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

On Wed, Oct 23, 2002 at 08:14:30PM -0400, Luke Seubert scribbled:
> > 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?
I think there's another option, read below.

> 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
> solution.
> Your thoughts?
The switching between the menus can be as easy as doing one of two things:

1. creating an environment specific menu option (an icon for WindowMaker, a
   menu entry for GNOME/KDE panel/taskbar, a launcher for XFce etc. etc.)
   that would launch a script to regenerate all the menus in the desired
   configuration (preserving the current setup of course).

2. have those two sets pregenerated (globally or locally in the user's dir)
   and simply symlink to either of them

After doing either of the above, just have the program managing the menu
redraw it.

> > 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.
Yes, this is extremely important now that the free OS desktops are making it
into the offices and government agencies worldwide.

> >> 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.
It would depend upon, I suppose - by kde-desktop, gnome-desktop,
xfce-desktop etc. etc. I imagine there would be separate debiandesktop
packages each of them providing 'debian-desktop' with the
environment-specific settings. The same debian-desktop would be provided by
a non-DD package shipped by default with the environment in question. That
way the virtual debian-desktop package would be, in most cases at least, a
pure configuration package (with another package providing scripts/binaries
that would be used by any of the packages providing 'debian-desktop' to
generate menus, modify configurations etc. etc.)

> But I see your larger point.  Keep it simple and elegant, and turn the whole
yes, the good ole Ockham's Razor rule :)

> thing (if possible) into a single .deb  But from the other discussions on
A selection of them.

> 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.
I think that with a structure of virtual packages like:

  debian-desktop-tools (scripts, binaries to modify the configuration
  debian-desktop (configuration files, templates etc. used as "drivers" for
                  the binaries from debian-desktop-tools)

which would be used as described above, we can make a simple and yet robust,
flexible system.

> 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
So you're saying that you are coming up with Debian-specific themes for KDE
and GNOME? :)



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