Re: The relationship between Desktop and Panel

> "Clumsy-ass hack".  Are you sure you aren't attacking a structure because of
> who makes it and not what it is?  The start menu is *made* bad because of
> what goes in it--sorts by company names instead of app title or
> category(thank marketing), the existance of the Programs menu, and--this is
> the key--an unnecessarily obtuse method of fixing the contents.

If my own father made it, i'd call it a clumsy-ass hack, because it is. :)
Its a poorly derived, poorly thought-out method of supplying the user with
quick access to documents/programs. Its logically inconsistant, sloppy,
naturally prone to disorganization, and becomes less and less useful as
the more things are added to it. You call this a good thing? :)

The "Start" button was Microsoft's cheap, flea-market knock off answer to
the Mac OS "Apple Menu". I dont even use Mac OS, and it was that obvious
to us, back in Aug 95 when Win95 debuted. Microsoft has had a history of
doing this sort of thing -- Building stuff into their interfaces to mimic
their competition, but altering it slightly enough to avoid criticism --
irregardless of whether or not these alterations make sense. The Start
button is perfect example of this, as well as the Tray. Mimicry for the
sake of comfort, not for the sake of being a working benefit to the user.

This isnt Microsoft bashing. Its a reporting of the facts. Any company
which claims crap like that is "innovation" is either lying, or trying to
sell you something. From Microsoft, we can expect both. Im certainly no
fan of Microsoft, as you can see, but I can separate holy-war ranting from
the demonstration of fact. :)  Its a fact Microsoft rips off ideas from
other platforms, then juggles the idea just-so-slightly to avoid the legal
hassles. If you dont believe me, I can site you examples of this that go
back as far as 1986.

> What's interesting about all the above is that they refer to filler bugs,
> not concept bugs.  The GNOME interface can be made absolutely awful in much
> the same way that the Start menu can; it's just that it won't screw up like
> that by default.

The style guide will likely suggest a "default" look and feel which can be
subsequently modified by the user.

> Yes, I'm going to keep on repeating why the Start menu isn't crap until
> somebody replies or people stop inaccurately bashing Microsoft.  Like I said
> before--bash their business practices.  They really don't have much defense
> there.
> > [Start menu sucked because of how it made you hunt through tons of menus]
> This isn't a bug of the start menu.  It's a bug with the default
> implementation.  There's a big difference.

Applications which install themselves into the Start Menu tree are
naturally prone to becoming disorganized, because every app writer has
their own idea about how their application should be displayed on your
machine. Some want it listed directly after Programs-> .. Some want it
listed under Programs-->Company Name-->Author Name-->Program. This is
horribly inconsistant, not to mention unavoidable. Only with great effort
can a user re-arrange the contents of the Start Menu to make sense. And
even then, its like changing the water on a fishtank. You keep having to
do it, and you know you have to, but you never really WANT to do it. :)

> Bowie--can you provide a little bit more information on the AmigaTOOLS menu
> system?  It appears its strength was in that it was very logical how to
> add/subtract menu items...but lets not forget, the entire Start Menu that
> you rail against is just a heirarchy of folders.  So what does AmigaTOOLS do
> better?  Not a hostile or sarcastic question.

Pardon me if >I< have sounded hostile or sarcastic. :) I just try to get
to the point as quick as possible, without sugarcoating. Im not
disappointed or unhappy with anyones suggestions here, thankfully. :)

About the AmigaDOS "Tools" menu.

In AmigaDOS 2.04 (released 1990 (?)..) had a curious little menu in the
screen titlebar (errr--The Amiga's desktop workspace was called Workbench.
It had a titlebar at the top, which would give menu options if you clicked
the right mousebutton) called Tools. It had one simple menu item in it,
called "ResetWB", which basically just performed a simple screen redraw.

Well, anyways, Commodore released the ROM Kernel Manuals for 2.04, and
with it, specifications about the Tools menu. Programmers began writing
"Tool Managers".. I can remember at least three. TM, ToolsDaemon, and
ToolMagic. All they were, were little programs where you could "manage"
menu items which appeared in the Tools menu. You could add your own,
come back later and remove a few, etc.

Here's an example list of items from my old Tools menu, if I can remember
it correctly. :)

| Edit System Journal             |
| View System Log                 |
| =============================== |
| Launch New Shell Window         |
| Launch MOD Player               |
| Launch Disk Copier              |
| Launch Hex Editor               |
| Launch File Manager             |
| Launch Terminus (Comm program)  |
| Check for E-Mail                |
| Check HD for errors             |
| Start Screenblanker             |
| =============================== |
| Start AmiTCP/IP                 |
| Stop AmiTCP/IP                  |
| =============================== |
| Shutdown & Reboot               |
| Immediate Reboot                |

Each one of these menu entires either called just one specific program, or
called a simple AmigaDOS script file which called several programs. For
example, if I selected "Check HD for errors" , it would call a scriptfile
called "checkdisk.script" ..All the script would do, would be to call the
AmigaDOS program "diskcheck dh0: dh1: dh2: >>logfile.txt" ..It would check
my disks, and then dump any output into the system logfile, which is ALSO
readable via the Tools menu. :) Kinda neet, eh? :)

Anyways, thats all the Tools menu was. Just a way for users to add their
own Menu Items, which were then linked to programs, or scripts. Its that


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