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Is menu orphaned? (Was: Debian Menu transition status)


well, waiting more than five weeks for an answer to a question
that at least I would regard as urgent seems to show enough
patience.  The only conclulsion I could draw is that menu is
not really maintained any more.  I'm particularly interested
in this question because if this is the case I see no need
to continue supporting menu in cdd-dev / cdd-common tools.
Instead we would switch to freedesktop.org exclusively which
would be a shame because we would lose several window managers
that do not support this format - but it makes no sense to
support stuff which is not documented and requests for
documentation remain unanswered.

Bill, I just noticed that I forgot to CC you in my previous
mail which might lead to the fact that you missed my question
because you are not reading debian-devel.  While this is
my fault I would suggest you should watch possible responses
of your announcements in the archive.

Kind regards


On Sat, 20 Oct 2007, Andreas Tille wrote:

On Tue, 9 Oct 2007, Bill Allombert wrote:

Others changes:

-- Menu support a new format called "menu-2" since 8 years.

Uhmmm, this is one of the strangest sentences I read on this list this
year.  At which time scale you would regard eight years old as new (at
least in the world of computers)?  I would rather pronounce:

 The menu format that is currently used by nearly every package
 was obsolated by the menu-2 format two years ago because the
 information about was so perfectly hidden that nobody really

I base my assumption that nobody really noticed on the fact that

   grep "menu-2" /usr/share/menu/*

revealed no result on my machine.

In this
format lines break are not significant, but logical lines end by a

This is an example:

!C menu-2

I do not have strong opinion about this format, but feel free to use it.

Well, the strongest prove that you are not alone is that neither
debian-policy mentions it (see #447389), nor dh-make creates menu-2
templates (see #447390) nor lintian suggests this format (see #447391).
But how should we interpret the sentence below:

Since even potato support menu-2, there are no upgrade or backport
issue, however this might break the lintian code to parse menu file.

menu-2 is also available for menu-methods, through the definition
compat="menu-2". I highly recommend its use for menu-methods.

So you highly recommend something you have no feelings about?
What is the sense of inventing a format and not providing any
information about it.  Even grepping through /usr/share/doc/menu/html
revealed only some notes amout menu-2 but no code example locked
like above.  The manual claims to describe menu format menu-2
but considering that the code uses backspace '\' which should be
necessary according to the information above and given that the
line "!C menu-2" is mandatory as well as the final semicolon
in contrast to the statement of /usr/share/doc/menu/html/ch1.html
that this document describes the menu-2.0 format this is just
not the case (and I should probably a file against the menu
package about this).

So how could you expect developers to adopt a new format if there
is no information about it?

Imagine a large red swirl here.

I have to admit that my brain turned in a multi colored huge
swirl when I finaly was pointed to this information which was
hidden in the very end of a long mail that was posted to
debian-devel-announce (but got archived on debian-devel strangely

After settling down with this I wonder whether you could easily
turn a menu-1 format file into a menu-2 format file by just
wrapping it i between

  !C menu-2
  <contents of old file>

or is there some other magic?

Kind regards



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