Re: Reducing the number of special uris in gnome

Sunnanvind Fenderson wrote:

Sander Vesik <Sander Vesik Sun COM> writes:
Sorry - any particular reason you think that users would want to use the
Debian menu as opposed to xxx menu?


(Note that I was talking about the debian menu *system*.)

1) I think they'd rather use just one menu than a two or three
  different ones.

Both KDE and GNOME use .desktop files. This is an agreed upon standard, available from

A distribution can provide .desktop files for packages quite easily, and have them appear in both GNOME and KDE menus (Red Hat does this for example).

2) (On my install at least) there are a lot more programs registered
  with the debian menu than with the gnome or kde menus. This is
  anecdotal, of course.

That is because Debian goes to the trouble of creating debian menu entries for software they distribute. On other systems, the distributors create menu entries for whatever system they use for their menus.

3) Standards are generally considered good, and even though the debian
  menu system is only standard on debian-based systems, I think it's
  good enough to be "promoted" to a desktop standard.

I took a quick look at the debian menus manual:

One big omission seems to be the lack of translated menu support. Is this due to the documentation not being up to date, or a real limitation of the system?

It looks like

4) (On Debian) almost all desktops/wms except Gnome and Kde use the
  debian menu system as it's menu system.

Because they have been modified to use the system ...

It doesn't look like the Debian system provides much benefit over the desktop entries used in GNOME and KDE (especially when combined with the vfolder system used in the 2.0 gnome panel menus). By using desktop entries you get the benefit of not having to modify the two major desktop environments to use the menu system.


Okay, there are only a few, non-conclusive reasons for gnome to use
the debian menu system - it would be neat and clean and consistent.

I can't think of any reasons why it *shouldn't* use the debian menu
system, though.

The desktop entry spec is used by the two major desktop environments, a number of distributors and application authors. We already went through the trouble to standardise this between the two desktops to make the lives of app authors easier, and the debian system doesn't seem to provide much real benefit.

If the gnome "menu layout" (that is, the categories) is better than
the debian ditto, I'm sure the debian menu maintainers would like to

When I went from debian-based wms to gnome, I personally felt that it
was a disimprovement - the categories seem more overlapping and I
found it difficult to place in which category a particular application
Some portions of the Debian menu layout look a bit suspect (a submenu listing the window managers installed on the system?). However, it looks like the debian menu system should allow you to write a script that outputs a list of desktop files corresponding to debian menu items. It might be a good project for someone to take on.


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