[KDE Usability] On the future of the menubar

Aurélien Gâteau agateau at kde.org
Fri Feb 26 21:34:05 GMT 2010

(CC'ing kde-core-devel as this mail talks about tech stuff like xmlgui 
as well)

On 02/25/10 23:53, megabigbug wrote:
> Hi,
> I am the developper who created the button-menu of rekonq.
> I am sorry for all the noise I generated, but I am sure it was a good choice.
> I hope the kde community will be able to build automatically a toolbar (and
> particulary a button-menu) from the menu of an application.

I would like to expand on what Lionel wrote. We had a very interesting 
discussion over IRC today on menu buttons and menu bars.

He came up with the idea to extend xmlgui so that an application would 
be able to define both a menu bar and a menu button. This would make it 
possible for any developer to provide a menu button without too much work.

As I said in the previous thread, this would also be the occasion to 
standardize menu buttons in the HIG so that all applications taking 
advantage of this new UI element do so in a consistent way.

The other great idea he suggested was to use the existing "Show/hide 
Menu Bar" action to switch between menu bar and menu button: Imagine if 
upon clicking this action the menu bar were turned into a menu button, 
added to the right edge of the main toolbar... This would very nicely 
solve the classic: "I clicked on 'Settings > Show Menu Bar', my menu 
disappeared and now I don't know how to bring it back, help!".

We can also imagine having a global setting where the user would be able 
to say "I want all my applications to use menu buttons instead of menu 
bars", which would be very useful for netbooks. If the application 
provided a xmlgui definition for a menu button, this menu would be used, 
otherwise it would fall back to representing the whole menu hierarchy 
behind the menu button, like the Tiny Menu Firefox extension does.

What do you think of this?


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