[Ubuntu-manual] top bar, menu bar, panel or top panel
jimandmarcy at gmail.com
jimandmarcy at gmail.com
Wed Jul 11 15:25:10 UTC 2012
I believe our path to a resolution lies not in what >we< think is right, or
what a majority of a group thinks is right, but what the end user thinks is
Let me explain.
There are several shades of blue (electric blue, navy blue, indigo
blue...to name a few). But generally, these variations of blue are accepted
as "blue" for (and because of) a variety of reasons. But then we have CYAN.
Is it blue? Well, to a generalist, yes. To ME, yes. But to a lithographer,
or a printer manufacturer, or a photographer, or a user replacing a printer
cartridge, CYAN is a very specific color mix, so to them, and for their
purposes, and in their opinion, CYAN is NOT blue. Printer manufacturers
have labeled this color as CYAN, all the printer cartridge manufacturers
call the color CYAN, therefore, the user searches for a replacement CYAN
(not BLUE) printer cartridge.
We may say the "top bar" represents one thing while the "menu bar"
represents another, and we can debate about the denotation and connotation
of the identifiers, but we've not asked the (arguably) more question
yet "what is generally accepted?" And by answering that question, we will
know what the user will expect, and by knowing what the user expects, we'll
all be speaking the same language. While the "Ubuntu Manual Project" is an
excellent resource filling a specific niche market, it is not a "definitive
guide to using Ubuntu". The UMP is a generalist publication for those
wanting to get into Ubuntu but don't want to wade through a
500-page "official manual". We're more of a 150-page "quick start guide".
This being the case, we should be in the mindset not to determine and
define screen element names, but to support that which has already been
defined for us.
A discussion amongst ourselves is good, and healthy, but if we determine
that a "top bar" is "X" while other manuals, websites, tutorials, etc.
identify it as "Y", are we best serving the overall community by presenting
these contradictions in print?
My recommendation is that we define screen elements the same as the
Official Ubuntu Manual defines them...right or wrong. We may even need to
coordinate with them...or even contact Canonical directly for input in
answering some of these questions. In the interest of serving the user
base, it's best that all we are all 100% right or 100% wrong. Anything less
adds confusion to the user, and, in the end, detracts from the overall
impressiveness of the user supported documentation and--I would argue--the
Ubuntu OS in general.
On , Hannie Dumoleyn <lafeber-dumoleyn2 at zonnet.nl> wrote:
> With more reactions coming in, I think "menu bar" is the favorite now.
> The explanation that this bar holds mainly menu's is a valid one. With
> the term "top bar" one refers to the location of the bar (at the top of
> the screen), while the term "menu bar" says more about the contents of
> the bar.
> @manual team: if we agree on "menu bar", we can start using this term in
> Op 11-07-12 04:46, Jeremy Bicha schreef:
> On 10 July 2012 04:49, Hannie Dumoleyn lafeber-dumoleyn2 at zonnet.nl> wrote:
> As a member of the ubuntu manual team I started a discussion on how we
> should call this "thing" at the top of our screen.
> As a translator of the official Ubuntu documentation (yelp) I noticed that
> the word "panel" had been changed to "menu bar" in the Precise version.
> I would like to discuss this with people from ubuntu-translators and
> ubuntu-docs as well.
> Let me know what you think.
> The official Ubuntu term is "menu bar". Besides the official Ubuntu
> documentation, this can be found in multiple places in System Settings
> such as "Show battery status in the menu bar".
> The GNOME documentation calls the similar space in GNOME Shell "top bar".
> Personally, I like the "menu bar" name as the top of the screen
> includes application menus, application status menus, and system
> status menus. The only part that isn'ta menu is the window management
> buttons (close, minimize, maximize) and the app title.
> Thanks for asking as clear and consistent word choices are important!
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