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

--- On "Rejecting" Packages ---

I see no reason for us to "reject" or "approve" a given package in regards
to the Sub Project. Debian Sub-Projects are not allowed to "fork" from the
Main  Project, as doing so would be counter productive. However
Sub-Projects are allowed to recommend and guide decision making on
intelligent policies and solutions for the Main Project. This is a
reciprocal relationship. As such we 'cannot' officially 'reject' packages.
We can safely 'Recommend' the correct packages to install and setup on the
Debian Desktop. People will install anything else they want, as apt is a
very nice application.

--- On Managing the Menu issue ----

There are a number of features mentioned for the menu system that should help
alleviate some of the above problems. However there also needs to be some
discussion on better usage of the desktop system task package. I believe
there was
some discusion some six weeks ago or so on how the task package installs
both GNOME
and KDE and a plethora of X apps by default. Although this provides a fair
amount of
choice after the install, it makes for a bit of headache during the
initial install
for administrators and newbies alike. Shoot me if this has already been
resolved, I
have been out of the loop a bit. However, if unresolved, I think it is
important that we designate appropriate packages for the desktop environs
we would
like to package. Seperate tasks for GNOME and KDE are a given, but it may
also be
wise to set up task packages for lesser known environs as well. GNUstep
and the
newer E stuff both come to mind. If you want to be real thorough someone can
resurrect the TkDesk package and define a task for it. Anyway, the point
is the new
Menuing system will affect ALL of these environs and it will be very
important to
consider the impact accordingly.

Some things in the Menu Policy of note.

1 - It mentions something about a 'Hints' field for menu entries. Ideally
these could be used to create optional menu layers. This would help reduce
the menu overload seen in both the RedHat example and current Debian menu.
I have both GNOME 2 and KDE fully installed and currently the Tools, and
System menus are horrid. Each are nearly the full height of the desktop.

2 - The Menu Policy currently describes a menu heirachy hat is completely
incongrous with GNOME, KDE or the recomendations on freedesktop.org.
Although I do not care for the overall organization of GNOME or KDE menus,
it would be wise to attempt to merge these as much as possible. The
freedesktop project seems to be headed this direction and we could very
easily lend help there.

Here are my 2 cent recomendations.

The .desktop file menu system for KDE and GNOME should probably be built
dynamically like the current Debin menus for the various window managers.
This will help to provide a more cohesive user experience. This would
remove the nasty  extra Debian and KDE menu sections in GNOME 2. It will
also make it easier to update menus in packaging, as the packages will
only need a "/usr/lib/menu/" entry. However doing so will remove the
current KDE and GNOME way of ordering the menus and this may not be taken
lightly. Therefore we should probably work on the organization of the menu
with both projects in mind. Additionally, I would argue that we should use
the "hints" feature to remove congestion in the menus. However unlike the
policy I think it would be wise to predefine a set of guidelines for using
menu file "hints". A hint for the application environment would allow the
menu system to adjust
accordingly. As an added bonus we could exclude menu entries from some
environs based on local system configuration ("/usr/lib/menu.conf"
mabey?).  Does that sound like too much work that needs to be done? Mabey.
Mabey not. KDE apparently complimented Debian on the quality of the
current menu system, and may be willing to work closely on the new one.
Fortunately, some of the active GNOME developers are Debian developers as
well, so their advice would be very welcome.

But since I am not a proficient programmer, I would be happy to help sort
out some of more boring pieces of the mess. :-)

Wheh, enough of that.

Matthew McGuire
Independant Debian Zealot


PS: Has anyone noticed how the subject line will effect the poularity
ratings of KDE and GNOME in some search engines?

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