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

On 10/23/2002 6:59 PM, Marek Habersack at grendel@caudium.net wrote:

> 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 :-))
May I modify your excellent suggestion a little bit?  Instead of a switch
for "Advanced" versus "Basic" menus loaded into the taskbar/panel, how about
just putting it somewhere in the menu hierarchy itself?

Why? Well, it would be relatively easy to put an Advanced/Basic switch into
the Gnome panel and KDE taskbar, but what about all the other GUIs available
under Debian?  I think Debian Desktop should also provide some good support
for other GUIs, like Enlightenment, Windowmaker, XFce, etc.  Writing a
"switch icon" for all those GUIs could become a nightmare.  A switch entry
in the menu itself to toggle between Advanced and Basic might be an easier

Your thoughts?

> 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 ;)
Sounds like a very good idea to me.  Let's have good internationalization
policy where possible.

>> 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...
Well, it would have to have some dependencies.  Nothing hairy, but XFree86
needs to be installed, along with at least one GUI.

But I see your larger point.  Keep it simple and elegant, and turn the whole
thing (if possible) into a single .deb  But from the other discussions on
this topic, this might have to be a situation where it isn't as simple as
just a .deb, but some deeper configuration done during install as well.

But hey, that sort of thing isn't quite my department.  I will leave the
brilliant packaging and programming to the pros - the Debian Devlopers.
I'll just work in my own little UI design niche.  With the occasional
opinion on things I don't really know what I am talking about thrown in ;-)

Luke Seubert

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