[RFC] Fixing the Desktop Menu Specification.

Matthew Paul Thomas mpt at canonical.com
Wed Nov 30 10:24:57 PST 2011

Hash: SHA1

Vincent Untz wrote on 16/11/11 15:27:
> ...
> I'd really like other people to voice their +1 and/or -1... If
> nobody else replies to this thread within the next week, I'll just
> consider we can go crazy and do what we want with the spec.
> ...

Since the spec doesn't seem to have been changed yet ...

As the designer of the categories and subcategories in Ubuntu Software
Center, I think these patches are a step forward.

USC has always displayed "Science & Engineering" as a top-level
category. But we've always had the problem that applications like gns3
(data network simulator), Josm (OpenStreetMap editor), Electric (CAD
system), and so on are also listed in "Education" when they obviously
don't belong. Removing the requirement for Science and Engineering
applications to have a "Main Category" would be a first step towards
fixing that.

Beyond that, I think the next step should be abolishing the
distinction between Main Categories and Secondary Categories
altogether. Firstly because even with those patches applied, many
application developers will -- if they look at the specification at
all -- still get the impression that their application needs a Main
Category. And secondly because how categories are grouped should be up
to the menu implementer and their target audience. No menu system
developer should need to be told that "CardGame" is a subcategory of
"Game". But whether a "TerminalEmulator" belongs under "System", or
"Utilities", or "Administration Tools", or something else, should
depend on the OS.

(The drawback would be that menu implementers would need to keep track
of every category; and that many of the categories would need much
more intelligent definitions than they have now.)

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