The technical committee was asked in #741573 to decide an issue of Debian technical policy regarding menu regarding the menu system. ==== RESOLUTION ==== Whereas: 1. The Debian Policy Manual states (§9.6) that 'The Debian menu package provides a standard interface between packages providing applications and "menu programs"'. It further states that 'All packages that provide applications that need not be passed any special command line arguments for normal operations should register a menu entry for those applications'. 2. All details about menu system requirement are delegated to the Debian Menu sub-policy and Debian Menu System manuals (the "Debian menu system"). 3. An external specification, the Freedesktop Desktop Entry Specification (the ".desktop spec"), with native support in many X desktop environments, has appeared since the Debian Menu system was developed. The .desktop spec offers a fairly strict super-set of Debian Menu system functionality. 4. The .desktop specification has significant technical benefits for users over the Debian menu system. The .desktop specification works together with the freedesktop.org mime type and icon specifications to provide operations expected by desktop users from other environments, such as Mac OS X or Windows. As such, applications must provide a .desktop file to operate well in most desktop environments. 5. The Debian Technical Committee has been asked to resolve a dispute between maintainers of Debian Policy over a change that i. incorporates the description of the FreeDesktop menu system and its use in Debian for listing program in desktop menus and associating them with media types ii. softens the wording on the Debian Menu system to reflect that in Jessie it will be neither displayed nor installed by default on standard Debian installations. Therefore: The Technical Committee has reviewed the underlying technical issues around this question and has resolved that Debian will be best served by migrating away from our own Debian Menu System and towards the common Freedesktop Desktop Entry Specification, and that menu information for applications should not be duplicated in two different formats. To encourage this change, we make menu files optional, ask that packages include .desktop files as appropriate and prohibit packages from providing both menu and .desktop files for the same application. Using its power under §6.1.1 to decide on any matter of technical policy, and its power under §6.1.5 to offer advice: 1. The Technical Committee adopts the changes proposed by Charles Plessy in ba679bff. 2. In addition to those changes, the Technical Committee resolves that packages providing a .desktop file shall not also provide a menu file for the same application. 3. We further resolve that "menu programs" should not depend on the Debian Menu System and should instead rely on .desktop file contents for constructing a list of applications to present to the user. 4. We advise the maintainers of the 'menu' package to update that package to reflect this increased focus on .desktop files by modifying the 'menu' package to use .desktop files for the source of menu information in addition to menu files. 5. Discussion of the precise relationship between menu file section/hints values and .desktop file Categories values may be defined within the Debian Menu sub-policy and Debian Menu System. 6. Further modifications to the menu policy are allowed using the normal policy modification process. : https://anonscm.debian.org/cgit/dbnpolicy/policy.git/commit/?id=ba679bff76f5b9152f43d5bc901b9b3aad257479 ==== END OF RESOLUTION ==== The technical committee would like to thank everyone who participated in the discussion of #741573 and the patience of the Policy Editors as the technical committee worked through this issue very slowly. Please see http://bugs.debian.org/741573 for discussion of this bug.
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