Lightening up the XDG menu

Frans Englich frans.englich at
Sat Mar 27 20:13:08 EET 2004

Hello everyone,

We all know how important the XDG menu specification is for integration 
between the various desktop environments. But, unfortunately it creates a 
usability problem when for example both GNOME and KDE is installed on one 
computer - the menu becomes overcrowded. For example, in KDE's KMenu there's 
a lot of applications which are either irrelevant or duplicates 

Usability wise I do not think this should be under estimated. Several 
usability reports and articles mentions the problem in KDE although the 
causes is so many more than only this. The sheer size is a problem as well as 
it is confusing since many entries are identical or irrelevant.

The problem in the bigger picture is that the specification is not very 
attractive to implement as well as installing multiple desktop environments 
since it brings these usability issues. Thus hindering the the purpose of the 
specification - integration.

The solution I proposes is rather simple - with the help of the NotShowIn 
desktop directive programs are made available only where they are useful.
This is of course a sensitive issue, and that is why I have left out various 
types of applications which would lead to too much discussion. 

Sound Server Control
Audio Filter Designer
aRts Builder
Menu Editor
Menu Updating Tool
Configure Panel
Desktop Settings Wizard(kpersonalizer)
Wallet management Tool
Screen Resize & Rotate
Printing Manager
System Log
Print Jobs
Desktop Sharing
Info Center

Bug report tools
Volume Control
Recording Level Monitor
Sound Recorder
GDM Configurator
New Login
New Login in Nested Window
Configuration Tool

Similar, but listed so their counterparts are more clear.

Text Editor(gedit)		KEdit/KWrite
Eye of Gnome ImageView	KView
gThumb Image Viewer		KView/Konqueror
Terminal				Konsole
GGV Phostscript viewer	kpdf/kghostview
CD Player				kscd
GNOME Control Center	Control Center(kcontrol)
Floppy formatter		Floppy Formatter(kfloppy)
Calculator				KCalc
File Roller				Ark
Hex Edit				khexedit
System Monitor			KSysGuard, kdiskfree
Dictionary				kdict
Character Map			Character Selector

One could of course object to all these, for example claiming that KEdit 
should also be  available in GNOME etc. and vice versa. Then one should 
perhaps consider what the implications are in the broader perspective and 
also ask if it is not ok if the desktop environments profile themselves by 
making these applications unique for themselves, thus choosing a desktop 
environment means choosing a set of applications(which it in practice already 
We should also not forget that some of these applications are surprisingly 
similar, and that some does not even work when not run in their native 
desktop environment.

To the contrary I most likely have gone to far, or missed crucial 
applications, aspects or even major flaws in the idea itself. And that is why 
comments, suggestions and discussion over this idea is highly appreciated.

Frans Englich
KDE developer

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