xfce 4.6 desktop menu

Matthieu Imbert matthieu.imbert at ens-lyon.fr
Tue May 5 10:39:00 CEST 2009


I post here a message i already posted on the xfce forum, but i feel the
mailing list is probably more appropriate for this discussion.

I recently switched from xfce 4.4 to 4.6 and i was very disapointed that
the desktop menu now uses a very complicated file format. Below, I will
try to explain why.

Actually in xfce 4.4 i used to have a heavily customized menu, where i
removed almost everything and instead i put a lot of specific shortcuts
that launched commands with appropriate args. It was very convenient
because i could just add a new launcher just by adding a line in the xml
file (or with menu editor, but having a GUI is not the important point
here). For example, i had a lot of shortcuts for launching terminals
with ssh (and sometimes screen sessions) to a lot of machines, or
shortcuts to launch various applications as various users (root or test
users), or even shortcuts triggering some actions, like starting several
daemons to set up a development and testing environment. In short, it
was convenient to have all the shortcuts that i use 99% of the time
accessible in two click, or even better, with a few keystrokes.

Now doing the same with the new menu system is overly complicated
(myriads of desktop files to edit). It's so painful that i currently
switched to gnome to be able to edit the menus.

I agree that conforming to the freedesktop standard menu spec is a good
idea, but having the possibility to use a simpler system for use cases
similar to mine is heavily missing, at least for me (any others in the
same situation?).

Would it be possible (and simple?) to add a special xml tag to the menu
xml format to load an old menu using the legacy or any other simple menu
format? This way, xfce would still conform to standard, but with a
specific extension.

Or is there any panel applet already existing which has the look of a
menu but is using a simple and quickly editable configuration format (a
gui for editing would not be needed, at least for me)? The launcher or
quicklauncher applet are too simple for this task: they don't have
submenus, so i would end up having dozens of entries inside the
launcher, and the quicklauncher would eat my whole screen. Perhaps there
is a way to use the desktop menu of xfce 4.4 with xfce 4.6, is it possible?

best regards,


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