I started using Enlightenment as my window manager in about 1998. I think. It’s been so long that it’s hard to recall that far back. I don’t remember what them I started with, but it was probably Brushed Metal. When SpiffE came out in 99, I was all over it. It was small, fast, and attractive. It has the menu title bar on the side, so when you mouse click on the desktop, the top item is right under your mouse. That means I can double left click on my desktop and get a terminal window. I haven’t switched since.

There was some time a couple years ago when e0.16 crashed every machine I had, and so I switched to Fluxbox for a while. I worked long and hard to make it work just like spiffE in Enlightenment. Then Kim Woelders, a giant among men, fixed it, and started making new releases again. All was well.

The I installed 0.16.7. Woe is me. SpiffE didn’t work anymore. Nor did it work when I reverted back to 0.16.6. So I stuck with 0.16.7. It came with a new theme called Winter, which is not this theme. It’s quite attractive really, but it has very large title bars, and the mouse was no longer on the top item in a menu. And the worst is that the background chooser was broken as well. But only for me. No-one else could replicate it. I found out later that the mouse issue was a bug.

Today, Kim released, with several bug fixes, most notably these:
> - The desktop->backgrounds menu sometimes wasn't generated properly.
> - Menus didn't have first entry positioned under the pointer

Awesome. It works like a dream. But best of all? SpiffE works again. If my 24 Aug screenshot is still there in the sidebar, you can see it in action.

So that brings me to my next point. Why do I so much like SpiffE, why have I never changed? Partly because I’m baptist, and always sit in the same pew. πŸ™‚ Actually, it has nothing to do with baptist, I’m almost obsessive compulsive about doing stuff the same way every time. But I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one. People who use their computer on a regular basis set it up a certain way, and tend to keep it that way, even when they get a new computer. They take the time to install their favorite apps, and position them the same way, put their icons in the same place, get their favorite theme, adjust fonts to the right size, and then they’re “home”.

By this time, SpiffE and Enlightenment have become aids to my job, and switching window managers or themes actually becomes a hinderence, because it’s the tool I’m most comfortable with. Carpenters have favorite hammers, with the claw angle just so. If you give them a different one, sure they can work, but it’ll slow them down, and cause mental discomfort.

I think it’s an excellent snapshot of human behavior in the realm of comfort with given tools.

3 thoughts on “The Universe is set right again…

  1. I have, in the past year, become a devoted E-man. I used Xfce for a year or two but it never quite felt right. With a couple keybinding tweaks, E is *perfect* for me. For some reason (I cannot readily identify it) E just feels *natural* for me. Dunno.

  2. I didn’t know you were back to E. You were getting progressively more minimalistic, I thought you’d stay there.

    I think one of the reasons E is so cool is that it can be so many different things for so many different people. It can be heavy or light, simple or busy. Whatever you want.

  3. Actually, I starting using E again sometime around the last time I was at your office. I saw you use keystrokes to switch desktops. I went home and figured out how to reconfigure my keybindings so that ALT-{up-arrow, down-arrow, left-arrow, right-arrow} switches virtual desktops. A couple other minor tweaks and E just feels natural to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *