Unneeded items in System > Preferences

Andrew rugby471 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 20 07:05:56 BST 2010

(This was originally posted as a bug here
[https://bugs.launchpad.net/hundredpapercuts/+bug/663119] but I was
advised to discuss it here).

It seems strange that in the same cycle that we have had 'Software
Sources' removed from the System > Preferences menu, that we have had
around 4 new unneeded menu items added.

These include:
* Broadcast Preferences
* File Management
* Main Menu
* Messaging and VoIP Accounts
* Ubuntu One

First of all none of these should be in this menu, because the menu is
for 'System Preferences'. When I see this I think of hardware or
services that are at a low-level in the system, that are integral two
it, not user-space applications that are not linked to the basic running
of the system.

Broadcast Preferences (Gwibber Preferences) has no link to the system,
it is merely a shortcut to the gwibber preferences. I believe this
should not be here, as it is a duplication of the menu item Edit >
Preferences in gwibber itself. It should be removed for the same reason
of 'Software Sources' but also because a user will not logically look
here for Gwibber's Preferences - they will open gwibber instead.

File Management, this is probably the one of the list above that has
most reason to be in the menu, however I still believe that it should
not be included. Nautilus is a user-space application and if a user
wants to modify its preferences, he/she will open Nautilus and choose
Edit > Preferences. This again comes back to the point that it is simply
duplicating menu items and making the Preferences menu more flooded than
it already is.

Main Menu is not an integral part of the system and so has no place in
being here. This one seems to be even more unneeded by me, as the user
has just opened the menu to get at it - they only need to right click
instead of left click and they will have the 'Edit Menus...' menuitem.
Again, not where a user will look and duplication of menuitems.

Messaging and VoIP Accounts is the same problem as Broadcast
Preferences. Not an integral part of the system and I don't really know
why it is here.

Ubuntu One this has a valid case for there being a menuitem, however it
should be in Apllications > Internet. this is a userspace application,
not integral and it is much more logical for a person to look in
Internet rather than System Preferences for Ubuntu One.

If we hid all of these, it would make the preferences menu a lot easier
to navigate, and a menu that contained concise items that were suited to
their parent menu. (A screenshot of this change can be seen here

Of course I may be completely wrong and there are legitimate reasons why
these are here. Any comments?


Other packages that do this, but aren't in the default install, are:
* AWN Settings
* VNC Settings
* Desktop Webmail
* driconf
* OpenJDK Settings


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