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Re: why kde and gnome's menu situation sucks

On Oct 21, Adam Heath wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Oct 2002, Joey Hess wrote:
> >     Debian should follow the lead of every other major distro and offer the
> >     exact same menu layout throughout.
> >
> >
> > I cannot help but shudder when I read that comment in this negative
> > Debian review. We *led* the way: we wrote menu, we put everything in
> > menu, we made every window manager (even twm, for crying out loud!) use
> > menu. And then gnome and kde came along, and we threw all that out the
> > window. No excuses: This stinks. We should be able to do much better.
> Why, we never released our code to freshmeat, nor sourceforget(not a typo).

I think what joeyh is complaining about (with some justification) is
that our packaging of KDE and GNOME has made Debian's menus
"subservient" to the KDE/GNOME menus; for example, in GNOME2, our menu
system is under a "Debian Menu" submenu underneath a dozen other
menus.  KDE plays similar games, although it at least makes a pretense
of integrating if you figure out the right magic.

Transitioning to .desktop will alleviate some of this, but GNOME2's
default menu organizer can't cope with hundreds of installed menu
entries very gracefully, which likely means either a continuation of
Debian's menus' second-class status or some hacks to the GNOME2 menu
code to use our menu tree.  The upside, though, is that there's no
lossage by moving to .desktop distro-wide; none of their menu entries
get lost, since the classifier code can handle GNOME2 (and KDE 3.1)
menu entries natively.

See my post in the review thread for a few comments on where the new
menu code is at and where it's going; IMHO it's a pretty cool setup
and combines the strengths of our existing menus with extra goodies
like Groups (which are like hints for specific applications) and
extensible Categories (which allow other types of hints; for example,
we could have BugReporting as a category since we have so many BR
tools floating around), along with some balancing code so trees don't
get too unwieldy (hopefully).

Chris Lawrence <cnlawren@phy.olemiss.edu> - http://www.lordsutch.com/chris/

Computer Systems Manager, Physics and Astronomy, Univ. of Mississippi
125B Lewis Hall - 662-915-5765

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