XDG menu implementation
info at sten-net.de
Thu Jul 27 04:15:17 CEST 2006
some might have noticed it: I've started to work on the XDG menu
implementation I was talking about when we discussed Google's SoC.
I'd like to discuss several topics in this mail:
I. The "egg" thing
We talked about a testing library similar to GNOMEs libegg about ten
days ago. We agreed that something like this might be useful but two
questions remain: How do we name it (libeasterbunny would be funny,
I'd prefer something else, though) and who will add it to /trunk?
As I'll probably be the first to add a project to this "libegg" copy,
I hereby offer to create and maintain it (once we agreed on a name).
While I'm at it, how do we want to name the XDG menu implementation?
Should it be a more fresh name like "exo" or is "libxfce4menu" ok?
II. The menu API
Before I started working on the implementation, I talked to Benny and
he suggested looking into gnome-menus (libmenu) and take the best out
of it. What I found was a real mess - it's far from being clean and
the API is a kind of weird DOM-like tree structure and it's very
unhandy for client programs/libarries to use.
I browsed through their code a few days, also read the
specification carefull and was finally able to create a GObject
class hierarchy concept:
The most important classes are (and will be):
XfceMenu - represents a menu defined in a <Menu> element, with all
submenus, a menu directory, a set of include/exclude
XfceMenuDirectory - basically represents the menu directory desktop
entry containing a localized name, an icon and
a description for a XfceMenu object.
XfceMenuItem - an application desktop entry which may appear below
multiple XfceMenu objects. Contains information
about the application icon, command, name,
Internally, some other classes like e.g. XfceMenuMatchRules (for
<Include>/<Exclude> elements) will be used as well as some kind of
monitoring system (probably Gamin).
The API for those classes is simple and comes straight to the point.
Here's an example taken from the XfceMenu class:
XfceMenu *xfce_menu_get_root (void);
const gchar *xfce_menu_get_filename (XfceMenu *menu);
void xfce_menu_set_filename (XfceMenu *menu, const gchar *filename);
const gchar *xfce_menu_get_name (XfceMenu *menu);
void xfce_menu_set_name (XfceMenu *menu, const gchar *name);
XfceMenuDirectory *xfce_menu_get_directory (XfceMenu *menu);
void xfce_menu_set_directory (XfceMenu *menu,
As you can see, it's a typical GObject API with property notify
signals etc. It's very easy to use. For a usage example, see
III. Implementation details and status
Internally, it's all about GObject classes and communication between
them. We'll also need some kind of file and directory monitoring,
maybe we can take ThunarVfsMonitor as a reference here.
lists detailled information about the current implementation status of
what I called "libxfce4menu" for now. Besides monitoring, the main
parts missing are menu file merging, menu layouts and the desktop
Please tell me what you think about it - does the concept sound ok to
you? Personally, I really like it and I think it's a good starting
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