The menu system has been completely reviewed for Dapper. This spec talks about general policy that has been followed and specific actions that are going to be taken to match the policy.


General Policy

The following general policy guidelines are followed in each decision

  • If an item is primarily launched by a specific MIME type and works with one file at a time, it can be hidden
  • The separation between Applications > System Tools and the System menu must be removed. This will be achieved by removing the items in Applications > System Tools

    • With above, items that are mostly system administration tasks and/or use gksudo should be moved to System > Administration

    • Items which affect only the current user are to be moved to System > Preferences

    • Anything else that is not going to be hidden/removed is moved to Applications > Accessories

  • Tools which are likely to simply confuse users are to be hidden or removed
  • Tools which have their functionality replaced with another simpler tool are being hidden or removed
  • There should be a single point to access each function of the system


Specific Menu Item Actions

  • Each of the following items has been reviewed and a decision has been made on it. Any item not listed will be kept.

Purging "System Tools"

  • Applications Menu Editor [Done, "alacarte" use the Accessories category]
    • - replace with Alt+dragging and D&D from gnome-app-install?
      - move to "System" > "Preferences"?
      - Known issue - already has a "Menus & Toolbars" item!

  • Avahi Zeroconf Browser
    • - hide if installed by default in Dapper
  • Bluetooth file sharing [Done]
    • - make appear as gnome-session service, if new gnome-session comes in Dapper/Gnome 2.14
      - hide if new gnome-session doesn't appear

  • Bluetooth manager [Done]
    • - hide due to being crap
  • Bug Report Tool [Done]
  • Configuration Editor [Done]
    • - Hide, useful only for powerusers
  • Floppy Formatter [Done]
  • Gparted [Done]
    • - move to "System" > "Administration"

  • Network Tools [Done]
    • - move to "System" > "Administration"

  • New Login [Done]
    • - replace with button in gnome-screensaver unlock dialog and Log Out dialog
  • New login nested window [Done]
    • - remove entirely
  • Run as different user [Done, hidden]
    • - remove, not hide
  • System Log [Done]
    • - move to "System" > "Administration"

  • System Monitor [Done]
    • - move to "System" > "Administration"

  • Ubuntu Device Database [Done]
    • - hide (may be available during install and/or in About Ubuntu)


  • Archive Manager [Done]
  • File Browser [Done]
    • - remove, because it duplicates with the Places menu


  • Image Viewer [Done]
    • - Hide, as it is best accessed by launching a file
      - post-dapper - Slideshow item in Nautilus? (the Finder has it...)

  • XSane Image scanning program [Done]
    • - Scanners now accessible via GIMP, so hide.

"Internet" and "Office"

  • GNOME BitTorrent [Done]

    • - hide, as it is best accessed by launching a file
  • "Internet" > "Evolution Mail" vs. "Office" > "Evolution"

    • - upstream is working on seperate icons for each item ("Calendar", "Tasks", etc.)
      - if the above doesn't come for dapper, fix the menu item in Office to say Groupware and to use a better icon

  • OpenOffice from Template [Done]

    • - hide, can be accessed from within OO

Sound and video

  • CD Player [Done]
    • - nuke, replaced by Sound Juicer
  • Recording Level Monitor [Done, hidden]
    • - hide/nuke for Dapper
      - should be incorporated into Sound preferences

  • Rhythmbox Music Player
    • - keep
  • Serpentine Audio-CD Creator
    • - keep for dapper
      - post-dapper, integrate into Nautilus/Rhythmbox in an obvious way

  • Sound Juicer CD Ripper
    • - keep for Dapper,
      - post dapper, integrate into Nautilus/Rhythmbox in an obvious way

  • Sound Recorder
    • - keep
  • Totem [Done, reverted according to users echo on it]
    • - hide, as it is best accessed by launching a file
  • Volume Control [Done]
    • - hide for dapper, available on panel
      - should be incorporated into Sound preferences

  • Volume Monitor [Done]
    • - hide for dapper
      - should be incorporated into Sound preferences

Shortening "System" > "Preferences"

See also PreferencesRevisited

  • File Management [Done]

    - remove (redundant with "Edit" > "Preferences" in Nautilus)

  • Login Photo [Done] - remove (redundant with "About Me")
  • Multimedia Systems Selector [Done]
    • - hide, due to confusion for users and likelyhood of users messing their system up
  • PalmOS devices [Done]
  • Windows [Done]
    • - hide, power users only

Other tasks

  • Generate list of applications that install a menu item in Applications > System Tools

  • Make certain hiding application on menu does not hide it on Open With... [Done]
  • Develop way to right-click on menu item and select "Hide"

Coordination with Gnome

  • Pass ideas and rationale to upstream
  • Encourage upstream to do the following integration work:
    • "About Me" + "Users & Groups" + "Sessions"

    • "Font" + "Theme"
    • "Keyboard" + "Keyboard Shortcuts"

Outstanding issues

We should probably coordinate with upstream (Gnome) during their 2.14 cycle.

Reviewers Comments

MarkShuttleworth: very nicely written up. Clean and crisp. Very clear what the plan is. Thank you! Please let's get this in asap so we can deal with feedback.

Discussion and Comments

see /Comments

Random Quote

"We must be proactive, eternally vigilant, forever fighting, overwhelmingly clever and handsome." - Robert Love

MenusRevisited (last edited 2008-08-06 16:25:19 by localhost)