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Re: update-menus silently failing with Gnome?

On 29/09/13 21:01, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> - Debian appears to have a perfectly good menu tool and it is not clear
> why it has to be ditched.

Upstreams often ship desktop files; menu files are Debian-specific; and
if a GUI environment has Debian-specific infrastructure to display both,
it will either have to try to deduplicate (not necessarily reliable or
possible, since menu and desktop files don't necessarily correspond
1:1), or display "most" applications twice.

In environments with a hierarchical menu, like GNOME 2, having the same
application appear in both Things->Stuff and Debian->Misc->Other isn't
so bad, but in something like GNOME Shell, with its search-based app
display, duplicates are really jarring.

> Should lintian implement a new check for packages with
> menu-file-but-no-dot-desktop ?

"Probably". There also seems to be a difference in conventional menu
entries: in the Debian menu there tends to be an entry for anything that
anyone might conceivably want to run, whereas there are usually only
desktop entries for things that are primarily intended to be run from a
GUI menu. Obscure, niche or primarily-command-line things tend to either
not have a desktop file, or in more ambiguous cases, have a desktop file
that is marked as hidden (but can be made visible with a menu editor
like GNOME's alacarte).

For instance, installing anything that depends on Python (including
reportbug, part of a standard installation, or Totem, the GNOME video
player) puts the interactive Python interpreter in the Debian menu. I
don't think a normal desktop installation benefits from presenting a
user with a menu entry for that.

> For those feeling lazy, I suppose we can just grab the .desktop file
> generated under /var by update-menus and copy it into our packages?

The one from update-menus is probably a good start, but adding search
keywords (if the name and Comment don't cover everything) and a
high-quality icon (SVG or large PNG) will make it fit better in GNOME
Shell, and probably other environments. Please send it upstream if
appropriate. If the app is packaged in other distributions (e.g. SuSE or
Fedora), it might also be worth checking whether they have a desktop
file that hasn't gone upstream yet.


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