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Is Mobile Making Linux Menus Obsolete?

Nov 23, 2010, 16:32 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)

[ Thanks to James Maguire for this link. ]

"Are menus starting to disappear from the Linux desktop? A survey of the alternatives suggests that, at the very least, menus seem to be evolving out of recognition in response to modern trends, particularly the effort to make workstation and laptop desktops more like mobile interfaces. Ask usability experts, and the unexamined assumption is that the classic menu needs improvement -- although whether users feel that way seems less clear.

"Ten years ago, desktop menus were straightforward. They listed most of the desktop applications, with sub-menus spilling across the desktop to help organize them. The most extreme case is the famous -- or infamous -- Debian menu, which descends four or five sub-levels, but contains every application installed on the system, if only you had the patience to keep searching. The Debian menu remains popular with some users today, including me.

"So, for that matter, does the classical menu in general. Users of Xfce, LXDE, KDE 3 and other lesser-used free desktops continue to use the classical menu with few or no complaints. However, increasingly, on both free and proprietary desktops, the movement is away from the classical menu, although none of the existing alternatives is likely to satisfy anyone."

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