Menubar mockup

Various Gnome Stuff

Source (link to git-repo or to original if based on someone elses unmodified work): Add the source-code for this project on opencode.net

1
Score 50.0%
Description:

This is just a mockup of some ideas I had about how to improve the looks/ functionality of the menubar.

Current problem(s):
[li]It is often difficult to quickly find a particular program in a menu because of the number of items.[/li]

[li]Sometimes difficult to tell which submenu to look in for a particular program[/li]

[li]The current menu isn't easily themed to fit in with compiz / beryl themes.
[/li]
Good points about the current menubar:
[li]Top level division into Applications / Places / System
[/li]
My Solution

[li]Keep the three menu approach, it's clear and intuitive.[/li]
[li]Integrate search functionality into each menu.[/li]
[li]Update the visual elements, ensuring that they are easily customised to suit the user's theme.[/li]
[li]Drag and drop menu configuration. search area is a normal component which can be added, removed, placed anywhere in the menu. (Not shown in this mockup)
[/li]

Other Points:
- code from deskbar could be re-used

Before anyone starts going on about the colour scheme being too vista-ish... these colours were chosen because they would it in with my current emerald theme (Scaled_Black).

I will post more illustrative images of how I see the menu working when I get a chance.

Credit where credit's due:
The icon theme is nuoveXT 1.6 http://www.gnome-look.org/content/show.php/nuoveXT?content=26448
Background: off Deviant Art, I'll post a link when I track it down again.
Other inspiration from:
http://www.gnome-look.org/content/show.php/As+I+would+like+it+%2Apanel%2A?content=31098
Last changelog:

12 years ago

Aug 21 2007 - Added a second screenshot with some notes

Aug 22 2007 - uploaded a more technical summary. Available through the download links.

Aug 24 2007 - Added a third page of technical stuff. Covers how I propose to deal with look&feel and some options for the search. (including phrodo00's suggestion)

Aug 26 2007 - To celebrate the fact the menu mockup has been downloaded 500 times, I've put some example "screenshots" of how the menu would look under two different beryl themes; Adonis_Mod and SlateHorn_Yellow. They're not the best quality, but hopefully they give some idea of the way the look of the menu would change with different themes.

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KidProQuo

10 years ago

I haven't completely forgotten about this mockup. I have spent quite a bit of time refining the design of the menubar and working out how all the bits will work together. I'll try and get them online sometime soon.

The plan at the moment is to get stuck into trying to code this up once my exams are finished in mid-November.

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cjay554

10 years ago

Please someone make this happen! I've literally been dreaming about this feature, applying maybe beagle to run the search? Although sometimes beagle is a bit off..

I could care less for the look, but the search feature is nice.. Look good anyway :P

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UbuntuLee

11 years ago

We need to get this into Ubuntu. How could we go about this?

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ddv

11 years ago

I hope you find some one to make this menu, since I must say it looks cool

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KidProQuo

11 years ago

Yay, 2000 downloads!!

I've decided that I'm going to put up a bounty for the coding of this menu sometime soon.
I'll try to write up a proper specification which takes the feedback into account and post it up here for comment.

Once I've managed to scrape some $$$ together I'll post details of how the bounty will work etc.

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RooTeR

12 years ago

No it's not difficult to locate programs for me, but I'm not against search (if it still be possible to run the programs the old way).

Integrating with compiz/beryl isn't a good idea, because many pcs don't have 3d video card... (including servers,..) And additional theming opts are too hard to implement (Yes I agree it would be nice)

Drag and drop! I want this :D

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KidProQuo

12 years ago

Thanks for the feedback!

The key theme I tried to follow with this mockup was to not chuck out the good aspects of the old menu system out with the bad bits. You would still be able to browse the menus exactly the way you do now if you wanted, you just have the option of using the search if you want too.

My comment about difficulty finding things in the current menu is coming from two different scenarios.

1) The new user - You've just started using gnome / linux; You want to get started by sending an email off to your friend to rave about how easy your installation went, but you don't know how your particular distro has organised things in the menus(is it under office or internet) , or even what the program you're looking for is called. You could just type 'email' into the search bar and it'd pop up with, say, Thunderbird and Evolution.

2) The advanced user - You've been using Linux for longer than you can remember and your computer has hundreds of apps which you use (some more frequently than others). Instead of having to trawl through the menus to work out where the system has placed that brand spanking program you just installed before you start using it you can just type the name of the program in the search bar and be on you way in seconds.

I realise these aren't the best examples, I'm rather tired at the moment, but hopefully they illustrate where my thinking comes from.

Cheers

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Arlanthir

12 years ago

What an amazing concept!
I really hope some applet coder takes this into practice, because it deserves it!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the explanation of the menu's colors you wanted to say 'green bits' instead of 'yellow bits' in the text block on the right. ;)

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Arlanthir

12 years ago

Also, the homepage link at the top is wrong, you should have "sam.bristow.googlepages.com/menubar" instead of "http//sam.bristow.googlepages.com/menubar", you forgot to add the ':' before the //, gnome-look seems to be adding the http:// automatically and it redirects somewhere else!

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KidProQuo

12 years ago

Thanks for pointing that out Arlanthir. I hae fixed the url for the homepage and I will sort out the green/yellow thing when I get back to my laptop.

I really want toget some coders on board. Hopefully I've inspired enough people that someone can help me get this thing working.

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Zwopper

12 years ago

Your excelent idea reminds me of the "Mintmenu", although yours is much nicer looking.

http://www.linuxos.sk/clanky/mint/Mint_menu.jpg

http://www.linuxmint.com/pictures/screenshots/cassandra/2.png

http://netmirror.org/mirror/linuxgazette.net/137/misc/lazar/1.png

http://www.linuxmint.com/

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KidProQuo

12 years ago

I had an attempt at using the SLAB menu when I was on openSUSE. I gave up on it pretty quickly.

Firstly, I thought that moving from the three menu system back to a single menu was a step backwards, and it slowed my workflow down.

Secondly, the fact that if you wanted to use a program not in your favourites or recently used programs list you needed to load a whole new window irritated the hell out of me.

I think what probably reminded you of the SLAB menu in my mock-up was the inclusion of the search bar. Correct?

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Chrispy

12 years ago

It does not already exists, the MintMenu is a modified SLAB, which is currently only used by SuSE. This here is a completly different thing. Look at the screnshots: the MintMenu is a single tab, this here keeps the 3-tabs style and so on

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Zwopper

12 years ago

You're absolutely right!
I never intended to impose that it existed.
It was just a gut reaction.
Just to clarify:
I LOVE the idea, and how it looks so far, You bet I'll be the first to use it!

PEACE!

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Phrodo00

12 years ago

I'm one of those people that's in love with the current gnome menu layout. Yet this is prefect. Only thing I'd do is to make the search appear when some text is typed, the way it's here, looks like a spotlight-like search, and that can be confusing (and no, I don't think making the main menu a tracker/beagle front end is a good idea)

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KidProQuo

12 years ago

Thank you for the feedback.

There are aspects of the current gnome menu I like too, and I tried not to loose those things I liked just for the sake of being new. That’s one of the problems I saw with other attempts at re-doing the gnome menu (SLAB etc), they seemed to throw out all the wisdom of the past and start from scratch.

I think you make a valid point about the search appearing when you start typing. However, I still kind of like having it visible. What do you think of having a simple tickbox next to the seach bar options (in the menu config. dialog) which just says: ‘hide until I type’. Best of both worlds?

I am currently working on a mock-up of the config. dialog at the moment. I should have it up in a day or two.

As for the whole beagle integration thing… My logic behind including file search in the places menu is this:
everything is a file in linux anyway, including your cd drive etc
The file search option is already in the places menu (bottom item on my system, don’t know if it’s the same in all distros) I’m just incorporating it into the menu itself
The way it is at the moment, I don’t really use file search that much because it’s kind of hidden away in a separate dialog box.

I don’t think a full blown beagle front-end is what’s needed, just a basic file search.

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freakcode

12 years ago

I liked the features on your mockup so much that I will try a implementation (tab-like navigation, search bar and drag 'n drop - if possible by GTK+).

Once I have it complete, I will upload the applet to this site.

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KidProQuo

12 years ago

Hi Freakcode,
I've sent you a message re: the coding. I look forward to working with you to get this past the mockup stage.
Cheers

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koshu

12 years ago

I think this idea is amazing and is the right step in the evolution of the gnome menu. I'd make the suggestion that instead of a generic icon indicating the search in the search area, there be an icon that is respective of "tab" that is clicked on. For example, for Applications there be an icon for applications, for places there be a seperate icon indicating a folder icon or something, etc.

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KidProQuo

12 years ago

I currently am of the opinion that the top part of the menu provides enough information as to which aspect you are searching and a separate icon for each menu would just confuse things, but I'm keen to hear other opinions on the matter.

As strange as it sounds, I want more (constructive) critisism of the concepts behind this suggestion. Mainly so we can refine the key ideas before moving forward.

Cheers

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freakcode

12 years ago

I like the ideas for the search on the App menu, and the new arrangement of Places menu (more clean this way).

Altrough:

- Transparency can't be hard-coded. Instead, everyone is able to tweak this with Compiz or whatever.

"Update the visual elements, ensuring that they are easily customised to suit the user's theme."
- The menu already does that, with any GTK theme, so I guess youre talking about more bling-bling (GTK themes able to set styles to menu). Isn't a bad idea really...

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KidProQuo

12 years ago

I know you can theme the menus with GTK, but any integration with compiz etc is a definite afterthought with the current design. Now, for example, Ubuntu 7.10 is going to integrate compiz fusion by default.

In the example here there are 3 themable regions, the thin white border, the black padding and the white content area. If each of these was defined in such a way they compiz could deal with them easily and independently it'd open up a whole bunch of opportunities as far as menu customisation.

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freakcode

12 years ago

Dont bother with it, leave the bling-bling for upcoming integration of GTK and Compiz and more complex GTK engines. GNOME doesn't need to rely on composition for the core features.

And implement the other features (behave like tabs, search bar), because those features is what really makes this mockup great!

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KnuxT15

12 years ago

One thing you (and many others!) on this site seem to not realize when making your work: not everyone uses Ubuntu.

Try to make your work distro-neutral. As in, take into consideration the other major distros. Debian, Slackware, Mint, Fedora/RHEL, Mandriva, SuSE... that's just a sample.

So when you make suggestions/ideas for GNOME, don't use distro-specific stuff!

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KidProQuo

12 years ago

I know not everyone uses Ubuntu, I myself was using openSUSE up until about 2 months ago. My point about ubuntu including compiz-fusion was simply to illustrate that desktop environments seem to be moving in that direction.

Nothing in the actual mock-up I've proposed is dependant on having Ubuntu. I only used the Ubuntu logo for the menu as that was what I had on hand when I was doing it.

The only thing this mock-up depends on is the panel, and I think that's fairly standard no matter which flavour of Linux you’re using…. and if you want flashy transparency etc a compositing manager.

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12 years ago

Aug 21 2007 - Added a second screenshot with some notes

Aug 22 2007 - uploaded a more technical summary. Available through the download links.

Aug 24 2007 - Added a third page of technical stuff. Covers how I propose to deal with look&feel and some options for the search. (including phrodo00's suggestion)

Aug 26 2007 - To celebrate the fact the menu mockup has been downloaded 500 times, I've put some example "screenshots" of how the menu would look under two different beryl themes; Adonis_Mod and SlateHorn_Yellow. They're not the best quality, but hopefully they give some idea of the way the look of the menu would change with different themes.

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