Developer Contributions

The Enlightenment Project is always keen to accept contributions of code, patches, and other fixes from developers. Whether you're looking to implement a feature or simply fix a typo your contributions will be warmly received, and will help to make the Enlightenment ecosystem as polished as it can possibly be.

Before contributing, please take the time to read through the following documentation.

Rules for Contribution

Code contributed to the Enlightenment Project must follow the short list of project rules outlined below. Code or other contributions which do not adhere to these rules will not be accepted without modification.

  • Contributed code must be written and commented in American English
  • Contributed code should not be malicious or discriminative
  • Code should be tested (including the use of valgrind) before being submitted
  • Contributed code must match the project License

When contributing code to the Enlightenment Project you retain your copyright by default; no contributors are required to assign copyright elsewhere.

Coding Conventions

To ensure an approachable and maintainable code base the Enlightenment Project has a document outlining Coding Conventions, from the use of spaces rather than tabs through to naming conventions.

While all code contributions are welcomed, code which does not follow the Coding Conventions will need to be rewritten before it can be merged into the code base.

Git Best Practices

The Enlightenment Project uses the git version control system to manage its code base. The Git Best Practices guide offers advice on using the code base through git, including requirements for the format and style of all commit messages.

A web interface to the git repositories is also available at allowing for easy browsing and search.


If you're looking for an issue to solve, the Gitea tracks all the outstanding tasks relating to the Enlightenment, Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL), Elementary, and Terminology code bases.

Patch Submission and Review

New contributors to the project should try use Gitea, and create a pull request for review.

Testing and Debugging

Before submitting code to the Enlightenment git repositories, mailing list, or through the patch submission process, always test it for errors using both positive (expected values/behavior) and negative (unexpected values/behavior) tests. Run your code inside valgrind to ensure its memory access is correct and it does not leak.


Advice on tailoring particular editors for ease of use during Enlightenment development can be found below.

Contributing New Features or Infrastructure

If you have an idea for a new feature, first check that it is not already present within the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) or other infrastructure. The following features are sometimes overlooked, and can often provide functionality otherwise missing:

  • Eina provides data types (list, hash, array...), logging, safety checks, module loading and more. Before introducing printf() to debug code, silently ignoring errors or starting to use dlopen() check Eina
  • Ecore provides main loop and system integration that includes threads and networking. Consider it before using threads, networking, polling/reading from file descriptors
  • Eio provides efficient input/output (IO) to the file system including asynchronous copies, moves, stating and directory listing
  • Edje provides theme capabilities and is good for creating layouts
  • Elementary provides efficient handling widgets for lists, text input, and multitudes of helpers.

If you are sure the functionality you wish to implement doesn't yet exist, talk to fellow developers on the official IRC channel or via the mailing list. Your fellow developers will almost certainly have ideas on how to implement the feature efficiently, advice on problems that have previously cropped up when trying to implement so-called "doomed features," and can coordinate to prevent future problems.

IRC Channels

The official Enlightenment IRC channels, hosted on the Libera Chat network, are often the quickest way to communicate with fellow developers. Available in English, German, French, and Korean, the channels are accessible 24/7 and are open to both developers and end-users.

Connection information is as follows:

IRC Server Port Channel Topic 6667 #e General

Mailing Lists

The Enlightenment Project maintains several mailing lists, full details of which are available on the Contact page. The developer-focused lists, which are available in English only, are as follows:

Mailing List Archive Topic
enlightenment-devel SourceForge E/EFL development discussion
enlightenment-announce SourceForge E/EFL announcements
enlightenment-intl SourceForge Internationalization changes
enlightenment-git Git commits
enlightenment-e-bork Quality assurance reports