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[3]: Why?
by sbergman27 on Thu 17th May 2007 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why?"
Member since:

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

Your empirical approach is refreshing. :-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Why?
by rayiner on Thu 17th May 2007 22:39 in reply to "RE[3]: Why?"
rayiner Member since:

Uh, the word your looking for is "anecdotal".

Anecdote is what you use when you don't have a good empirical rule. Empirical rules are, in turn, what you use when you don't have a good theory.

Since we have a good empirical rule in this case, excuse me if I'm not readily willing to abandon it in favor of anecdote...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Why?
by subterrific on Fri 18th May 2007 00:16 in reply to "RE[4]: Why?"
subterrific Member since:

It sounds like you missed my point. I am not disputing that putting the menubar at the top of the screen makes it a faster target to acquire than a window menubar. This is, as you said, a well studied and an established rule.

I am arguing that when you take it a step further and ask a user to perform a full action, which requires them to recall the location of a menu item or search for it, that the time saved by having the menubar at the top becomes so small it is meaningless. At the time I was interested in this, I couldn't find any studies of the top menubar that went beyond target acquisition and focused on the user's time to perform tasks in actual applications, which is why I did it myself and was surprised by the results.

Not to completely derail the thread, but why not offer circular menus? How about a patch to bisect the display of contextual menus at the mouse cursor so menu items are closer to the cursor?

(credit to Victor Zambrano for this idea)

These features can be enabled by default and potentially help more users so they arguably make more sense than an off-by-default top menubar.

Reply Parent Score: 1