Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th May 2007 18:54 UTC
Gnome In the GNOME bugzilla, there is an ongoing discussion about whether or not to include a patch into the default GNOME installation which would enable GNOME to (optionally) have a global application menubar, similar to that of the Mac OS and KDE (in the latter it is optional and off by default). Installation instructions and .deb packages, as well as a 60-page (and counting) discussion of the patch, are available on the UbuntuForums. Read on for a poll on this issue.
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RE[2]: Why?
by subterrific on Thu 17th May 2007 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Why?"
subterrific
Member since:
2005-07-10

I've been a Mac user since 1987 and I used to quote Fitt's law and all the other standard reasons for having a top menubar. Then I actually tried timing my response and others to a request to find and click on a menu item under Mac OS X and Windows. My experiment found that having the menubar at the top of the screen made no measurable difference. My observation was that most of the time isn't spent positioning the mouse (the part Fitt's Law applies to), but recalling which menu to select and finding a menu item. Menus are not as efficient UI elements as buttons in terms of time to action, Fitt's Law proves this, and so you gain nothing by putting menus that change per-application at the top of the screen. My theory is that the top menubar is a hold-over from the original design before the Mac could run more than one application at a time, then it made a lot more sense and Desk Accessories had no menubar probably for this very reason. I don't think Apple revisited the menubar when they were forced to implement the MultiFinder to stay competitive.

GNOME uses mostly static buttons (with the exception of three static menus) in locations positively effected by Fitt's Law. GNOME has correctly applied Fitt's Law and Apple hasn't in this case.

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