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Re: gnome, kde, xfce use non-policy main menu

* Daniel Dickinson <cshore@fionavar.ca> [080705 09:05]:
> xdg .desktop-based menus are not covered by policy.

I think this is an important point to acknowledge by all people wanting
to see more .desktop files: There is no policy how to use the
fields in them. Currently most people just copy the files from their
upstreams. That cannot work to get a coherent system. When Debian
packages use .desktop files from other packages in Debian, there should
be a Debian policy what those files may contain and what not.

The system also misses massively documentation. Perhaps it got better
in between, but last time I looked it totally missed any documentation
except and lengthy document that seemed to be targeted on writers
of menu programs displaying. Nothing how to overwrite items as user,
not wher to put them to test them, not even the actual paths (only
some placeholders without explanation everywhere).

> The main menu (meaning the primary menu used for program selection; I
> don't include quick access menus which have a small selection of often
> used programs) should either be the debian-menu or all packages which
> are supposed to have menu entires should also be required to
> supply .desktop files.
> Having a dual-menu scheme in policy is ugly.
> Currently the debian-menu is a submenu of the main menu, called
> 'Debian'.

This is indeed very ugly. But I think that is not so much a technical
problem, but more a problem of different opinions what a menu should
be like.

Because from what I gathered in the previous discussions about this,
an important reason gnome and kde maintainers refuse to use the Debian
menu is that then all the programs (even the text and "ugly" X programs)
would be in the menu equal to the other ones.
Switching to .desktop files would of course not fix that, as then all
the other programs would have .desktop files, too.

The Debian menu system could easily be extended to have some more tags
describing such properties (perhaps some ShowAlsoInKDENoviceMode tag
or whatever), but that would need an honest discussion about the aims.

> desktops that want to have .desktop entries for specific programs ought
> to be responsible for creating the code that merges the debian main
> menu with their main menu (e.g. in menu-xdg), rather than forcing every
> other application in debian to do their work for them.

I think the easiest solution would be to have some additional tag that
menu-xdg uses to filter out menu entries that also have a .desktop file.
(hopefully it already has, that only needs documentation, otherwise it
should be added), and then policy should say that each package should use
this tag to specifiy which entries in the Debian menu are duplicated by a
.desktop file.

	Bernhard R. Link
"Never contain programs so few bugs, as when no debugging tools are available!"
	Niklaus Wirth

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