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Re: vfolder .desktop and Window Maker

On Sun, Feb 09, 2003 at 05:54:23AM -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:

> As I've said before I think it'd be very sensible to also 
> use this spec as the Debian menu system, but people weren't biting.

The last time I looked (circa Gnome1.2, IIRC), the system Gnome was
using was *wholly* inadequate as a replacement for Debian's menu
system.  I've now looked at the new VFolder proposal, and it's a
little better, but I'm still not entirely sure it's adequate.  The
main part that bothers me is: "The layout of the menu is left up to
the application displaying them."  Debian's centralized scheme doesn't
require any modification to existing apps.  All that's required of
Debian's menu scheme is that an app be able to use an external
automatically generated menu definition of some sort.

Furthermore, Debian's centralized approach allows either the admin or
the user to define centralized filters that apply to the entire
heirarchy.  I don't see any way to do this that doesn't involve
keeping a master list (before filtering), and having all apps use
generated lists (stored elsewhere).  And as long as you're doing that
anyway, I see no advantage to switching the format of the master list
-- all it does is require that thousands of existing, working menu
definition files have to be rewritten in the new format.

The new VFolder proposal includes equivalents of Debian's hints (the
Categories), which is good, but it leaves it up to the apps what to do
with them (if anything).  Debian's centralized scheme ensures
consistency here.

There are other issues, and it's not entirely one-sided -- Debian's
system is complex and fragile, and prone to breakage.  But I think
we've still got a ways to go before this can all be united in one
grand, happy scheme.
Chris Waters           |  Pneumonoultra-        osis is too long
xtifr@debian.org       |  microscopicsilico-    to fit into a single
or xtifr@speakeasy.net |  volcaniconi-          standalone haiku

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