E17 is not only a version but a specific piece of software, it’s main difference is that the composite layer is not integrated in the window manager itself, this allows us to run compiz (ecomorph) on top of Enlightenment 17.
Also, Elive uses a very customized version of E17 with own modifications, features, and some bugfixes backported, it is in the end a strongly stable, and well polished desktop.
Consider E17 as an entire separated desktop, not ‘a version of E’, just like E16 is even much more different and it doesn’t even uses the EFL libraries
So what about newer versions of E?
We selected on purpose to use E17 for the final stable version of Elive 3.0 because of the many reasons, this doesn’t means that we are not going to use a newer branch of Enlightenment in the future, it is just a matter of best choice, with factors like:
- new version means more features and improvements, that’s a good thing
- we will lost the possibility to use the optional compiz / ecomorph layer on it (that’s bad!)
- we need to backport all the work and customizations, adaptations and compatibilities made by Elive (that’s a ton of work)