Re: Global menubar (was Re: #4 on ToDo list: make the top panel prettier)

From: Thorsten Wilms <t_w_ freenet de>
To: gnome-shell-list gnome org
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 12:59:17 PM
Subject: Re: Global menubar (was Re: #4 on ToDo list: make the top panel prettier)

On Mon, 2009-01-26 at 20:03 -0800, Brian Fleeger wrote:

>> Solution:
>> I recommend using a text-based Global Menu system for the near future.
>> It will be more user friendly on the smaller computer screens that are
>> becoming more prevalent, and will also give more room for content.  A
>> text based Global Menu system is also cost-efficient, as a relatively
>> small number of man-hours could port the existing menu system from the
>> in-window model used today up to the top panel.  Program behavior need
>> not copy Apple’s OSX, and plug-ins and patches such as “window-picker”
>> could be used to obviate the need of a “dock”.
>You seem to assume click-to-focus.
>How would you deal with focus-follows mouse?
>--Thorsten Wilms
You are correct in that I was assuming most users would be using click-to-focus.  However, even with focus-follows mouse, where the focus automatically shifts to whichever window over which the mouse moves, the menu could still keep up with the changing active windows.  In that sense, it would be just like click-to-focus behavior.
In the case of the unique behavior of focus-follows mouse where the mouse is on the desktop and no window is active, I suppose there should be either some default "desktop" menu, or no menu present along the top panel.  At least these are the solutions that I see.
A critical aspect a global menu, regardless whether using either click-to-focus, focus-follows-mouse, is that the active window be immediately obvious to the user -- otherwise which window's menu is in-panel will be confusing.  That's a matter of graphics design, but hugely relevent here.
Precise behavior for all of these unique scenarios is really important.  Not all my answers to these questions are the best, and I welcome critiques or suggestions.

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