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Exactly, Eugenia, I was about to post pretty much the same comment.
I've just been browsing through mailing-list archives and gnome-bugzilla, and I can tell from all the posts that the amount of people wanting *normal* menu-editing, like any other DE or OS has, outnumber the people against it. Actually, I couldn't find *anyone* completely against users adding new menu items; most were indifferent to it (probably because only people like us join in ml/bugzila discussions, people that can do stuff like this manually).
Now, you are right that applications should conform to Freedesktop standards, and properly install a decent menu entry; however, not all apps will do that. Compare it to Windows; in essence, every app there should confirm to the admin/user divide in Windows; yet barely any app does that. So, there must be solution to this problem *inside* the DE that people use.
Other than that; how do you know 'normal' users do not need menu editing in GNOME, when it wasn't available for quite some time now? If I got a eurocent for everytime I heard someone complain about the lack of menu-editing in GNOME...
I called this an ego problem because as far as I can tell, the descision to make menu-editing *not* a priority is a developer-inspired descision; not a descision based on user feedback.