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Re: (Possible) menu code rewrite

On Jul 16, Joey Hess wrote:
> So there's an entire programming language in there, and this is
> probably menu's worst problem. The language is ill-specified, has ad-hoc
> syntax, is not very powerful, and the implementation is dog slow. Since
> I do mostly agree that having a full programming language on tap for the
> menu-methods files, given the great diversity of outputs they need to
> support. What I have been feeling would be the best thing to do is to
> pick a real programming language (perl or python), and make the files be
> written in that. 

That was my general feeling, as well.  What I have so far (the legacy
menu file parser) is in Python, and seems reasonably fast.

> I note the mention of XSLT elsewhere in this thread. Not being
> interested in debating the merits of XML (I feel it's way overkill here,
> but almost any data format is better than the existing weird menu file
> format), I do hope that you find a more powerful language for the
> menu-methods files than XSLT. The existing language they're written in,
> for instance. Or intercal or something. :-P

My general feeling is that XML is not the way to go, particularly (as
others point out) there is a reasonable, widely-supported, UTF-8,
i18nized format for menu entries already that does 90% of what we want
today (with the next 5% coming soon due to the ill-named "VFolders"
specification, and the remaining 5% - mainly needs=wm|vc - we can do
with vendor extensions if absolutely needed if the XDG people aren't
receptive - which I hope won't be the case [i.e. I hope they will be
receptive, to avoid the confusing double-negative]).

I'm also not entirely sure how to deal with dwww overloading the menu
system for its own nefarious purposes if we do transition to something
else, although I believe we can work this into the .desktop format too
with the Link type.

Chris Lawrence <chris@lordsutch.com> - http://www.lordsutch.com/chris/

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