Mac OS-style menubar as default

Merton Campbell Crockett mcc at CATO.GD-AIS.COM
Mon Jul 4 03:58:30 BST 2005

On Sun, 3 Jul 2005, Janne Ojaniemi wrote:

> There is an discussion in about Mac OS-style menubar: 
> As of today, about 21% of voters wanted it to be the default. That number is 
> surprisingly high considering that most people have very limited exposure to 
> that feature. And what's more interesting is that many of the people who were 
> against the idea but tried it anyway, seemed to like it in the end.
> I think that Mac OS-style menubar should be the default in KDE. Why? 
> - Since the user can only access one menubar at a time, why should we clutter 
> the UI and consume precious screen-space by displaying several menubars?
> - Having one menubar for all apps will make sure that the menu's are always in 
> same location, making accessing them faster than using several separate 
> menubars. Even though you might have to move the cursor a bit more than with 
> separate menubars, the fact that they take advantage of screen-borders and 
> are always in the same place, will in the end make the process of using the 
> menus a lot more pleasant.

The Mac-style menubar was a good idea for Apple's original computer due to 
its small monitor.  Today, it's a royal pain to use.  If you are working 
in a window in the lower right-hand corner of the desktop, you will need 
to move the cursor 12 inches just to select a menu action.  Once you make 
your selection, you need to move the cursor another 12 inches to restore 
focus to the window.

To compensate for this ergonomic problem, many applications designed for 
Mac OS X use "pop-up" menus that are activated using keyboard and mouse 
navigation.  There doesn't seem to be any standard for what appears in 
these menus.

> - They make the apps and the deskop feel like an integrated whole. Right now 
> each app runs in a "box" of it's own. Having the menubar in the top of the 
> screen would tie it more to the overall desktop, making the system feel more 
> integrated.

See above.  In a Mac environment there is even more variability.

Another problem with the Mac-style menu bar is that it requires you to use 
the "click-to-focus" paradigm.  For those of us raised on X11 and are used 
to having focus follow mouse, this is a royal pain.

> - With Mac OS-style menubar we could unclutter the Kmenu, since we could move 
> a lot of the stuff currently in Kmenu to the desktop's menu. For example, 
> configuration, log-out, lock screen, switch user, search etc. could be moved 
> to a menu in the menubar. then we could really make the Kmenu be about 
> launching apps and nothing more.

Right-click on the desktop, most of what you are asking for is already 

Merton Campbell Crockett

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