Re: Proposal: gnome-main-menu for inclusion in GNOME 2.18


On Tue, 2006-10-24 at 13:09 +0100, Calum Benson wrote:
> On Sun, 2006-10-22 at 13:48 -0700, Sri Ramkrishna wrote:
> > I'm in total agreement here.  I've used the slab menu which is included
> > in Ubuntu.  For those who want to make useful comments about slab as it
> > compares with the other menu setups can "apt-get install
> > gnome-main-menu" on Edgy.  
> > 
> > My personal feeling is that it does seem kind of slow.  I find it hard
> > to find applications when using the application browser.  
> Me too, FWIW... it takes all the issues I've ever had with the MacOS
> control panel (having to scan in three dimensions-- category,
> left-to-right, top-to-bottom, rather than just up/down), and magnifies
> them greatly due to the additional necessity of scrolling, and the much
> larger number of available applications compared to control panels :/
> The intial popup window has a similar (if lesser) effect on me too, I'm
> afraid-- it just kind of splats a whole bunch of visually-competing
> buttons and differently-sized icons in my face, with no
> immediately-obvious structure.
> (Then again, I always hated the XP start menu and the Vista one looks
> even worse to me, so maybe I'm the wrong audience here...)

Just to add my thoughts.

I've been trying to use the main menu for a few days now (since it was
proposed).  At first, it seemed hugely unintuitive.  It took me a good
five minutes to realise that my Places bookmarks could be gotten at
using the "Show" option.  Also, the default favourite applications:
Who's favourite applications?  Certainly not mine.  By default, I got
"Firefox", "OpenOffice Writer", "F-spot", Rhythmbox" and "Home" [1].  Of
those, only the last two have used with any frequency.  Of course, these
options can be changed, but to do so requires opening the "More
Application", finding the one to add and using the context menu [2][3].

One of the cool features of the deskbar applet is showing options as you
type.  With the main menu, using search will open beagle with you're
search terms.  The first time I used the search bar, I searched for
"epiphany", expecting epiphany to start up [4].  Instead, I was
confronted with Beagle giving me 2 applications, 15 folders, 84
documents and a news feed.  IMO, it would be nicer to have deskbar style
"options as you type", so that opening other applications, not in the
favourites, is easier.

The "Hard Drive" status shows me I have "80Gb free".  In fact, this is
across all my partitions.  My home directory has a grand 4Gb free.
Another 40Gb is available to me through a separate partition, but the
remaining 36Gb is unwritable by me (ntfs and root partition).  This
should really only show what's available in you're home directory.  One
more minor point on this: the System monitor when clicked on for the
Hard Drive status goes to the "Processes" page.

Alas, a couple of days of attempting to use the main menu hasn't really
improved my initial thoughts.  I find myself using the old menubar (3
menus) more and more.

Sorry if this comes off as rantish or very negative. It isn't really
meant to.  It's just outlining some of my experiences and pointing out
some things I think would make it better.  Having said that, I think the
3-menu bar suits my working style more.  I honestly can't see myself
using the main-menu if it were included.


[1] I don't know whether this is an Ubuntu thing or how the default
"Favourite Applications" are set.  I don't know how what could be done
about this for initial install, but maybe looking for the users default
[2] From the HIG: "Since the user may not be aware of their presence, do
not provide functions that are only accessible from popup menus unless
you are confident that your target users will know how to use popup
menus.".  I'm guessing the "Favourite Applications" is something that
most users may want to change.
[3] If there is another way, I couldn't find it
[4] Ah ha! Thought I.  A quick way to launch applications without going
through the "More Applications" dialog.

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