[Usability] Lightening up the XDG menu

Ryan McDougall ryan.mcdougall at telusplanet.net
Sun Mar 28 22:29:57 EEST 2004

On Sat, 2004-03-27 at 20:00 +0100, William Leese wrote:
> Keep into consideration that these menu's are often, from a user point 
> of view, a listing of all (be it graphical) the applications available 
> on their computer. So hiding either gedit or kedit based on which 
> desktop is being used would be more confusing than anything else.

Thats not strictly true, for example, we don't put ifconfig or other
obscure apps in a menu, and there are plenty random GUI apps on my
system which don't show up in the menu. My point is that thinking that a
menu should represent all possible programs is bad for many reasons, not
the least of which is usability. We are trying to provide the user well
crafted desktop with which the user can wield the computer like a tool.
We're not trying to give them a complex wonderland thats fun to explore,
if thats the kind of thing they're into.

> Consider a user who one day decides to take a look at this 'GNOME' 
> thing. Suddenly he has no (apparent) access to the applications he/she 
> once used.

If the user is advanced enough to know the difference between desktops,
they are capable enough to use the desktop switching app (RH has one, I
assume others do too).

Most users don't care in the least what a KDE or GNOME is, or the
difference between kedit or gedit -- all they want to do is write
something. Showing both KDE and GNOME versions of feature overlapping
apps is at best redundant and frustrating. At worst the user is
constantly confused why when they want to write something the UI is so
bloody inconsistent.

>    -- William

My two cents (forgive my ignorance of the XDG standard) : I think we
should specify what gets shown to the screen on a role basis. Perhaps we
can have one .desktop file Called "Editor" that has subfields
InGnome=gedit, InKDE=kedit, Default=emacs, etc. That way each dekstop's
menu could choose whether to show their only own items, only GNOME+KDE's
items, or only default items, etc.


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