XDG Desktop Menu Specification - issues

Havoc Pennington hp at redhat.com
Tue May 6 16:00:04 BST 2003

On Tue, May 06, 2003 at 01:02:32PM +0200, Waldo Bastian wrote: 
> Editing a menu-item that appears in the menu twice creates a whole set of 
> problems of it's own. I was just considering the case where there is a single 
> "KWord" entry which the user edits to include e.g. "--extra-option" on the 
> command line. You don't want to create a second .desktop file in that case. 
> It should remain kword.desktop just with a different Exec=-line.
> It's not clear at all to me how to handle the situation with duplicated 
> entries. If there are two KWord entries in the menu then what is the 
> intention of the user when he edits one and adds "--extra-option"? Should 
> that only apply to that one entry, or also to the other?

If the menu editor UI is a file-manager-looking or tree-looking thing,
I think there's a very good chance the user expectation is that if
they see two "files", they are two different independent items.

For them to expect "linkage" between two items in different places, I
think you would have to make the sameness of those items somehow
apparent in the UI; the only way I can think of to do that would be to
have a menu editor that exposed the query-based nature of the menus in
the UI. i.e. it would show menu item pool, a query, then the resulting

Owen has suggested that the menu editor *should* be like that, but 
I'm not sure I agree.

> Which .desktop entry should be used when clicking on a KWord-file?

I'd say if you edit the kword menu item, it should not change the MIME
action (say I change my KWord to have an option that opens a new
document with the "send letter" template; I don't want to get an extra
blank document with a letter template every time I click on an
existing kword file).

Wouldn't users expect to have to go change the MIME action separately,
in something like a "file types and programs" control panel?

I don't think users have a sense that there's a master description of
each application that they are editing when they edit their menus.


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