurrectionist, there’s no future to be had. Dry your eye, breathe deeply and wander over to LXDE. Now that’s a project with a pulse. 😉

4 thoughts on “Something you don’t see every day

  1. muaythaimaster74

    It builds ok on pclinuxos, but the menus don’t auto-populate… and there doesn’t seem to be any scripts available to do so. Which means editing them all by hand. ughh.

  2. K.Mandla Post author

    Do you mean me personally? I don’t really know. I think I just use this as a touchstone when I try out window managers or desktop environments on older machines. It’s bland, it’s boring, but it’s not resource-intensive or graphically taxing, so it makes a common point between systems.

    I mean, to be honest, I don’t use this on my personal systems I build. Good grief, that would be terrible.


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