[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

On Mon, 2008-01-14 at 09:43 +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> Le Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 07:34:21PM +0000, Peter Clifton a écrit :
> > 
> > In gEDA, the .desktop files list "Electronics" and "Engineering" (both
> > of which are sub-categories), and without an additional XML file
> > describing a new menu, these applications will appear under "Others"
> > under gnome, or lost+found under KDE.
> Dear Peter,
> Do you know how many .desktop files in Debian use the categories
> Electronics or Engineering? If there are not enough to nicely populate a
> menu, it may be better to patch them to relocate them somewhere else.

I currently have six installed, but there are more out there. (There are
also more packages which _should_ use this category, but don't.. on
account of it not being in the menu hierarchy.

Since there are no other categories in the XDG spec which fit, this is
really why the problem occurs:

"Every conforming desktop environment MUST support" (XDG menu-spec)

AudioVideo                                          : NO
Audio                                               : NO
Video                                               : NO
Development (really meaning "programming")          : NO
Education                                           : NO
Game                                                : NO
Graphics                                            : NO
Network                                             : NO
Office                                              : NO
Settings                                            : NO
System                                              : NO
Utility (Small utility application, "Accessories")  : NO

Clearly the people who wrote the XDG menu spec didn't consider any
technical applications:

  GIS (Geographic Information system)
  Mathematics, e.g. Matlab / Octave (if it had a GUI) / others
  Mechanical CAD packages
  Structural analysis
  Electrical CAD, IC Design etc..
  Circuit simulation

  Hamradio, Knitting, Cave surveying, <insert hobby here>
  Physics, Chemistry, <insert science here>
  Medical imaging, Radar, <insert specialist topic here>

It is not so likely any one given user will have applications installed
which fit into all extra categories, they might have one or two.

Noting the above main categories are listed as "MUST support" seems to
imply the intention that additional categories (e.g. from the additonal
categories list) could be supported by distributions / desktops.

Suggesting that any of these should be shoe-horned into the nearest XDG
main category or risk not appearing in any menu is only going to cause
the XDG system to be further inefficient in meeting users needs. For
gEDA, we violate the menu spec and do not list a "main" category, as
getting lost under "Other" seems preferable to any of the above

> If there are enough, there is a third way of having an optional menu:
> the Custom Debian Distribution. In the Debian-Med CDD, we have an extra
> "Med" menu, and which user gets it is configured through debconf.

I don't think it is advisable to require installing a customised
distribution just for a particular task. I happen to use (ok, GNU/)Linux
for everyday computing, and believe the way forward is using
special-interest meta-packages which could pull in a suite of useful
tools for a particular topic.

We do produce and give students use a customised Knoppix Live CD with
Engineering applications on at University, but for every day Linux
users, this is actually a step backwards.

Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)

Reply to: