Minor GNOME and KDE menu annoyance

Tim ignored_mailbox at yahoo.com.au
Sun Jul 27 11:24:19 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-07-22 at 00:24 -0430, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
> I'm not arguing, 

No, never...  ;-)

> but

Okay, I'll let you argue...  ;-)

> a) you admit you haven't used KDE4 (or did I misunderstand?).

"Hadn't"...  Curiosity did get the better of me.  I wasn't impressed.  

The new menus were tedious and slow to use, in even more annoying ways
than the old menus.  Who thought that click, wait, menus sliding out of
site to be replaced with a submenu moving into the box, was going to be
a useful thing to do?  It's as bad as the browse every folder in a new
pop-up window that the *old* MS Windows and Amiga Workbench interfaces

KDE still goes down the route of trying to be far too tarty (for those
that don't get that reference - whores with far too much makeup
plastered on), having a gazillion things to fiddle with (so you spend
way too much time tweaking appearance and behaviour, instead of actually
using the computer), and the basic installation installs scads of things
that I'll never need (filling the menus with rubbish).

While it's often touted that KDE gives you configurability that Gnome
doesn't.  I've generally found Gnome's defaults not too bad, bar just a
few things (mostly Nautilus browsing defaults).  But found KDE to
require a lot of annoyances to be customised away.  These days, about
all I want to fiddle with on desktops are changing the font sizes to be
not stupidly huge, and getting rid of garish backdrop pictures.

But getting back to *just* menus...

> And b) the search is on any substring of the command name or
> description,

That does still rely on you knowing the keyword to look for.  I'm sure
we've all spent ages looking for something, in vain, because we were
trying the wrong keywords.

> Menus are usable if they aren't too long (I seem to remember a
> usability criterion of 7 or so items as being the recommended limit
> according to various studies) or too deeply nested, aside from having
> a clear organization.

This is where KDE shoots itself in the foot, right at the start.  I did
just a yum groupinstall "KDE (K Desktop Environment)", and got a swag of
things.  Scads of games and utilities I don't want.  I'd far rather the
basic desktop environment install was actually that - basic.  Let me add
games, utilities, etc., on purpose.

On the other hand, I find Gnome menus not to be too long, and not too
sub-divided.  It's also less annoying to find things, as they don't all
start with the letter K.  Browsing KDE's menus is like trying to use a
library, where some damn fool as filed just about every title under T
because they started with the word "The".

> The problem with all this is that it's hard for a system with lots of
> diverse apps to keep to any of these criteria. I find the Windows menu
> system frustrating because of this, plus the fact that stuff is often
> organized under the name of the company that produced it, as if people
> are going to remember that. MacOS isn't a lot better BTW.

Yes, Windows does seem to be an example of the worst, and KDE following
it's worst aspects.  I remember early Macs being rather awful, having
just one huge menu of applications.  I've only briefly touched modern

[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.  I
read messages from the public lists.

More information about the fedora-list mailing list