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Month: June 2012

Proposed menu changes --- testing requested

From: Darrell Anderson <humanreadable@...>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2012 18:40:08 -0700 (PDT)
Corner cases always present challenges. They need to be resolved with as little impact as possible to "mainstream" usage.
When installing a full Trinity package set the Office and Utilities menus are huge. Huge menus are challenging to read and not user-friendly.

Under the current structure, when KDE4 is installed on the same system, those menu items also appear in the TDE menus, as do all non TDE apps. The result is an overwhelming and frustrating menu, especially for laptop users, who have reduced desktop areas.

I have been testing a menu layout that attempts to resolve this clutter and move all KDE4 menu items to a separate "KDE" submenu.

Reducing clutter in the Utilities menu was straightforward: I restored the old "File" and "Peripherals" sub menus.

Reducing clutter in the Office menu was a tad more challenging. On my 1650x1080 desktop, the menu is longer than the vertical height of my screen and requires scrolling to view the full menu. My solutions:

* Moved Kivio and Karbon to the Graphics menu.

* Removed KNotes, as KNotes is already in Utilities->Desktop.

* Removed KAlarm, as KAlarm is already in Utilities->PIM.

* Created an Office->PIM submenu.

In all not a lot considering the benefits.

Proposed TDE Menu Changes for KDE Apps:

With the current menu layout, KDE4 apps appear alongside TDE apps in the Trinity menu. The KDE4 apps are distinguished with a "[KDE4]" appendage in the menu description. Some people don't mind this mixing of menu items and others find this structure confusing or cluttered.

I developed a way to reduce this clutter when TDE and KDE are installed concurrently. All KDE items are placed in their own submenu.

Although I'm content with the changes, I am asking for folks to test. The updated files are available as a tar.gz file at bug report 977. I am using that format rather than a series of patches because the latter means only those who build Trinity packages would be able to test. As a compressed file anybody can help test.

Installing the updated files:

* Unpack and install the directories files to $PREFIX/share/desktop-directories. These files are unique and do not overwrite anything. They are easy to identify because all but one have a "kde-" prefix rather than "tde-" prefix.

* Unpack and install the desktop_files to $PREFIX/share/applications/tde. These files will overwrite any installed files. Please consider creating a backup of the directory of affected files.

* Install the two* files to $SYSCONFDIR/xdg/menus.

Testing: copy (overwrite) the desired* to the same location as

The *.desktop files won't work in 3.5.13 because they presume the latest XDG updates.

These updated files probably could work with KDE3 because the updated menus reference "KDE" rather than "KDE4." Before skipping down that trail remember that trying to run KDE3 apps in Trinity or vice-versa is a library-loading nightmare that will result in crashes and freezes. KDE3 and Trinity may be installed concurrently, but unlike Trinity and KDE4, only one desktop can be used by a user at one time. Multiple users can use either desktop (KDE3 remains useful for comparative testing against Trinity, but most/all of us here want to use Trinity as a primary desktop. :-) ). Therefore populating the Trinity menu with KDE3 apps is somewhat self-defeating.

I have a special menu: This menu excludes all KDE3 or KDE4 apps from the Trinity menu. To help ensure KDE3 and TDE apps don't conflict with another by appearing in the menu, ensure the XDG_CONFIG_DIRS environment variable does not include XDG menu paths from the other desktop.

These updated files do not remove the "[KDE4]" appendage from the KDE4 menu items. To do that requires a patch to tdelibs, which I have but am not making available at the moment. Retaining the "[KDE4]" identifier is an easy way to notice whether the menu items are in the correct location. Further, when using the modified and the KDE4 items are moved to their own menu, the "[KDE4]" identifier helps as a redundant reminder.

When using the modified menu, there will be no changes to the menu when KDE4 is not installed on the system. TDE populates a menu item only when there are items to populate. That is, the menu will look the same despite using the modified menu. The changes become effective only when KDE4 is installed. Such users will still see the other menu changes.

Testing might should not require restarting the TDE session. Waiting several seconds and accessing the menu once or twice will refresh the entire menu.

These menu changes are targeted for R14. :-)

Thank you much for helping!

Note: the changes are not set in stone. Please provide feedback!