Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Feb 2009 23:15 UTC
Gnome A very, very long time ago I personally advocated the inclusion of a certain feature into GNOME. We set up a poll at OSNews, which resulted in a very, very resounding "yes!" from the OSNews community - many of which are GNOME users. The feature in question was the global application menubar, which allowed the GNOME desktop to have a menu bar atop the screen similar to that of Mac OS X. The poll is long gone, the debate thread in the Bugzilla has died out, and no decision has yet been made. I wanted to know where this feature stands, and how much the developers have improved it, and I was in for a surprise.
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The sound of laughter
by sbergman27 on Sat 14th Feb 2009 00:07 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

We set up a poll at OSNews, which resulted in a very, very resounding "yes!"

The rest of us were laughing too hard to vote. This idea is as lame today as it was then.

Reply Score: 22

RE: The sound of laughter
by WereCatf on Sat 14th Feb 2009 12:45 in reply to "The sound of laughter"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The rest of us were laughing too hard to vote. This idea is as lame today as it was then.

Care to explain actually how is it "lame" then? I find it a good idea. For me, that is, can't say about others. You see, I have a small screen, 15" CRT using 1280x1024. I almost never use menus, I either arrange the toolbar to have the functions I use or I know the keyboard shortcuts. As such, every single window having its own menubar on the screen wastes space that I could use for something more useful. Also, when I need to access the menu bar of an application I most likely have already switched to that application. Oh, and the screen looks tidier if there's only 1 menu bar visible at all times and always in the same predictable place.

I ain't saying it's for everyone, but claiming that the idea is "lame" without even explaining any reasoning behind that claim is.. well, to borrow your terminology, "lame."

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: The sound of laughter
by james_gnz on Sat 14th Feb 2009 13:35 in reply to "RE: The sound of laughter"
james_gnz Member since:
2006-02-16

(...) Oh, and the screen looks tidier if there's only 1 menu bar visible at all times and always in the same predictable place. (...)


It's not just looks, for me at least. I find that if I've got more than one window on the screen at once, I'm liable to click on the menu bar nearest the top of the screen, even if I'm working in a different window. It's not because I'm used to Macs (I'm not), I guess it's just that usually I've got one window full-screen at a time, so the menu bar will be at the top, and when I have more than one window open, I still subconsciously expect it to be at the top.

Judging by other comments, it looks like it's one of those eternally irreconcilable difference things (like Gnome vs. KDE, or Debian et al vs. Fedora et al.). I'd certainly like to see it as a standard option, though.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

The universal menu bar made sense in 1986 when most applications would be command line programs running windowed, but in 2009 it's makes less sense since most applications are written for the abstractions a GUI. It answers the question, "How do we add GUI functionality to command line programs running in a windows?" Add a universal menu bar with copy, paste, quit, etc. Basically, applications in 2009 take advantage of the abstractions the GUI provides, and the universal menu bar is a relic from a time when applications didn't.

On small screens, I agree that a menu bar makes sense, but at the same time it's still taking up screen real estate. The better idea would be to hide the menu bar under one icon or menu, and have a few shortcut icons. Since the menu bar is designed to hold rarely used items anyway, it becomes a rarely used item itself, and reducing the bar down to a single interface item would tidy the GUI up nicely. Microsoft is going this direction with it's Ribbon interface, and there is the Tiny menu extension for Firefox to enable the functionality.

http://www.componentone.com/newimages/Products/ScreenShots/StudioWi...
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1455

A good compromise might be a combination be having multiple document windows with a menu/toolbar that can float or be pinned. Mainly a slimmed down version of the Dreamweaver/Photoshop/Gimp floating windows concept. This could solve the problem of toolbars and menu bars taking up screen space, and it would open up the possibility of having the menu/toolbar jump to where the mouse is after a key press then return to a home location.

Quick and ugly mockup of the idea:
http://i40.tinypic.com/2mgqrza.jpg

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: The sound of laughter
by SEJeff on Sat 14th Feb 2009 18:45 in reply to "The sound of laughter"
SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

Yeah agreed, I've got 4 30" Dell monitors (side by side rotated vertical). Having to move a mouse across that much screen real estate is just silly.

Obligatory pic:
http://www.digitalprognosis.com/pics/my-work-setup.jpg

Reply Parent Score: 4