[ubuntu-studio-devel] Menu Layout

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Tue May 19 00:37:18 UTC 2015

On Mon, 18 May 2015, Kaj Ailomaa wrote:

> On Sun, May 17, 2015, at 06:02 PM, Len Ovens wrote:
>> Hmm, conversation on menu layout seems to have stopped. However nothing
>> seems to have been done  ;)
>> So, I am restarting it. Currently we have:
>> ----------------8<--------------
>> Audio Production
>>  	extra SW installer
>>  	Mixers (submenu)
>>  	Sound Generators (submenu)
>>  	Effects (submenu)
>>  	Midi Utilities (submenu)
>>  	utilities (inline)
>>  	applications
>> Graphics Design
>> Photography
>> Video Production
>>  	Audio Tools (submenu)
>> Publishing
>> ---------------8<------------------
>> We are probably not going to change the Audio menu by much, but for
>> example:
>> ----------------8<--------------
>> Audio Production
>>          extra SW installer
>>          Mixers (submenu)
>>          Sound Generators (submenu)
>>          Effects (submenu)
>>          Midi Utilities (submenu)
>>  	+ Measurement (submenu)
>>  		+ meters
>>  		+ frequency graphs
>>  	+ Audio Utilities (submenu)
>>  		+ low use utilities
>>          utilities (inline)
>>  		+ high use utilities
>>  		- low use utilities
>>          applications
>> Graphics Design
>> Photography
>> Video Production
>>          Audio Tools (submenu)
>> Publishing
>> ---------------8<------------------
> I think the important thing here is to not add categories in the menu
> that are not either a freedesktop category, or a combination of more
> than one.
> Let's not add stuff to our liking on a whim, but make sure we keep to
> standards as far as possible, so we do not confuse the user with
> categories that are not found in other places.

Ok, so how does that apply here? Are you saying remove all audio submenus? 
Don't add more? The categories in the application desktop files do not 
follow anything worth while. Getting them fixed may be possible for some 
applications, but often they are not technically wrong. It is why we have 
had a custom menu from the beginning. To bring some order to where there 
was none. I would suggest that one of the reasons menus are being 
abandoned in many DEs, is that the standard is broken/not followed and the 
standardized menu is a mess. I have filed the same bug report with 4 or 5 
different DEs where their menu definition does not follow the standard or 
meet with the intent of the standard. One of them agreed and the rest 
decided it was not broken "won't fix". So KDE (which was right from the 
beginning) and xubuntu are correct. lxde, xfce, gnome past and present 
etc. do not allow the user to be able to reorder the look and feel of 
their menu as they should be able to. If you want something done right... 
you have to do it yourself... appears to be where this one sits.

If I am to make any changes. I need specifics, not vague comments with no 
direction. That is why I proposed using a format like above, A diff kind 
of format. The reason for putting it here is that others can see it, tell 
me it is wrong (and where) and what the better way would be.

I am quite good at manipulating menus in a way that works with different 
DEs. Maybe not so good at knowing what the best layout is.

I do know that "use the standard categories" doesn't work. (certainly not 
for the work I do) The use of desktop files is great in that at least a 
new application shows up in the menu somewhere, but there is not much 
order in things beyond general categories and with the "new" android all 
applications shoved into one mess style of DE, there is no effort to fix 
any of it either. Development (code, music or other art) and plain work 
are no longer well supported with most desktop environments, it is all 
about entertainment and that "desktop experience" whatever that is. I have 
a computer so that I can use applications and the DE and it's "experience" 
better not get in the way of me finding and quickly running those 
applications. The experience is good for about ten minutes (if it is 
really really good or even "beautiful") after which if there is no order, 
it just gets in the way.

My goal in Studio, is to help the user spend as little time as possible 
learning how to find things in the DE and as much time doing their work as 
possible while still having a profesional look. Not a beautiful look... 
unless that just so happens to fall in place with efficiency and 
professionalism. Honestly, I would like to see our menu stub work so well, 
that other development distros want to include it by default (or parts of 
it). In the long term, I would like to see it make it's way into the stock 
menus. But I think it has to prove itself first. If developers know that 
most audio distros have a menu that uses more specific categories, it will 
be worthwhile for them to add them. In the mean time, we have to do it the 
hard way.

Sorry for the long rant. But maybe concider it passion for something 

Len Ovens

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