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debian menu hints for gnome and kde


I have an idea that I want to propose to all maintainers of Gnome and
KDE packages.  I talked briefly about this with James LewisMoss (dres)
on IRC, and he seemed amenable, so I'd like to bring this up to a
wider audience.

I don't see a debian-kde list, so I'm Cc'ing this to RevKrusty, who
seems to maintain most or all of KDE so far.  I'm also Cc'ing to
Joost, since this involves his baby, the Debian menu system.

My proposal is very simple:  I'd like to get "menu hints" added to the
Debian menu files for all Gnome and KDE packages.  

What is a "menu hint", I hear you say?  I'm not surprised that you
ask.  This handy little feature of the Debian menu system seems to be

Basically, the Debian menu system supports an optional optimization
feature.  If you enable menu optimization, then update-menus(1) will
try to make sure that none of your menus are too full or too empty
(you can adjust the limits here as well).

Now, a menu that's nearly empty is easy to deal with -- move the
contents up a level.  However, a menu that's too full is a little more
tricky.  And this is where hints come in.

Basically, in your menu file, in addition to a "section" field, you can
provide one or more "hints" fields.  If the user has not enabled menu
optimization, or is using an older version of menu, these fields will
be ignored completely.  However, if the user has optimization enabled
(like me), then these hints will be considered as candidates for
creating subsections when a menu gets too full.

So, with the explanation out of the way, I'd like to request that
Gnome packages begin using 'hints="Gnome"', and KDE packages begin
using 'hints="KDE"'.  As an example, here's how the menu file for
gnome-gv might look:

?package(gnome-gv):needs=X11	\
	section=Apps/Viewers 	\
        hints="Gnome"           \
	title="gnome-gv"	\

See?  Easy.

Anyway, I'm gradually going to start filing wishlist bugs against
gnome and kde packages, but I wanted to post a heads-up first, and
introduce people to the concept.  Anyone who takes the initiative and
adds hints to their package before I get around to filing won't have
to deal with extra BTS entries.  :-)

In the long run, I'd like to get a set of common hints accepted into
policy (much like the regular menu sections are now).  There's already
one widely used hint, "Clocks", found in most appropriate packages, so
adding "Gnome" and "KDE" will bring the total to three, which will be
a start...

Chris Waters   xtifr@dsp.net | I have a truly elegant proof of the
      or    xtifr@debian.org | above, but it is too long to fit into
                             | this .signature file.

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