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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Compatibility with the real world
by manjabes on Fri 18th May 2007 09:16 UTC
manjabes
Member since:
2005-08-27

The way I see it, the menu bar tied to the window approach is much more like stuff happens in the real world, therefore more logical. For example, think of a hand drill. All the functions are represented as buttons or dials (the equivalent of a menubar or menus in my example) on the drill itself, not as a separate little box near the other end of the power cord. As computer programs are just tools (means of doing something) for most of the people using computers, the logic of manipulating the way the tool behaves should be connected with the tool itself, not the power outlet the electric drill draws power from.

About this UI cleanliness thing many people seem to focus a lot on: The CLEANEST UI is the blank screen. Nothing to "distract" you, just the perfect thing for meditation. </irony>

The funniest thing I read in this thread was that the menu bar "DISTRACTS" you from doing your tasks with the application. I personally cannot think of a person that fires up a word processor to write a PhD thesis and then gets "distracted" by the menu bar, and, instead of writing the thesis, starts to examine and investigate the menu bar. But maybe such people exist, dunno. But I do feel that to the majority of us who DO understand that the menu bar is there for a reason and is nothing we should feel intimidated by, the efforts to remove the menu bar altogether (like the new Office) seem like doing something just to show that we do SOMETHING.

And finally, my favorite ranting topic: people are not eternally newbies! Just as in real life - the more you drive a car, the more you feel accustomed to it. There is no reason to replace the steering wheel with a joystick-type-thingy just because it would feel "more logical" to a fresh driver, even more so because if you have just learnt to drive a car, your preferences in what concerns the interior and controls of a motor vehicle are likely to develop as you yourself develop as the driver.
My point is that we should not ditch well-established behaviours in favour of some obscure way of doing things just because some of us have driven cars with joysticks. THAT would be intimidating for the vast majority of people that have grown used to the way they do things only to find out that the next update of my favourite word processor ditches that way of doing things.
And for the "cluttered UI" problem, I personally (not to be understood that I think I'm some kind of majority on my own) think that a well-designed way to customize the workspace (like in Opera where I can remove the intimidating "print" button with the appropriate selection from the menu that jumped up when I right-clicked the bastard) may be a solution of sorts.

Then again, as Gnome tends to focus more and more to approaching OS X's behaviour, the more I feel that this DE is not for me, so go ahead, have a blast - make the desktop turn itself 90 degrees so that we have to place our heads horizontally to work - it's more logical in some illogical way. I'm happy with my stagnant non-OSX DE.

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