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Not really a need to do a formal study in this case, I have already seen it by interacting with real users. You should try it too sometime
Strangely enough, that's exactly what I have done. And some users I see every day (wife). And their behaviour is nothing like what you describe.
Ok, it's clearly broken but the distros fix it so Gnome don't have to. Fair enough. Mandriva and Ubuntu have their own tool In Suse you always have Yast, and I'd guess the rest have a way too.
Did you try to change subject on purpose ? The APPS are broken, so it is NOT the task of Gnome to be a workaround to broken app. Duty of Gnome is to enforce the standard. Distros fix the broken apps. What disturbs you in that ?
The application menu are a centralized place to launch applications from, clearly it's more user friendly to not let the user install application launchers there. And rather force them to install them in other places, since it gives a more consistent desktop and better usability
The application menu is a centralized place for *automatically make a link to your installed applications*. Gnome has several ways to launch applications, not only the menu. In case you did not notice, most applications in the menu are installed automatically !! Whereas most applications on your task bar are added by the user. So YES it is more user friendly to not let the user install application launchers there, so he can easily make a difference between original launcher and custom ones. So yes, it is more consistent and has better usability.
In that case the GUI is severely broken, as it's should be even simpler than the gedit GUI. Otherwise this statement is simply ridiculous.
What you say is ridiculous ! So you assume that in EVERY CASE, a good GUI is more efficient than editing a config file ? And you have the guts to say sth as stupid as that ? In my world, someone knowledgeable enough will always be faster editing config files by hand than with a GUI, except if these files are complex XML things. Specially in this case, creating the .desktop file or adding entries for your language is clearly faster with gedit (or faster with vi) than with the GUI, and no, it's not broken, lots of thing are faster to do in command line than with a GUI.
There are Gnome ways to create your own menu or icons to do that, but you refuse the Gnome way
Same as above, wohoo great usability. Why don't you remove the menu altogether since the user should not bother with it
Because, like I said before, this is where apps can be automatically added or removed by your installation method.
Besides hiding behind the O'Holy HIG does not make it any more usable, and nowhere in the HIG does it state "thou shall not be able to add or edit entries in thy menu, with a easy to use GUI"
I agree with you. I actually don't know if it's more usable. But I know one can't please everyone. On one side, you hear people complaining that KDE offers too many options which are too complicated, and on the other side, people like you asks for more. I tell you, be it on Windows or Linux (Gnome or KDE), I NEVER saw ANY ordinary user edit its menu. Asking them to do that will give you a blank stare. They are barely able to put their most used apps on the taskbar (and I have ALWAYS saw them do that no matter what OS) to not have to access the menu. And when I say ordinary users, it's actually pretty current with "power users", which have their Windows desktops *littered* with icons, it's completely unusable, but they seem to be fine with it. Given these behaviours I witnessed through years (and still witness now, more sanely in Gnome or KDE), I tell you I think the Gnome approach to menu edit is sufficient for the Gnome desktop. You still have alternatives, you could even use the KDE one if Smeg does not suits you, and I think this situation is perfect. You have simplicity and choice. It won't bother me or any of my user if you add more in Gnome though, as they will never use this anyway (and I won't either).
Yes, you have a nice and easy GUI and the application does all the mucking for you, so you as a users don't have to. Thanks for making my point clearer
What you don't understand is that in this case, you actually do more work than if you had edited the file directly. You still have to enter your language, and all the text for each field. But the GUI is useful for ordinary users, because understanding what to put in the icon field requires more knowledge than an ordinary user should have.