[lsb-discuss] Standarized Menu System / Hierachy

Heinrich Wendel sysop at heinospage.de
Sat Jun 7 11:30:51 PDT 2003


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Hi :)

There has been a lot of discussion about a standarized Menu System in the last
month and years ([1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]), but it seems that there has not
been done very much work until now. Most WM's use their own formats and 
although KDE and GNOME are following the .desktop[10] standard they
interpret it in a different way and are still incompatible to each other. Also 
the users have to orient themselves new in each new distribution and in each 
new DE, because they all use their own menu hierachy.

To solve all these problems I propose three items:

1.) We need to standarize a menu hierachy, there has been some effort on this
in the .menu[11] specification, but this is still not enough. You may take a
look at mandrake's hierachy[12], the gnome vfolder[13][14] and the debianish
proposals[15].

2.) The .desktop standard has to change in a way that both kde and gnome, and
all WM's that want to support this standard, can use exactly the same base
(the !same! .desktop files) for creating their menus. In order to reach this
also the .menu[16] proposal has to get standarized.

3.) While the first two items may take some time to change, we have the
situation that every distribution is using its own tools to create the menus
for the WM's and DE's (Debian has it's own format[17], Mandrake uses a 
modified version of this format and Suse and RedHat have tools more or
less based on the .desktop standard). Furthermore I think many WM's won't 
switch to the .desktop standard ever. Looking at this I would propose to code 
one common tool for this, which can be used by every distribution and is 
based on the .desktop and .menu standard.

mfg, Heinrich Wendel :)

[1] http://www.linuxbase.org/futures/candidates/menu/
[2] http://lists.debian.org/lsb-spec/2000/lsb-spec-200005/msg00055.html
[3] http://freestandards.org/pipermail/lsb-spec/2001-November/001797.html
[4]http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2002/debian-devel-200201/msg01999.html
[5] https://listman.redhat.com/archives/xdg-list/2001-April/msg00000.html
[6] http://freestandards.org/pipermail/lsb-futures/2002-July/000553.html
[7]http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2003/debian-devel-200304/msg00800.html
[8]http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2002/debian-devel-200207/msg01669.html
[9] http://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=18638
[10]http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/desktop-entry-spec/desktop-entry-spec.html
[11]http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/menu/draft/menu-spec/menu-spec.html#CATEGORY-REGISTRY
[12] http://www.linux-mandrake.com/en/howtos/mdk-rpm/mdk-menu-structure.html
[13] http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/VFolderDesktops.txt
[14] https://listman.redhat.com/pipermail/xdg-list/2002-July/000569.html
[15] http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/menu-policy/ch2.html#s2.1
[16] http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/menu/draft/menu-spec/menu-spec.html
[17] http://www.debian.org/doc/packaging-manuals/menu.html
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