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

On Mon, Dec 03, 2007 at 10:24:42PM +0100, Andreas Tille wrote:
> Hi,
> 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.

It is not the only conclusion you could draw.

> 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.

Indeed another conclusion you just drawn was that I never actually
received your email. I am not subscribed to debian-devel, and I 
did not post to that list. Instead I posted to debian-devel-announce.
My email ended in debian-devel for reasons I did not anticipate.
I will resend it to debian-devel-announce.

Generally, if you want to reach me, please email me directly.

On the other hand, I am currently lacking a menu developer with a good 
understanding of C++, which delays the resolution of some bugs, but if
you just want to help me with menu QA, you are welcome too.

> >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
> > noticed.

menu-1 format is not obsoleted. I was not the menu maintainer 8 years
ago (I was not even a Debian developer). Whatever plans Joost had
for the menu-2 format, I don't know. Until recently I thought the
menu-2 format only applied to menu-methods, but I discovered I was
wrong, so I decided to announce it.

> >I base my assumption that nobody really noticed on the fact that
> >
> >   grep "menu-2" /usr/share/menu/*
> >
> >revealed no result on my machine.

There must be a first time for everything. But try

grep "menu-2" /etc/menu-methods/*

> >>In this
> >>format lines break are not significant, but logical lines end by a
> >>semi-comma:
> >>
> >>This is an example:
> >>
> >>!C menu-2
> >>?package(pari-gp):
> >> section="Applications/Science/Mathematics"
> >> needs="text"
> >> title="PARI/GP"
> >> command="gp"
> >>;
> >>
> >>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:

I don't see how it is relevant to debian-policy or dh-make.

> >>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?

I have no feeling about using menu-2 for menu file, but I recommend
it for menu-methods.

> >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).

Thanks for explaining to this list all the trouble I had to 
get through before discovering menu-2.

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

By posting to debian-devel-announce.

> >>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
> >enough).

Apparently one is not allowed to post a followup to a previous
debian-devel-announce post, even if it is two month old. I did
not anticipated that.

> >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?

Assuming your menu-1 file has a single entry, this is sufficient.
(Else you obviously need one ';' for each entry).


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