trinity-users@lists.pearsoncomputing.net

Message: previous - next
Month: January 2011

Re: [trinity-users] Kmenu Reasoning Explained

From: Robert Xu <robxu9@...>
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 21:56:08 -0500
Long Response Incoming. Do not be offended by the response.

On Sat, Jan 22, 2011 at 17:48, Katheryne Draven <borgqueen4@...> wrote:
> As requested by some people (Xu_R AKA The Old Man) an odt and pdf of
> the reasoning behind my kmenu setup.

I'm sorry, being under 20 is old? o_O

>
> I would appreciate any input to improve the setup.
>
> Thanks
>
> Kate
>
>

	This is an another attempt, based on the attempt by Borg^Queen (the
android running Windows Vista build 1), to improve upon the KDE menu
system and make it more organized.

I am going to be referring to Kickoff, the KDE3 alternate menu and the
KDE4 default menu.

The favorites menu is usually the first place people see – and in
turn, the place that many people expect all their favorite
applications to exist. When people have to put in the effort (elderly
and middle-life crisis people (Borg^Queen)) to navigate to their all
programs menu, it just doesn't work out.

Let's keep a short list of what people come to expect here.
A web browser (Firefox, Chromium, Rekonq, Midori)
An email client (Thunderbird, Evolution, Kmail) Although there is the
idea just to put a link to a webpage showing the most popular email
sites.
A word processor (LibreOffice, AbiWord, Koffice)
A File Browser (Dolphin, Konqueror)
A Personal Settings Link (Many distributions call it System Settings,
confusing users)
A System Settings Link (Requires Root Access)
A help option (For the easily confused)
This usually provides almost everything a user needs to get started on
his/her computer. For those of us who have an application not listed
in there that we want, we usually dive into the Applications tab.


Let's go through a typical KDE menu.

Development
Education
Games
Graphics
Internet
Multimedia
Office
System
Utilities
Help (Link to help browser)
YaST (or other related System Tool)

This is very complicated for the modern day user. Sure, it's
alphabetical! Ooh, this is great! No. It's not.
Let's see an example of why. We'll use Mandriva's setup:

Internet
Office
Graphics
Sound & Video
Tools
Development

Fewer categories, more simplicity. Of course, there's more clutter,
but that's up to the user to clean up all that crap. Internet and
Office at the top – The most used applications are usually
Internet-connected Software and Productivity software.

If I had to make a menu style, it would look a bit more like this:
Internet
Office
Multimedia (Graphics and “Sound & Video”/”Multimedia” combined)
Games
Education
Windows Applications (Wine)
Tools (Includes System and Utilities)
Development
More Applications (Lost & Found... This happens rarely, but it still does)

It's very close to Mandriva's, I admit that. But truthfully, it's
probably the more logical one.
You should see how Fedora butcher's theirs with upstream's.
I've found apps in the wrong categories.

You can find a few submenus. But NOT TOO MANY!
That's where I think openSUSE got it wrong. It's more work to the
average user, and a pain in the ass after a navigating them a few
times.
The search menu at the top of Kicker? I've been using SuSE and Kicker
for a long time but I didn't even notice that until 11.1 came out.
*Assume people are oblivious to the obvious.*

I've seen stuff like this:
Kickoff > Applications > Internet > Web Browsers > More > Firefox
Me: -___-******

Submenus? Here's how I will break it down.

Internet
             Messaging
             Web Browsers
Office
             Office Suite
             Business Tools
Multimedia (Graphics and “Sound & Video”/”Multimedia” combined)
             Graphics
             Music
             Video
Games
Education
Windows Applications (Wine)
             (we can have Windows emulated start menu here)
Tools (Includes System and Utilities)
             (see below for this)
Development
             IDEs
             Debuggers
             (I'm drawing a blank for this)
More Applications (Lost & Found... This happens rarely, but it still does)

Borg^Queen did this layout:

Desktop Publishing (Contains everything related to published documents
of all kinds)
Development
Edutainment & Health
Emulators
Games
Graphics (symlinked)
Lost & Found
Multimedia (both audio and video)
Network
Settings
System
User-Apps (This is a special directory that initially remains empty.
Users can place their fav apps and link other menu subdir into this
one. Some distros I proposed this to are now calling it a “favourite”
directory.)

Truthfully, I find Settings and System too similar in meaning.
Emulators? Many people don't know what that is when they first try out
a Linux system.
Edutainment & Health: not crazy about this.
Lost & Found: it's like KDE lost an app you just installed.
Desktop Publishing: I saw you have Finance in there... Wouldn't that
make it more than Desktop Publishing? Um... Office?

I'm not going to go into the details like what kind of apps should be
in each category.
The thing is, less is better for some people. And giving sub-menu
after sub-menu will drive someone crazy (eventually) if they are not
already by looking at the structure.

And regarding submenus in Tools:

Tools >
          System-Wide Settings submenu
                        Any system setting that isn't in YaST (or
other System Tool)
          The
          Rest of the stuff
          here is all Utilities
          That nobody cares about
          (usually)

You're then asking, where does YaST (or other system tool) and
Personal Settings go?
Please move the tab over to Computer in the Kicker menu and See above.

For those of us who like old-fashioned mouse-moving Kmenu, It would
look something like this:

Recently
Used
Apps
-----------
Internet
Office
Multimedia (Graphics and “Sound & Video”/”Multimedia” combined)
Games
Education
Windows Applications (Wine)
Tools (Includes System and Utilities)
          System-Wide Settings
          Random Utilities Here
Development
More Applications (Lost & Found... This happens rarely, but it still does)
----------
Personal Settings
YaST (or related system tool)
----------
A Favorites Menu
          Favorite
          Apps
          here
Switch User
End Session


In the end, all I'm trying to say is that if you break it up too much,
it's worse than what it was in the beginning.

Feel free to criticize, laugh, humiliate, or hate. :)

-- 
later, Robert Xu