Opened 6 years ago

Last modified 3 years ago

#10557 assigned enhancement

Allow the user to manage links in the DeskBar menu.

Reported by: bbjimmy Owned by: nobody
Priority: normal Milestone: Unscheduled
Component: Applications/Deskbar Version: R1/Development
Keywords: Cc:
Blocked By: Blocking:
Platform: All


With the merge of PM, the user is no-longer in control of the Deskbar menu. The Applications menu is too crowded. Too many applications place links in this menu, quickly making the feature completely useless. Links added to Applications placed there by an .hpkg are not removable by the user without blacklisting the link.

This should be done in the gui.

I suggest removing the "virtual folders" in the Deskbar menu and simply placing the links in /boot/home/config/settings/deskbar/menu so that the user can manage the links, and Deskbar menu as he sees fit by simply using Tracker.

Change History (12)

comment:1 by bonefish, 6 years ago

Resolution: no change required
Status: newclosed

You can just open /boot/home/config/settings/deskbar and symlink "menu" to "menu_entries". Then only the entries in the "menu" directory will be shown in the Deskbar menu and you can organize them at your heart's desire.

comment:2 by bbjimmy, 6 years ago

Resolution: no change required
Status: closedreopened

This looses all the default Applications, Demos, Preferences, and Desktop applets and forces the user to add these back in, this is unacceptable.

comment:3 by bbjimmy, 6 years ago

The enhancement ticket is for the user to be able to intuitively modify his menu. Not for a geek or hacker. This needs to be done without the need to find special instructions and all the added work to re-build the menu. Make it easy.

comment:4 by kvdman, 6 years ago

Package management made most everything difficult in Haiku. It went from intuitive to requiring inside knowledge or reading a manual to figure out how to do something. A shame.

comment:5 by bonefish, 6 years ago

@kvdman: Yeah we know, package management totally sucks. Feel free to whine as much as you like, but please don't abuse the bug tracker for that purpose.

As a side note: The Deskbar menu change really has not much to do with PM as such. Since all packages had to be rebuilt/reorganized anyway, it was just an opportune time to add the automatic Desbar menu management as it requires some cooperation on the side of the packages.

@bbjimmy: The Deskbar menu future was discussed on the development list at some length last year. Users have rather different opinions regarding how and by whom the menu should be organized and there was no consensus on a perfect solution to accommodate everyone.

Basically there are two factions: those people who want the Deskbar menu to organize itself and those who want to organize it manually. The former seem to be the majority (at least very few admitted that they manually organize their menu on other systems (Linux)), so this is the default we're aiming at. Among those, there are some who want application categories while others want a flat list.

The current solution -- which is in fact only partially implemented yet -- is meant to accommodate both factions. Eventually the applications shall be assigned a category and the Deskbar settings shall allow choosing between:

  • An auto-managed menu with categories.
  • An auto-managed menu with a flat applications list.
  • A manually managed menu.

Once the applications are categorized, this is very easy to implement by switching between two different virtual directories (one with categories and one that flattens them), respectively a simple symlink. Tinkerers can use their own virtual directories to do other interesting things.

There are some tradeoffs: E.g. there is no way in between automatically and manually maintained. It was suggested that installing packages could add the symlinks, with the user being able to modify or remove them afterward. However, this cannot easily be done and would have some issues of its own (cf. the discussion).

Anyway, I suppose the three way setting should address your concern in comment:3. After switching to "manual", it would be as easy (or complicated) to manage the menu as in BeOS. Regarding your comment:2, given that

  1. a user who wants to organize their menu themselves may not even want the predefined categories/directories,
  2. this is a relatively harmless one time effort for a user (open /system/apps, ... and symlink what you like to where you like it), and
  3. it is not even clear what the "default" applications etc. are (is Pe?, and why would I want the Demos?)

I don't think it is worth or even useful to try and pre-populate the menu for the manual mode. But TBH personally I don't mind that much either way, since once the categories are there, I'll be happy with the automatic mode.

comment:6 by kvdman, 6 years ago


You are right. Tracker should not be used for that purpose. It does reflect a user's opinion though, and I am not the only one. I would be totally fine with package management if it didn't have all these side-effects that make the system harder to use in general (and I am not talking about software management, but the system changes it brought about; directlty or indirectly).

comment:7 by mmadia, 6 years ago

Would it be possible to drag and drop the links from the grey-background Applications folder to the filesystem?

This would help users in creating their own customized Deskbar menu. It seems like it should be possible, as Tracker displays the copy mouse icon during the drag and drop, but nothing occurs.

in reply to:  7 comment:8 by bonefish, 6 years ago

Replying to mmadia:

Would it be possible to drag and drop the links from the grey-background Applications folder to the filesystem?

Yes that would be possible. In fact, I had to disable the functionality in Tracker for the virtual directories, since it is all tied together in Tracker with the move functionality which wouldn't work with the read-only directories. When I introduced it my focus wasn't to make the virtual directories feature as complete and convenient as possible, but rather to get an initial working implementation. There's a lot room for improvements (there already are a few tickets).

In fact, the virtual directories could even be made writable by performing the writes on the topmost of the stacked directories. In this case it would allow e.g. manually creating symlinks directly in the virtual directory, instead of having to open ~/config/settings/deskbar/menu to do it there.

comment:9 by bbjimmy, 6 years ago

The simple solution:

make a deskbar setting that whan activated:

1) makes the menu_entries link to menu in /boot/home/config/settings/deskbar.

2 copies all the Deskbar links to the appropriate folder in /boot/home/config/settings/deskbar/menu so as to copy exactly what the managed folders look like.

When de-activated it reverts these changes.

just my 2 cents.

comment:10 by waddlesplash, 5 years ago

Milestone: R1Unscheduled

Moving Deskbar enhancement tickets out of R1 milestone -- Tracker's source code comes from BeOS R5, so it already has all the features it did on R5.

comment:11 by bbjimmy, 4 years ago

Since this ticket is about making the deskbar duplicate BeOS R5 behavior, I think the R! milestone should still apply. maybe it should be a bug and not an enhancement?

comment:12 by axeld, 3 years ago

Owner: changed from axeld to nobody
Status: reopenedassigned
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