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Re: [desktop] why kde and gnome's menu situation sucks

On Wed, Oct 23, 2002 at 06:42:17PM -0400, Luke Seubert scribbled:

> > problem with fonts gnome-terminal sometimes exhibits). Also mlterm while
> > great isn't configurable easily enough for a newbie... So, it would be a
> > hard choice to pick The One And Only(tm) terminal.
> > 
> Yes, it would be a hard choice, but one that I think has to be made for the
> purposes of Debian Desktop.  (This applies not just to choice of terminal
> emulator, but to myriad other GUI preference and configuration chocies.)
Definitely so.

> And yes, I accept that this "One and Only One" choice will piss some people
> off.  So be it.  Happily, the people who are most likely to get pissed off
> are also the ones most likely to be able to reconfigure the default settings
> of Debian Desktop to something more to their tastes.  Debian Desktop is for
> the newbie, who needs some well thought out default configuration choices
> made on his/her behalf.  It is not intended for the knowledgable Debian
Hmm, I think the two goals can be agreed. It's enough to give one obvious
choice and several non-obvious ones. For example by using an idea of
"advanced" menus. Imagine putting an entry in the Applications menu of the
gnome-panel that says "Switch to the advanced menus" and, bingo, selecting
it reveals a multitude of options. That would require custom modifications
to gnome-panel, gnome-vfs and the Debian menu system, but I'm sure such an
option would be accepted by the upstream GNOME developers since it is very
useful. In that instance, one would present the default selection of menus
that fits the needs of a newbie while leaving the more "advanced" options
available for the "power users" (what an ugly expression, btw :-))

> developer/user who can implement his/her own well informed choices -  though
> it is to be hoped that such users would enjoy and use Debian Desktop as
> well.
With the above modification I think it would be very probable.

> That said, thanks for the tip on mlterm configuration.  Hopefully Debian
> Desktop will be able to pre-configure it so that it works really well for
> folks without further tweaking.
Speaking about it - the Desktop could use simple method of switching
application language on the per-launch basis. It is trivial to open your
terminal and set LANG=fr_FR and start some app, but it's not what a newbie
should be told to do. During the installation (or the first desktop session)
the user should be asked explicitly about their preferred language and that
setting should be the default for the applications but it should also be
available in the launcher properties - a drop-down box to select the
language for this particular application. Granted, it requires another
modification to the vfs (probably, I'm not sure) but nobody said the venture
would be easy ;)

> > I suppose it should be possible and not very hard to create *-settings debs,
> > for example:
> > 
> > gnome-standard-settings*.deb
> > gnome-desktop-settings*.deb
> > kde-standard-settings*.deb
> > kde-desktop-settings*.deb
> > 
> > which files would contain the customized settings for what we have now and
> > the Desktop Debian variant. It would probably require extending the
> > alternatives system to the configuration files, though (or perhaps making
> > the config files auto-generated in postinst and removed/backed up/migrated
> > in prerm etc.?)
> > 
> Sounds like a good idea to me.  I am not sure if it is presently doable, but
> we can tackle that at the appropriate time.
Presently it isn't doable, AFAICS, but it's definitely doable with the
cooperation of all the interested parties.

> > GNOME it would require creating a utility that would modify the user's gconf
> > database (with their consent, of course) the first time the new
> > "environment" is started.
> > 
> Yup.  I can vaguely foresee a debiandesktop_1.2_i386.deb available for
> installation which would take care of dependencies and tweak, with
> permission, various config files.
yes, that would be the most elegant method - a single package without hairy
dependencies just a set of nicely packaged and served settings...



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