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Re: [desktop] Draft proposal for a new debian menu system

On Wed, Apr 16, 2003 at 05:10:58PM +0200, Bernhard R. Link wrote:

> > We have at least three parallel menu systems around: the Debian Menu,
> > the Gnome Foot Menu and the KDE menu.
> We have one menu system: the Debian menu.
> And we have several programs with menus, like Gnome, KDE, fvwm, icewm,
> wmaker, ....

I'm sorry: sid is currently shipping at least three parallel menu
hierarchies: the Debian one, the Gnome one and the KDE one.  If you open
your Gnome foot menu, you can see all three, and you don't know which
one to use to look for the application you want to launch.

> The desktop also uses a dynamic linker to work. Linkers are also
> somewhat compliated over architectures. Shouldn't there be a good
> specification for usage of linkers placed in there, too. (And in a
> way, too, that one can not seperate them easily from the rest?)

I'm sorry, I still do not get your point: what do linker have to do with
launcher menus?

> > We now acheive the possibility to switch window managers by generating,
> > from a single metadata source, the menu data for the various window
> > managers or menu-using applications we package.
> I do not meant "switch" in the sense of making them more similar.
> I meant in the meaning of "making another run where one in running quite
> now".

Yes, the other menus do not have a facility for changing the window
manager on the fly.  It could be argued that this is a task that do not
necessarily belong to the menu system.  In fact, switching WM is
different than launching an application, both in terms of operations you
need to do and in terms of user perception and user goals.

Maybe a separate tool can be developed for WM switching (and possibly
also to set the default WM for the Debian X session).  Gnome does it
through its preferences window, and I think that it's a good idea.  We
could ship a generic preferences window to customize the Debian session
when running without Gnome or KDE.

> So instead of using a system that works and can do what we need
> (with the exception of generating KDE-menus, though I do not see
>  the fault in our system here), we should adopt another metadata
> not even able to describe the things we already have and are used?

This is interesting: could you please make some example of metadata
information that can be represented with the current format and cannot
be represented by the Desktop Menu Specification found at

Yours truly,


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

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