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Re: Debian menu system update

* Colin Walters <walters@debian.org> [030529 22:40]:
> Yes, it is our task to make it *consistent*.  It shouldn't be our task
> to write menu entries from scratch, when upstreams can (and are) taking
> on the task.  Our menu system should accept .desktop files, and ideally
> process them natively.  

I think making things consistent needs us to write them on our own,
taking upstream entries as suggestions. In my eyes it is just the same
as with the directories software is installed into. There are just too 
many ways to do it and we do not serve our users well to let them all in.

Of course it would be nice to have things on places, where users know
them, but without an consistent concept overall, there is no use to it.
(Last time I looked we did not put KDE in /opt, though that might have
 things much easier and I'm sure many people were expecting it there...)

> The next step is to migrate to the Desktop Menu Specification.  This is
> still in the process of being adopted by GNOME and KDE.  We will need to
> rewrite our menu-methods to process the .menu files. 

The menu-methods are there to generate the menus for the menu-providers,
to parse whatever format is the menu-entries is update-menus' task.
It would be nice to make menu-methods to generate .menu files easier.
I think making update-menus able to parse files in dektop menu
specification will only cause such files beeing included without
inspection by newbies.

> After that, our user experience with popular desktops should be much
> more consistent, 

As adminstrator of some systems with many users, I'd prefer if this
broken KDE could at least be packaged with hints how to get rid of
its broken menu and a debian menu pluged in instead. (I've long given
up hope to get a useful menu in it by default, I know its KDEs
philosophie to not integrate but creating a world of its own. But at
least the debian packages could provide some information how to get
some minimal usability in it).

> and it will be less work to integrate new software into
> Debian (since upstreams will be adopting .desktop), 

There a many things, that make proper packaging of software a
complex matter. Writing this single line to get a menu-item
should really no problem. And if it was I really doubt the
person involved was competent enough to look in the .desktop-file
if it is reasonable...

> and other
> distributors will benefit from the .desktop files Debian developers
> write.

This makes a shoe out if it. Debian is *much* more than KDE and GNOME,
using .dektop will in the long run cause masses of people learn a new
format and in order to get a coherent understandable system need rewrite
of masses of old

> A Debian-specific menu system is the entirely wrong way to go.

A working menu is a good way to go. The currest system works and has
many nice aspects of configurability and administrability, missing in
the newer parts. Only thing I see missing are KDE packages obeying
menu policy.

  Bernhard R. Link

Sendmail is like emacs: A nice operating system, but missing
an editor and a MTA.

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