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Re: Brief descriptions in menu entries

On Mon, Oct 27, 2003 at 04:40:56PM -0700, Bruce Sass wrote:
> On Mon, 27 Oct 2003, Ben Burton wrote:
> > Chris Cheny wrote:
> > > Why not just convert the Debian menu system over to the freedesktop
> > > standard after sarge is released? Gnome, and KDE (and probably others)
> > > already use it. It takes care of this problems and several others,
> > > besides making the Debian menu files standard format.
> >
> > I rather like the idea of this.  Though of course the people who need to
> > be convinced are the ones writing menu-methods files for systems that
> > don't use this standard. :)
> I like it, although it is a bit heavy handed.
> on one hand:
> Is "this problem" really a problem that warrants rewriting the menu
> system, and the menu-methods, and the menu entries.  The existing
> system should create submenues as required, and those with only one or
> two of a particular type of app (freedesktop's GenericName) that don't
> know what (say) apps->net->konqueror is can do...

There are fewer than 45 menu-methods in total. Converting them to use
the new standard shouldn't be that hard. However, there are many menu
entry files, many of them could be dropped entirely due to them being
conversions of .desktop files already (ie all the Gnome and KDE ones).
Also by converting to the new standard the menu entry files could/should
be sent to upstreams so that everyone could benefit by the menu files
since they would no longer be Debian specific. This would also further
i18n desktop support since the new standard supports it and upstreams
could more easily collect the translations from its wider base of users.

> ~$ man konqueror
> No manual entry for konqueror
> See 'man 7 undocumented' for help when manual pages are not available.
> ...well, at least they should be able to consult the manual, eh.

KDE's help is in xml format accessed via khelpcenter. Eventually all of
the KDE binaries will have simple manpages that will point users to the
real documentation, but they haven't been written for all binaries yet.

> on the other hand:
> It would sure be nice if I could override the system wide entries and
> get nice KDE menues.  i.e., the standard menu sucks because it
> can't/doesn't communicate enough info to KDE, KDE's menues suck
> because I can't do a system-wide replacement of an entry (without it
> getting overwritten next upgrade).

If I remember correctly there are ways to override menu entries with the
new freedesktop standard. However, its not in the version currently in

> Why not adopt a convention for dealing with menu entry fragments so a
> menu-method has somewhere to look for additional data.  This would
> open up the possibility for (say) KDE to actually integrate its menues
> with the system instead of dumping them into /usr then tacking on the
> Debian menues.

With KDE 3.2 both Gnome and KDE menus should be fairly well integrated.
I haven't actually looked at KDE 3.2 to see how this works out but in
theory it should just work. BTW KDE 3.2 is due out early in Dec.

Finally, the best reason to convert is because standards are good m'kay. ;)


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