[Ubuntu-manual] top bar, menu bar, panel or top panel

Tony Pursell ajp at princeswalk.fsnet.co.uk
Tue Jul 10 17:29:21 UTC 2012

The "official" name for it when Unity was developed was "the panel" and I
don't think that has changed.  Perhaps we should consult the Unity
developers before we change it to "top bar".

On 10 July 2012 16:01, Hannie Dumoleyn <lafeber-dumoleyn2 at zonnet.nl> wrote:

>  Hi,
> I am glad with the reactions so far. Personally, I prefer the word "Top
> bar" because it contains both the menu and the so called notification area.
> Should people from ubuntu-docs agree that this is better than "menu bar",
> we could make "Top bar" the standard term.
> The most important thing is what the majority of ubuntu users prefer to
> see, although I realize it is hard to find out.
> Regards,
> Hannie
> P.s.: since I started this discussion on several mailing lists, I would
> appreciate it if people send their reactions to all.
> Op 10-07-12 14:26, Paddy Landau schreef:
> … I've had to refer to it as the 'top bar'…
> Thank you, Barry; obvious in hindsight!
> "Top bar" is an excellent term, because it says exactly what it appears to
> be: a bar at the top of the screen. It matches our real-world experience
> through an appropriate metaphor. (All computer terms are metaphors.)
> I realise that the new yelp standard seems to be "menu bar".
> However, as the top bar contains the application title, the menu
> (sometimes), various pieces of information, and application icons such as
> Skype, Wine, Settings and Libre Office Quickstarter, I think that "menu
> bar" is insufficient and even misleading — as, in hindsight, is "panel".
> (A panel in real life is usually not thin, so it is clearly a
> counter-descriptive word to use.)
> The question becomes, then:
> Do we use the yelp standard, or do we use a new standard that makes it
> immediately obvious what we mean?
> My initial thoughts are that we use the yelp standard for consistency, and
> when introducing the term, we explain that we mean the "top bar with the
> menu and other information", as well as putting it into the glossary.
> Unfortunately, that is also potentially misleading because several
> programs, including Libre Office, do not put their menu in the "menu bar".
> So, my preferred solution would be to use something immediately obvious to
> the reader and to suggest to the yelp writers to adopt that standard. If we
> use "top bar", we could also say, "The Launcher can be found on the left
> bar."
> Paddy
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