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Re: Re: Debian packages and freedesktop.org (Gnome, KDE, etc) menu entries

On Fri, Dec 05, 2003 at 02:36:37AM +0000, Andrew Suffield wrote:

| Right, that's what I just described (later on). The thread had
| previously been about people wanting to throw away the Debian menu
| system and replace it with the .desktop one, or worse, have both
| coexist.

If we can convert menu entries between the two formats and do so in a
sane manner, having the two coexist shouldn't be a problem, and could
potentially be the first step towards standardising on freedesktop's
format.  I agree, though, that having the two coexist with completely
different menu items on each is a bad position to be in - and sadly,
that's pretty much what we've got now :(

I just had a look at the menus of both KDE and Gnome, and it seems that
even though the .desktop file format is supposedly common to both, they
have different menus with, for the most part, non-intersecting sets of
programs on each.  Aaargh!  This is bad, and I think it needs to be
fixed if we are to attempt to do too much more with .desktop files.

| Yeah, inverted the sense, you get the idea. We need both tools, at
| which point there's no longer a reason not to just continue using the
| existing Debian menu system.

Except that AFAIK .desktops are still semantically richer than the
existing Debian system, and have more momentum behind them outside of
Debian.  Upstream packages are much more likely to ship to .desktop
files than they are Debian menu entries.  Admittedly I'm not convinced
that they're ready enough in other ways to replace what we have now.

| > In fact, it looks like it's been implemented twice, once for KDE and
| > once for GNOME.  (Is there any reason why the .desktop files aren't being
| > shared between the two DE's?  It also appears to me that KDE is doing a
| > marginally better job of integrating the Debian menu into the KDE menu.)
| Yup, that. It needs de-stupiding, which basically means rewriting,
| given the triviality of this particular part.


In my opinion, the current Debian menu hierarchy is a nightmare from a
usability perspective.  There is a freedesktop.org menu spec[1] that
builds upon .desktop entries and sounds to me as though is should help
some of these problems, by having .desktop files assigned to multiple
categories and attempting to generate a menu hierarchy from those.  It
also supports merging menus from multiple sources, which might make it
easier to incorporate Debian menu entries into it.  However, I don't
believe it's actually been implemented by anyone yet, and I'm not making
any claims about how useful it might be practice.



[1] http://freedesktop.org/Standards/menu-spec/menu-spec-0.8.html -
mentioned on the debian-usability list months ago.

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