Sunday, December 9, 2007

More E

I continued my investigations into EFL, by browsing through some EWL documentation. EWL is a UI toolkit, built on top of the lower level parts of EFL. It's not exactly innovative (yay for innovation and marketing buzzwords). The API looks pretty much like a clone of GTK. I'm not complaining about that, GTK is a pretty nice toolkit to work with, but it's the kind of stuff that felt exciting 10 years ago. This is the most conservative part I've had a look at so far, in the EFL.


It was recently announced that Rasterman is the new graphics architect on the OpenMoko project. People who have been around for a few years remember him as the guy behind the Enlightenment window manager, which was animated and glitzy already back in the days when fvwm was the standard window manager in Red Hat Linux. I had no idea that he had an interest in embedded systems, but it seems the EFL is aimed at embedded systems as much as the desktop. I decided to take a closer look.

There's a very nice introduction document, which explains what's so cool about EFL. I recognize the concepts that are touted as "unique" and "revolutionary" in EFL from TAT Cascades and Kastor, but the author of the document doesn't seem to be very interested in non-free software. All in all this stuff is really exciting, and I hope that I'll keep up my enthusiasm long enough to actually try out some stuff on the GP2x, because I'm a bit worried about performance. I got suspicious when I read that coordinates in edje are floating point values, and grepping the source code for "float" and "double" yielded quite a few hits. I'm guessing that the designers considered precision to be more important than frame rate, but I think that's a mistake if your target is embedded devices. However, I haven't run any benchmarks yet, so I shouldn't say too much.