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Re: vfolder .desktop and Window Maker

On Mon, Feb 10, 2003 at 10:06:15PM -0600, Graham Wilson wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 10, 2003 at 01:48:44PM +0100, Sven Luther wrote:
> > On Mon, Feb 10, 2003 at 10:52:32PM +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> > > <quote who="Marcelo E. Magallon">
> > > >  What I really miss in the VFolder proposal are categories such as
> > > >  "Viewers", "Math" and "Shells".  The whole games section is not granular
> > > >  enough.
> > > 
> > > You have to remember that users find overbearing heirarchy confusing and
> > > invasive.
> > 
> > And exceedingly long menus are ok ?
> > 
> > Maybe a solution would be to keep a hierarchical representation, and
> > have the menu automatically adjust. If there are only a few items in a
> > submenu, then it is 'inlined' in the parent menu, with maybe a separator
> > of some kind, but when either the parent menu becomes too big, or there
> > are to many items in a submenu, then it is displayed in a submenu.
> the idea behind this is great, but it seems anti-intuitive. i dont think
> the computer should try to be better at organization than humans are.
> (although some computer are probably better than some humans.)

Yes, i was awaiting this critic, but see below.

> automatically, inlining and uninlining would mean that menus might
> appear and disappear automatically, which is a quality i dislike about
> computers.

Notice that it isn't quite so bad, since the algorithm used for deciding
about inlining or not is decidable, that is for the exact same menu, it
would always yield the exact same result. That would mean that it would
change only when you install new debian package that add or remove
entries from the menu. I suppose you could even do it at package
installation time, while running update-menu, and have debconf display a
note about this, or something such, maybe even asking the user if he
agrees with the change, and allow him to override. Or it could be done
the first time you log in after such a change.

That said, your point about human organization is moot, since anyway it
is _NOT_ possible to do any change yourself to the menus, at least not
in a way the people who get confused, the naive user gnome2 targets, can
do it. At least i don't have a menu entry in the desktop's setting menu
item, or however that name is in english, as i am running under french

> > Ideally, there would be a way for each user to set this inlining or not,
> > so each submenu could be either in a submenu, inlined or automatically
> > determined.
> i would support this if the default were to not inline, as inlining
> sounds good if you know it is going to happen.

What about :

  do not inline the first level, always inline the second level, and
  don't show separators.

This does exactly mimic the current behavior of having only 2 level
menus, except the settings menu, but don't loose the clasification
information packager can give to where their packages are displayed in
the gnome menus.

Notice also, that for now the only reason the gnome menu is working
well, is because most debian packages don't display any entries in them.
Once we use it as a unified gnome/kde/whatever menu, things will get
real ugly, and a solution need to be found. Notice that this is
something debian related, which may not be needed for gnome proper,
which can control more exactly which menu item are used, and have a
central authority for placing them, which is ok for the limited audience
they are targeting, but will not work for a typical debian user.


Sven Luther
> -- 
> gram

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