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

On 10/24/2002 11:23 PM, Matthew McGuire at gray@shadowglade.net wrote:

> --- On Presenting Desktop Installation Options ---
> How about have an option available for each environ and list it like thus
> when selecting tasks during base-config:
> Debian Desktop Options
> - The following is a selection of available desktops for Debian.  - The
> Deluxe desktops are feature rich and generally attractive to the eye. - The
> Moderate desktops are lightweight and reasonably versatile. - The Minimal
> desktops are very lightwieght but often somewhat limited in use.
> Deluxe
> - KDE
> Moderate
> - WindowMaker
> - Enlightenment
> Minimal
> - Fvwm
> - Icewm
> - TkDesk (hehe..no really!)
> This would make it easier for both Joe User and Joe Admin to pick what they
> want without too much  trouble.  BTW, all of these use a session manager.
> The x-session-manager is just sneaky that way. :-) Manoj, I tend to think of
> Sawfish as part of GNOME, but I did put Fvwm in the list.
I like this idea a lot.  It solves a lot of problems.  Knowledgable people
can select their GUIs by name, while less clueful users can read the
descriptions, and make installation choices based upon the capabilities of
their hardware.

This means that Desktop Debian can keep the power users, intermediate users,
and newbies happy; and also help out those with very limited hardware.

Good call dude.

> --- On Menu Management ---
> What I have read so far on the Menu stuff:
> 1 - A Single Comprehensive Menu listing all available applications. This
> would be organized using a predetermined heirachy of application types,
> regardless of Environ. This heirachy is not currently available. Example:
> Main Menu--> Internet--> Mail--> Evolution | Balsa | Mozilla Mail
Sort of like the current Debian menu, only maybe reorganized somewhat?

I have been calling something like this the "Advanced Menu" in other

> 2 - A variable Menu with a predetermined 'Set of Commands' based on
> application type. This is inherently similar to 1, but differs in that the
> Application opened will vary according to Environ. Example In GNOME: Main
> Menu--> Internet--> Mail (Evolution)
> Example in WindoMaker: Main Menu--> Internet--> Mail (Aileron)
Yup.  This would correspond to the "Basic Menu" term that I have also been
using in other threads.

> 3 - A variable Menu with complete list of applications that varies in size
> based on number of entries per grouping. This is the idea discussed in the
> current Menu Policy. Ideally the 'Hints' feature could provide this. However
> It will need some work. Additionally the appropriate destop can be detailed
> is a visual clue, a tooltip or name in parenthesis. This option may also
> provide a filtering method for specific Environs. Note: These 'Hints" ideas
> are theory and not already in place.  Example in GNOME with only a couple
> Internet Applications:
> Main Menu--> Internet--> Evolution | KMail | Galeon
> Example in GNOME with a few Internet Applications group by Environ: Main
> Menu--> Internet--+ KMail
> + Gnome--+ Evolution
> + Galeon
> + Balsa
> Example in GNOME with a few Internet Applications group by Useage: Main
> Menu--> Internet--+ Galeon(GNOME)
> + Mail--+ Balsa(GNOME)
> + Aileron(GNUStep)
> + KMail(KDE)
Hmm, OK.  This is a slightly new proposal in the midst of all this hurly
burly.  I guess I would call this the "Intermediate Menu".  It seems like a
nice compromise between the everything AND the kitchen sink of your Proposal
1, and the stark simplicity of Proposal 2, which is probably very close to
what the default Debian Desktop menu will be.

I would guess that Linux novices, not newbies, and power users who want
simpler but not utterly simple menus, would like your Proposal 3.

Now, this idea does add more complexity to the whole menu layout and UI.  Do
you think it is worth it?  Or should the novice and intermediate Linux users
simply be free to add some programs to the Basic Menu, or switch to the
Advanced Menu?

> 4 - A Newbie Menu and and Advanced Menu. They are seperate, but available to
> both users via config or seperate desktop locations. In essence this
> combines Solution 1 with Solution 2. 1 is for Advanced users, while 2 is for
> Newbies.
Heh.  Whoops.  I didn't read all the way down before replying.  Yeah, Basic
and Advanced Menus.

But. . . what happened to your Proposal 3 for the Intermediate Menu?

> Needless to say there is a lot of work to be done for any of the above
> options. I prefer the 3rd as it could provide us with the tools necessary to
> create any of the other three.
Hmm, now I am lost.  How can Menu 3 be the basis to generate the much more
complex Menu 1?

> In all cases I think it is imperative that
> all menus available in Debian be auto-generated acording to the installed
> packages. 
Certainly the advanced menu would fit this criteria.

However, the Basic Menu needs to be kept utterly simple, otherwise, it
defeats the purpose of such a menu in the first place.

Thanks for taking the time to write up all your ideas.  They are helpful.

Luke Seubert

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