Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 28th Jul 2007 21:05 UTC
OpenStep, GNUstep "The Etoile project is pleased to announce the release of version 0.2 of the Etoile User Environment for UNIX-like systems. The Etoile project aims to produce a user environment for desktop and small form-factor devices, with tight integration between components. The 0.2 release is primarily targeted at developers interested in a GNUstep-based environment. This release includes improvements to the Camaelon theme engine, providing a clean and modern appearance to GNUstep-based applications. This is combined with the Etoile Menu Server, providing a horizontal menu bar similar to that found in Mac OS, and making this the first Etoile release with enough features in place to be usable on a daily basis." There are screenshots too.
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Hmm
by steviant on Sun 29th Jul 2007 06:48 UTC
steviant
Member since:
2006-01-11

It's a good time to be a fan of unified menu bars...

Recently some enterprising Gnome hackers discovered a way to get Gnome (or maybe any Gtk+) apps to use a unified menu bar.

KDE has offered a unified menu bar for years, and shows no signs of wanting to rid themselves of the feature.

Apparently the Etoile project brings unified menu bars to GNUstep.

But sadly I don't believe any one is compatible with any other, in look-and-feel or features.

Could we please see a little standardization, lest we end up with unified menu aficionados having to put up with applications from three desktop environments fighting for the same piece of real estate, and with each wanting to display their own filler menu when they think no tasks are active... yuck.

Please don't let this be a repeat of the "system tray" woes of a few years back.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Hmm
by unoengborg on Sun 29th Jul 2007 15:11 in reply to "Hmm"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, a standard for unified menus is very much needed.
My hope is that such a thing gets implemented as a separate application, i.e. a menu manager, that communicated with all apps over a well specified open protocol.

That way it woold be less problems with the not invented here syndrome as a network protocol would be independent of things like toolkits and programming languages.

We would also get yet another way to style our desktops, just like we can do with window managers today. It could also be a good way to ease development of better accecability for handicapped people.

Anyway, its nice to hear that more and more free desktop environmnents think about providing unified menu. The idea behind the unified menu a la MacOS is the the screen edge presents an infinitly large target.
And large targets are esier to hit. This is one of the most tested priciples in usability (Fits law), and it is very strange that it hasn't been more used.

It is also nice to see that they have placed the doc to the side of the screen instead of at the bottom as more and more computers have widescreen displays.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Hmm
by bogomipz on Mon 30th Jul 2007 08:39 in reply to "Hmm"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

The more I think about it, the more I see that you are so right.

The standard would have to be pretty extensive, though. It must include a standard for "menulets" as Étoilé calls them, and it must not take away features found in existing systems. Menus have to be tear off-capable, and there might need to be an option for whether teared off menus are shown only for the focused application.

Reply Parent Score: 1