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[desktop] Proposal for menu layout and package sections



Hello,

I've tried to post this proposal some months ago, but maybe the middle
of August wasn't the proper period to get some attention. :)


The work I did was oriented in finding a better organization for a
collection of many cathegorized items.  Cathegorized items, before you
skip this message, can very well be Debian/Gnome/KDE menus, packages
shown in dselect or browser bookmarks.

The work I did is collected in a short paper I wrote:

http://people.debian.org/~enrico/tagbk-draft.pdf

and in an experimental application to manage Galeon bookmarks and other
bookmarks saved in the XBEL format:

http://people.debian.org/~enrico/tagbk.html

The bookmark problem was chosen because I had far more bookmars in the
browser than packages in the system, and so I had the occasion to work
with bigger numbers.  However, the problem remains the same in case of
application menus or package cathegories.


Short presentation of what is in the paper:

There is a problem with hierarchies: Freshmeat and others have realized
that just one cathegory per item is not sufficient, and people who
collect browser bookmarks organized as a statical hierarchy are likely
to have a hard time finding them as their number grows.  Because of
this, I advocate the use of multiple cathegories per item (or multiple
sections per package).

Then I recognize that hierarchies are the established practice to
present the collection to the user.  To respect the established
practice, I've designed an algorithm to automatically build a cathegory
tree from it, while respecting well defined properties on the resulting
tree.

These properties guarantee that the user can always have some clue about
what branches to follow to reach a given item, resulting in better
organized menus.  In this way, the user can easily find out what he
needs.


I hope this can be a useful contribution to the debian desktop project,
and I'm here to help should this proposal fit some part of the
distribution or desktop efforts.


Bye, Enrico

--
GPG key: 1024D/797EBFAB 2000-12-05 Enrico Zini <enrico@debian.org>

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