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#1 2014-02-28 22:21:04

Ander111
Member
Registered: 2013-03-05
Posts: 17

Native editor for XFCE application menu?

Just wondering... XFCE users have been asking for this for years now. Has there been any progress on it? Has a project even been started?

The generic GUI menu editors recommended here (Alacarte, LXMenuEd, Menulibre) work to some extent. They let you add, delete and modify menu entries, but you can't create categories, or move entries from one category to another. Some of them don't show the whole menu.

Yes, you can hand-edit the menu configuration files, once you know where they are and what to do. And I respect the rights of those who prefer to use command lines and text editors. However, it seems unnecessarily complicated for something that's usually so simple and direct. And of course, it opens the possibility for less-experienced users to mess up their menus.

The main purpose of a desktop system is to provide a graphic interface for applications—to make it unnecessary to use command lines for everything. Wouldn't it make sense for it to include a GUI for its own menu?

Thanks, Ander

Last edited by Ander111 (2014-03-23 20:34:08)

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#2 2014-03-01 15:07:59

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 120

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

You can use the Application Finder (Alt-F2, click green down arrow), which allows you to right-click any menu entry > Edit.  That Edit-Launcher dialog box allows you to change Name, Comment, Command, Working Directory, Icon, and select a couple of options.  In our experience so far during MX-14 development, that covers most regular user needs.

What would be great IMHO would be if that ability were integrated into the standard Application Menu, where right now a right click just launches an application.


MX-14 (based on Debian Stable) with backported Xfce 4.10 on Acer Aspire One 722

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#3 2014-03-01 16:41:34

robert3242
Member
Registered: 2013-11-21
Posts: 13

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

I have not used the Alt-F2, click green down arrow approach, but from what is posted concerning its use, it does not appear that it lets the user add a new menu item, only to edit an existing one. This may indeed solve many issues, but it wouldn't work if a new menu item needed to be added to a perfectly functional existing menu; hence, the OP's original question about a real menu editor.


Debian 7.7 amd64/Xfce 4.8

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#4 2014-03-01 17:15:50

Jerry3904
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 120

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

Yup, missed that part.  My bad.


MX-14 (based on Debian Stable) with backported Xfce 4.10 on Acer Aspire One 722

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#5 2014-03-04 22:27:59

Ander111
Member
Registered: 2013-03-05
Posts: 17

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

Jerry3904 wrote:

You can use the Application Finder (Alt-F2, click green down arrow), which allows you to right-click any menu entry > Edit.  That Edit-Launcher dialog box allows you to change Name, Comment, Command, Working Directory, Icon, and select a couple of options.

Yes, Alt+F2 lets you edit the shortcuts themselves; but like the main menu, it doesn't let you create, move, or delete them, and it doesn't add any functionality for managing categories or sub-categories.

Jerry3904 wrote:

In our experience so far during MX-14 development, that covers most regular user needs.

Application menus are pretty personal things. For example, as part of my work, I'm always trying new text editors and comparing their features. Unfortunately, text-editor authors can't agree on where their launchers should go, so they're installed all over the menu. I'd like to create an Office > Text Editors sub-category, and move all the launchers there so I can easily keep track of what I'm using. But unless I'm willing to find, understand and edit a configuration file, there's no way to do that.

This seems ironic, considering that desktop systems are supposed to make file management easier. It also seems to contradict the philosophy of Linux being highly customizeable. Even [widely used, bloated commercial OS] lets you do this.

Jerry3904 wrote:

What would be great IMHO would be if that ability were integrated into the standard Application Menu, where right now a right click just launches an application.

Yep, there'd be no reason to make it a separate app if it was part of the system... That's pretty much what I meant.

I put up with this limitation because everything else about XFCE is great. The goofy thing is, compared to most coding, this wouldn't be very complicated. If I had the time to learn a Linux programming language (which, unfortunately, I don't), I'd write it myself. If I could do it, I don't know why XFCE's developers didn't do it long ago, especially when so many people started asking for it.

My best guess is, they don't think users should manage their own menus. Indeed, I've seen discussions here where people have expressed the opinion that menu categories should be standardized—that categories and sub-categories should be established and adhered to for all possible apps. Seems like a control issue to me... What's next, allowing only certain wallpaper?  :?|

Last edited by Ander111 (2014-03-04 22:29:46)

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#6 2014-03-17 17:47:33

azim
Member
Registered: 2013-06-16
Posts: 14

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

in theory, it might be easier give up xfce menu as is and tune up appfinder

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#7 2014-03-23 10:11:30

ajoelly
Member
Registered: 2014-03-23
Posts: 1

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

i'm using alacarte on debian jessie

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#8 2014-03-23 20:34:49

Ander111
Member
Registered: 2013-03-05
Posts: 17

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

ajoelly wrote:

i'm using alacarte on debian jessie

Yes, that was the first one I tried in Linux Mint XFCE. Actually, it didn't work at all. The others I've mentioned have partial functionality.

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#9 2014-03-23 20:55:51

sixsixfive
Member
From: behind you
Registered: 2012-04-08
Posts: 21
Website

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

nothing easier than this, just copy the desktop file from /usr/share/applications to ~/.local/share/applications and edit them

have a look here for all keys: http://standards.freedesktop.org/deskto … 01s05.html

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#10 2014-03-24 00:31:22

Ander111
Member
Registered: 2013-03-05
Posts: 17

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

sixsixfive wrote:

nothing easier than this, just copy the desktop file... and edit them... have a look here for all keys...

Actually, some things would be easier. For example, being able to right-click a menu entry and edit, copy or delete it, or drag a menu entry from one category to another. Right on the menu itself.

Yes, unless I'm overlooking something—that would definitely be easier than finding a config file, looking up the explanations of the syntax it uses, understanding everything, then hand-editing what's supposed to be a GUI feature and hoping you're not screwing it up. (Every. Time. You. Want. To. Change. Your. Menu.)

And of course, every XFCE user who needed to know your method would have to track down this thread first, or one like it, as it'd hardly be self-explanatory.

Last edited by Ander111 (2014-03-24 00:36:55)

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#11 2014-05-04 20:19:43

Ambercroft
Member
Registered: 2014-05-03
Posts: 6

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

I got tired of the menu. I'm writing my own application.

It is close to basic operation.

The setup configuration will be to edit the config file to point to a directory where there are links to the programs or the actual programs.

Native editing by GUI will be later.

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#12 2014-05-04 23:16:24

Ander111
Member
Registered: 2013-03-05
Posts: 17

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

Ambercroft wrote:

I'm writing my own application... It is close to basic operation... The setup configuration will be to edit the config file to point to a directory where there are links to the programs or the actual programs... Native editing by GUI will be later.

I don't quite get it. If it's not a GUI yet, what's the advantage over hand-editing at this point? Or are you just updating us on your progress? Anyway, that's great, dude—more power to you.

As for me, I'm afraid I must give up on Mint/XFCE for now. I used it on my little netbook, as Windows 7 was ridiculously slow. (What a laugh how MS warned people about Win 7's increased system requirements, then inexplicably put it on netbooks when they suddenly became popular.)

I've now upgraded my traveling system to a budget notebook, and the bundled Windows 8 runs tolerably on it. I tried Mint/XFCE and it ran much better, of course (even from USB 3!). But fonts rendered poorly and were the wrong sizes in webpages, and no one seemed to have any idea how I could control brightness, as the Linux graphics driver hasn't caught up with the new GPU... In other words, the usual transition problems.

When there's time, I'll install it as a virtual machine so I can keep up with development and keep up with you guys. Who knows, by then there may even be an easy way to edit the XFCE menu.  ;?)

Well, I'm babbling—I've had coffee. Thanks for your interest in this. Carry on. An XFCE-er at heart, A.

Last edited by Ander111 (2014-05-04 23:18:51)

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#13 2014-05-06 01:17:44

Ambercroft
Member
Registered: 2014-05-03
Posts: 6

Re: Native editor for XFCE application menu?

Ander111 wrote:

I don't quite get it. If it's not a GUI yet, what's the advantage over hand-editing at this point? Or are you just updating us on your progress?

Updating / informing that I am working on my own idea of a menu.

Simplicity is the advantage. The users I need to support can make and add files to a directory. The non-native GUI part is using Thunar to do this action. The files are added, they show up in the menu. No hand editing ( I hope ).

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