It brings us great pleasure to announce the latest release of Enso, 0.2. While only including a few functional and cosmetic changes we felt that overall we had reached a point where the OS was more complete and a better experience than our initial release and it was about time we got on and released it.
The main goals of this release was to get the different elements working in harmony with each other, Xfce and Gala are the two main components of our system and both aren't designed to work all that well together, Gala WM being more GNOME 3 based and Xfce being a little more dated in it's technologies (which makes us love it so)..
So here's what's changed...
The first thing you may notice (after installation) is that the login screen is now a little different from what it was, it is entirely different from the screen that was used before and is in fact a fork of elementary's Pantheon greeter amended to work in a more central and horizontal manner than their's currently does.
Our aim was to get something that was more pleasing on the eye than the previous login screen, we had already done some cosmetic changes to the desktop environment and each time we booted up we couldn't help feeling a little let down by the initial screen.
Now this next one may involve a little controversy, but we hope that most people are happy with the choice. We have cleaned up the desktop so by default no icons or shortcuts can be displayed on the desktop. This is something which generally annoys a few people, but we don't feel like it's something that is needed in our environment, there is enough places that you can save you favourite items too (such as Plank or Panther) that it really isn't necessary (in our minds).
Our main reason for removing this is that Gala isn't the lightest on resources and runs a background as standard and xfdesktop also consumes a fair amount of memory when running, so we felt that one had to go and we weren't all that fussed on desktop icons anyway.
However.. If this is something that you simply cannot live without then you're in luck, as we haven't entirely removed this function, we will put a more detailed explanation in our docs sometime in the near future but it basically consists of going to Session and Startup => Application Autostart => and un-ticking the 'xfdesktop quit' item, reboot and hey presto :)
Panther Saved Applications
A query we got a number of times after our initial release was having saved items in the Panther Launcher, this is something all longterm Xfce users are accustom to from using Whisker menu. Being longterm Xfce users ourselves it is of course something that we are also accustom to, and felt that Panther would only benefit from this additional feature.
So launching Panther for the first time you will see the 'Saved' menu item, which we have pre-populated for you guys with what we deem to be useful applications, you can easily add more in or remove what is currently included by right clicking on any item in the launcher.
There are a few features that we'd like to improve on in the future, such as being able to right click and save when searching for an application. And if already included in the Saved list a little star icon is shown next to the application icon, and that when right clicked the menu will display 'remove from saved' instead of displaying 'add to saved' once more (although clicking this won't re-add the application).
As well as the main changes above there are a number of smaller additions to Enso.
There are now different settings applications for Desktop and Keyboard settings, they are taken straight from elementary's system and converted into stand-alone applications as they both have already been well developed and will help with changes such as keyboard layout and shortcuts.
The Xfce desktop having been replaced with the built in Gala one means that changing the background and dock settings are now done in a different location as well.. Both can be located in Panther under 'Other' and are simply named 'Keyboard' and 'Desktop'.
A new right click menu on the desktop has also been added to bring a more minimal feel to the pretty bloated one that Xfce desktop had, this only includes 4 menu items allowing minimizing of all applications currently clogging up your view, display the multitasking view, opening Xfce settings and opening Desktop settings for an easy background change.
Download the latest release from SourceForge by simply clicking this button below. And then head over to our documentation page to find out more information about how to use the system.
If you like our work and would love to see this project continue to grow then please help support us on our BountySource page.
Thank you to all our donations so far.
Thank you and Enjoy
We thank you for choosing Enso, we do hope you enjoy our OS and let us know of any problems you encounter on our Github page.
Get in touch and let us know what you think through our contact us section at the very bottom of the Info page.
We would like to thank all the photographers for providing us with amazing wallpapers for a latest release, you can see the full list on our Github page