isn't it done already?

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at
Mon Dec 19 19:39:54 GMT 2005

On 12/19/05, Michael Shigorin <mike at> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 19, 2005 at 08:53:59AM -0500, Eric Dunbar wrote:
> > There is one place where I do see a *real* advantage to
> > menu-in-window and that's on those ginormous screens (1600*1200
> > & up). There you can safely have menu-in-window without
> > sacrificing screen real-estate.
> Hey are you working with 640x480?  1600x1200 is just fine
> a resolution, delivering perfectly good ~100 dpi at 21" CRT;
> and there are decent 1400x1050+ 15+" TFTs in numbers these days.

My eyes are better than 20/20 (16/20 vision), and, I still prefer to
work at 1024*768 on 17" (and, correspondingly higher resolutions on
larger monitors). I rarely see people working at those high
resolutions on non-LCDs (on LCDs you're basically forced to work at
the LCD's best resolution). I regularly switch to something higher,
but, it's nice to have full-sized letters and not stick your face up
against the monitor..

> Advocating for single-app workarounds of Mac II days is a lost
> cause when former high-end workstation grade display hardware is
> somewhat more realistic at home.  As much as I like MacOS
> Classic, just can't agree on that.

Huh? Single-app workarounds from Mac II days? Not at all following you here.

I was just using the Mac II as an example for something or other
(right, how things haven't really changed in 22 years... well, ok 18
years for the Mac II... the first real colour computer of note in the
Mac-IBM PC world (there was a board for the Mac Plus that output 8
colours (3 bit... the black-and-white Macs were theoretically 3 bit
colour capable) and Amigas were, of course, waaaaay ahead of everyone
else in the colour realm)).

I'm wishing I knew more about Amiga OS. They were the true pioneers of
multiple applications and "true" multitasking (with shared access to
CPU cycles) but, they unfortunately died a horrible death (the
interface didn't seem particularly inspired, even if the underlying
consumer-grade technology was ahead of its time).

> > I am NOT advocating that GNOME abandon menu bar-in-window (and,
> > judging by your past post, I know Tollef that you don't see the world
> > in black-and-white... can't say the same for all Linux adherents :-(.
> > I merely see room for a competing menu bar-in-screen paradigm.
> I do remember that in either KDE2 or the GNOME a few years ago.
> The mode was switched to by some quite reasonably named switch
> in some kind of control center.  Aren't you slamming an open
> door, accidentally? :)

KDE sort-of does this but it doesn't work particularly well (it's not
been refined... there's a lot of dead space, and support is
application specific).

If Mac OS X weren't so damned good I'd actually devote more energy to
KDE ;-P, but, for the moment I'm better off doing most of my work in
Mac OS X and delving into Linux when I want to "safely" play with new
softwares... there's some pretty cool stats and educational tools
coming through the pipe in Linux (which won't jeapordize the integrity
of my "main" work space... I guess I could easily install those apps
or compile them for OS X but I'd rather keep OS X "clean" and devoted
exclusively to work).

Anyway, it would be neat if the menu bar-at-top-of-screen paradigm
could be incorporated in Linux (and, I'm getting tired of the expert
DOING THINGS (menu-in-window)). I think it would provide an impetus
for some Mac users to jump ship. Mac OS X is of course much less of a
security threat than Windows so Mac users don't have that impetus, but
there are also a lot of Mac users who don't like the Windows GUI. When
you boot up Linux it behaves like a Windows GUI clone (which is not
always a bad thing, but, MS did unfortunately adopt a number of
less-than-inspired ideas when it came to their GUI... probably because
of the lawsuit they were fighting with Apple they made some design
decisions to avoid litigation which weren't particularly good when
examined from a user's POV).


More information about the sounder mailing list