Menus revisited

George Farris farrisg at
Wed Jan 11 18:59:00 GMT 2006

GNOME has been criticized for removing too many options so please ensure
if you do remove options from the menu that there is a way for new users
to get to these options and no, gconftool doesn't qualify.  Users
require dialogs that explain whats being modified.


On Wed, 2006-11-01 at 18:05 +0000, Matthew Garrett wrote:
> Note: This is not a thread about sensible defaults, or what the defaults 
> should be. It's not about what settings you prefer. It's not a "Ubuntu 
> is killing children by removing features" discussion. If you want to 
> discuss any of these things, please do so elsewhere. If you do so here 
> /anyway/, I'll be very upset at you.
> Anyway.
> 1) The "Window behaviour" preference application has vanished from the 
> menus by default. Most users probably don't care, but the users that 
> /do/ care are the ones that write nice things about us online and write 
> nice applications for us to use. Yes, they can run it from "run 
> applications" or whatever, but it's an important group of people for us. 
> We can't afford to be obviously worse than Fedora or Novell in that 
> market, or we lose.
> 2) The "Session" preference application is in the menu, despite the fact 
> that the only things it's good for are (a) saving a session, (b) 
> removing broken things from a session or (c) starting non-session aware 
> applications at login time.
> (a) is an issue because we removed the tickbox from the logout dialog. 
> It's also the strongest argument in favour of keeping the preferences. 
> I'd argue that this suggests we should put the tickbox back and get rid 
> of the preferences.
> (b) can be done from the commandline, and it's a corner case. "We need 
> this menu item to deal with other people's bugs" isn't a good argument.
> (c) is a reasonable argument, except the session preferences make it 
> awkward and nasty to do anyway. The Windows startup folder thing is much 
> easier here, and I'd suggest that we implement something like that 
> instead.
> 3) Preferred applications should only be there if the user has actually 
> got more than one choice. By default, I don't think they have.
> 4) "Menus and toolbars? Come on.
> 5) Why is "Desktop background" not part of "Themes"?
> 6) Why is most of "Removable drives and media" not part of "Preferred 
> applications"?
> ("Automatically run a program when a USB mouse is connected"? Come on. 
> This isn't stuff that should be user configurable, it should just work. 
> It certainly shouldn't be under "Removable drives and media". Almost all 
> of this preferences dialog contains impenetrable jargon for most users, 
> and I think there's a much stronger argument for making this go away)
> 7) "Fonts" should arguably be part of "Theme" as well (which should 
> really be a global "Appearance" thing)
> These may not all be achievable for Dapper, but can we at least have the 
> window preferences back? Please?
> (If you're going to reply to this and say "Yes, please give the window 
> preferences back", then please take it as read)
> -- 
> Matthew Garrett | mjg59 at

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