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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non sense
by rx182 on Thu 17th May 2007 19:17 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

i literally hate the top menubar concept. it's counter-intuitive. something that belongs to an application must be part of the application window.

and anyway, it "cant" work on X because it would require all toolkits to support it. it would be a major usability problem to have have applications supporting it and applications not supporting it at the same time.

2 words: bad idea. and like the first guy said, people are requesting it because osx has it. show me usability studies first...

Reply Score: 5

RE: non sense
by rayiner on Thu 17th May 2007 19:25 in reply to "non sense"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The usability studies for this particular concept were done decades ago. The Wikipedia article I referenced shows that Fitt's Law has been shown to have a correlation of 95% in hundreds of studies conducted since the mid 1950s when the law was introduced. The menubar application is one of the fairly rare instances in psychology when the result falls very neatly out of a very simple and well-supported equation.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: non sense
by Blikkie on Thu 17th May 2007 19:27 in reply to "non sense"
Blikkie Member since:
2005-08-16

2 words: bad idea. and like the first guy said, people are requesting it because osx has it. show me usability studies first...

I can come up right now with Fitt's law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitts_law . While it may not be a usability study per se, I agree with the conclusion that a menubar on the top of the screen is easier to reach than a menubar in a window. The only thing I have to do to reach the menubar is kick the mouse to the top of the screen. That requires less coordination than reaching a menu item in the middle of the screen.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: non sense
by hobgoblin on Thu 17th May 2007 23:14 in reply to "RE: non sense"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

but you still have to find the part of the menu that you want...

look before you jump, grasshopper ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: non sense
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 17th May 2007 19:33 in reply to "non sense"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

and anyway, it "cant" work on X because it would require all toolkits to support it. it would be a major usability problem to have have applications supporting it and applications not supporting it at the same time.

KDE manages fairly fine with it. GNOME+this patch as well, especially taking into account this patch is done and maintained by one single guy.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: non sense
by Mark Williamson on Thu 17th May 2007 20:52 in reply to "RE: non sense"
Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

KDE manages fairly fine with it. GNOME+this patch as well, especially taking into account this patch is done and maintained by one single guy.


True, but even in KDE it only works for other KDE (do plain QT apps work?) apps. Having GNOME and KDE interoperate in single menu bar mode would be good, but the other random toolkits will still not support it, making the UI more inconsistent across toolkits than it already is. :-(

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: non sense
by hornett on Thu 17th May 2007 21:00 in reply to "RE: non sense"
hornett Member since:
2005-09-19

Yes, it works very nicely indeed with both KDE and Gnome applications.

http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/6160/gnomeob8.png

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/1056/kdeoi6.png

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: non sense
by Wemgadge on Sat 19th May 2007 14:42 in reply to "RE: non sense"
Wemgadge Member since:
2005-07-02

I love the KDE Global App Menubar and use it. If I were able to use my GTK apps with the menu at the top of the screen, I would certainly use more Gnome/Gtk apps. In fact, for awhile now, the ONLY reason I haven't been using Gnome is because of the lack of a Global Application Menubar. I always felt that it was odd that they didn't have one, since the Gnome team seems to pride itself on being the more "Mac-like" of the linux DE's.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: non sense
by Coxy on Thu 17th May 2007 19:47 in reply to "non sense"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

I agree, having had to use macs at uni, I think the one menu bar approach sucks. If I have several windows open and I want a particular option, I can go straight to it because I can see it even though the window is not the active one. With macos you must first select the app and then wait for the menu and then select the option.

Maybe if you running everything full screen it could be automatically enabled, otherwise it is automatically disabled.

A better approach would be RISC OS's pop up menu, no window ever had menus, you could reach what you need without moving the mouse: just pressing a button.

Edited 2007-05-17 19:53

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: non sense
by spanglywires on Fri 18th May 2007 08:00 in reply to "RE: non sense"
spanglywires Member since:
2006-10-23

A better approach would be RISC OS's pop up menu, no window ever had menus, you could reach what you need without moving the mouse: just pressing a button.


God no, RISC OS was a usability nightmare... well I could never use it although they always claimed children could!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: non sense
by unoengborg on Thu 17th May 2007 23:22 in reply to "non sense"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

This should be done in a way that you can mix and match Gnome and KDE applications. That way there will be enough applications to chose from not to create usabilty problems.

There will allways be some application that doesn't conform to HIG standards but over time users either find other solutions that do, or learn to live with it.
If both Gnome and KDE worked this way there would be a large pressure for other toolkits to follow.

However, I think just making KDE and Gnome apps using a MacOS like menu by adding some patch to Gnome is not the way to do it. Instead I would like to see a standardized protocol for a menu manager. We allready have window managers, desktop managers and session managers in X11, why can't we have a menu manager.

One such menu manager implementation could implement the MacOS like top of the screen menu behavior. Menu managers like this could also make it easier for people
to create accessability and scripting solutions.

This is something that should be added to X11, and not specifically to Gnome.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: non sense
by abraxas on Sat 19th May 2007 14:17 in reply to "RE: non sense"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

This is something that should be added to X11, and not specifically to Gnome.

God lets hope not. X should have nothing to do with menu behavior. It is not the domain of X11.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: non sense
by twenex on Fri 18th May 2007 08:39 in reply to "non sense"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

[i]it's counter-intuitive. something that belongs to an application must be part of the application window. [i]

"It's [counter-]intuitive" is just a fancy way of winning an argument by making a supposedly irrefutable point that "I'm [not] used to it" = "that's [not] the way it should be done".

I learnt GUI's on the Amiga, which had a menu bar at the top of the screen accessed by pressing a menu button. So coming to Windows/Linux was weird, because menus are (usually) at the top of the window. Not only is that "counter-intuitive" afaiac, but it also wastes space.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: non sense
by someone on Fri 18th May 2007 16:52 in reply to "non sense"
someone Member since:
2006-01-12

it's counter-intuitive. something that belongs to an application must be part of the application window.

No, it's not counter-intuitive, it's just that you are not used to it.

Reply Parent Score: 2