Re: Menu Bar Style Guide

Marko Macek wrote:
> I'd like to make two suggestions about menu bars:
> 1) All options should be single word unless absolutely necessary.

Hmm, I don't think this is a good suggestion, not
because it wouldn't be a good idea in many cases
but because I don't see how this would actually
increase the quality of the GUI in general.
In some cases it's nice to have short items, in
other cases another words makes things more clear or
just sounds more natural.

To sum this up, you make an important point here,
but it's a good point as part of a more elaborated
guide to how to label menu items, not as it stands.

Also, I would suggest to be careful w/ phrases like:
- wherever possible
- unless absolutely necessary

I think a "style guide" should not be thought of
as being a law to which you obey/don't obey
("fully style-guide compliant") but as a booklet
which guides you to write good GUIs for your software
by employing concepts such as intuitiveness, ease
of use, etc.

In such as _guide_ you may write things like
"avoid blue menu items"w/o adding "where possible"
since it's a hint on how to write a good GUI.
IMO we should think of this as "rules of thumb"
which naturally may have exceptions (sometimes not).

> 2) Help menu should not be right aligned. Currently this is very
> iconsistent between current apps. Most use left aligned, but several do
> not.

> the position of the help menu is just
> inconvenient/distant from other menu items.

I agree to your reasoning.  However, try to look at it
the other way around:  For users who don't care for
the help menu, putting it to the right will get
it out of the way while keeping it available in case
some help is needed occasionally :O)

So my order of preference:
- make it configurable, default to right-most item
  attached to the other menus w/ a gnome setting to
  allow "old-style" right aligned help
- always use the attached variety as you suggest

> 3) Help|About should be the last item in the Help menu and it should
> have
> a separator above it. If there are multiple About XXX items, there
> should
> be a separator above all of them only. (If there are several standard
> About items we should specify the recommended order for them).

Good suggestion, IMO.  How about going for this naming
Help -> About [appname]...
where appname is recommended but optional ?

Best regards,

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