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Re: (Possible) menu code rewrite

On Tue, Jul 16, 2002 at 05:13:28PM -0500, Chris Lawrence wrote:
> Again, a new menu format (IIRC both Gnome and KDE menu files have the
> same format, just different names) isn't a bad idea - but beyond the
> scope of what I'm doing now, and more likely to tread on toes.  But,
> if we are going to use a new format for the files, I agree that going
> to the KDE/Gnome file format probably is a good idea, while retaining
> our separate menu structure.  (The .desktop files I have around look
> like they are in UTF-8...)

Better than that, KDE and Gnome both have agreed to use .desktop files,
which makes them a de-facto standard for the desktop environments.  My
suggestion is that you start there.  There's no reason that menu-methods
cannot be written to work with the .desktop files, it would even be fairly
trivial to do it given the simplicity of their format.

Supporting the existing menu files would be nice, but I would suggest
preferring a .desktop-generated entry over a /usr/lib/menu entry if you
can do so sanely.

I've got a concern which I've raised before, however, about things which
the Debian menu supports which are not found in Gnome or KDE.  Primarily
of interest are that console-only applications are not supported, and
neither are menu hints.  I can live without the latter if we coordinate
things sanely so that the menus do not get overly large as they do
currently with a million things in /Apps/Net and /Apps/Tools.  The former
can be handled by adding an X-Debian-ConsoleOnly key to the .desktop
format, but if we do this we need to patch everything that currently uses
.desktop files (Gnome and KDE primarily) to support them.

A better suggestion would be to coordinate this effort with the xdg list
and make a ConsoleOnly key standard.  I'm told the xdg guys will be much
more inclined to consider such a thing knowing that Debian wants to use
the .desktop files for distribution-wide menus..

I've got one other suggestion for addition to the format, really.  More
useful than a hint about where to put a menu entry is whether or not you
should show it at all, based on the sort of user you're dealing with.  A
user who is very technically astute would probably find it useful having
the Gnome calculator sitting there in the menu right next to entries which
run bc or dc in a terminal window..  My mom would not, however.  This is a
problem with the Debian menus, and even to some extent an upstream Gnome
and KDE problem - both desktops have tools which are not for the unwashed
masses who don't know what they do.

Regarding compatibility with old menu files and methods, suggest you read
the old files when a .desktop is not available.  Get the .desktop
formalised into policy and start phasing out the old menu..  This is also
beneficial for FHS compliance, so it's good to get started soon.

> But for now I'll settle for a menu that doesn't segfault when I enable
> hints on PowerPC :-)

heh!  It doesn't segfault here.  It doesn't actually work, either.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@bluecherry.net>      You're entitled to my opinion
<taniwha> i'd solve a windows key problem with fdisk :)

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