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

On 10/25/2002 6:47 AM, Emile van Bergen at emile-deb@evbergen.xs4all.nl
> There's been lots of talk about advanced vs. basic users, and there's
> still the issue of wether to say "Web browser" vs. "Mozilla".
> (warning: upstream support necessary; not Debian specific)
> What about this. A menu has generic items such as 'Web browser'. These
> items are ordinary ones, not groups of any kind; left clicking just
> launches the configured application. /Right/ clicking, however, shows
> you a sub menu that looks like this:
> Properties...
> Delete
> -----------------
> v Mozilla
> Galeon
> Netscape
> Phoenix
> This could be implemented by removing most of the distinction between a
> groups and leaf nodes. Or simply by adding specialized submenus that are
> accessed by right clicking for ordinary items.
I understand and appreciate the larger problem you are trying to solve -
find an elegant way to present both Descriptive Labels and Program Names, or
just one but not the other as the discretion of the user.

However, I am a bit leery of using "right click" and "left click" to solve
the problem.  Here's why:  Mac OS and Windows both use system menus in a
strictly one click type mode.  That is, you always left click to access the
Start Menu in Windows, and single click to pull down the Menus in Mac OS.  I
am aware that you can right click the Start Menu to get a different function
under Win98.  A lot of people don't even know that capability exists and
never use it.  Most people are accustomed to single/left clicking on System
type menus.  (Contextual menus in a browser are a different story

For the sake of simplicity, I would prefer to see the Debian menu use a
single/left click only mode.

Of course, this still leaves the larger problem which you presented -
resolving the Descriptive Label and Program Name issue in an elegant manner.
I think I have a reasonable compromise solution, and will be posting it up
as soon as I can think it out some more and write it out.

> Below the line you'd have a selection of alternative programs, using
> their real names, for the item in question. Left clicking just launches
> the exact program, but right clicking selects it as the active
> alternative. This way, you can both easily switch "Web browsers" and
> have access to other browsers if you need them incidentally.
Hmm, this is tempting.  I like the notion of removing the need to go into a
graphical menu editor to do the things you are suggesting.  Maybe the pain
of right clicking to do such things wouldn't be so bad.  I am not totally
convinced your position is the way to go, but it does have its tempting
aspects.  It is a very creative and clever idea, that's for sure.
> Possibly, some script could be provided to reset all selections to a
> certain set of defaults, eg. "KDE", "Gnome", or even "Debian Default".
Some way to revert to standard defaults set forth by KDE, Gnome, and Debian
should be available - yes.

> Lastly, a global option could be provided, like this:
> What should be displayed in the menus?
> (o) Generic name  eg. Web browser
> ( ) Selected program name eg. Mozilla
> ( ) Both     eg. Web browser (Mozilla)

This is an excellent idea!  Very helpful indeed.  I definitely think it
would help to have those three options user selectable.  For the "Basic
Menu" meant for newbies, displaying generic name and program name might be
most appropropriate.  But other users could select the other options.

Luke Seubert

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