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Old 01-12-2008, 06:34 PM
Peter Clifton
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

Hi,

Introduction and motivation:

I'm seeking some discussion regarding adding extra menus for specific
"niche" sub-categories of programs, such as Electronic design
applications, Hamradio etc..

There exists a hamradiomenus package which adds a "Ham Radio" menu, and
as a developer and user of Electronic CAD packages, would like to see a
similar "Electronics" menu. None of the main XDG menu categories
actually fit this sort of application, and the spec conflictingly says
not to list categories which aren't applicable, and that a package
should list one of the main categories.

In gEDA, the .desktop files list "Electronics" and "Engineering" (both
of which are sub-categories), and without an additional XML file
describing a new menu, these applications will appear under "Others"
under gnome, or lost+found under KDE.


My proposed package:

Description: Menu for Electronics applications
This package crates an "Electronics" submenu with icon for GNOME, KDE
and other XDG menu-spec compliant desktop environments.

dpkg-query -L electronics-menu (snipped non file output)

/usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/categories/applications-electronics.png
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/22x22/categories/applications-electronics.png
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/24x24/categories/applications-electronics.png
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/categories/applications-electronics.svg
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16/categories/applications-electronics.png
/usr/share/doc/electronics-menu/copyright
/usr/share/doc/electronics-menu/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/desktop-directories/Electronics.directory
/etc/xdg/menus/applications-merged/electronics.menu


This is similar to the "hamradiomenus" package, although I'm shipping a
more complete theme set of sized icons, rather than a single pixmap.


The rejection:

Hi Maintainer,

rejected, for now, as I disagree with an own package just for two simple
files (plus some graphics).

Any reason why that doesnt go into menu? That would be the more logical
place for it, IMO.

--
bye Joerg


My reply:

There was precedent, in the "hamradiomenus" package upon which the idea
for this package was based. Since the "Electronics" category in .desktop
files is only officially a subcategory in the XDG menu specification,
the intention was that this package would be installed at the user's
preference. (Probably suggested by packages which provide .desktop files
falling into the "Electronics" category).

The "menu" package doesn't seem to be the right place for this, as
"menu" appears to deal specifically with the Debian menu system, not the
XDG menus.

The nearest correct packages appear to be "gnome-menus" and
"kdelibs-data" which provide the default Gnome and KDE menu files:

/etc/xdg/menus/applications.menu
/etc/xdg/menus/kde-applications.menu

It doesn't seem beneficial to duplicate the registration of the menu in
two packages, certainly as the installed icons would clash. Using either
of these would also stop it working with any other XDG desktops. (ROX?..
I don't know if that is Debian packaged or not).

This leads me to suspect that we do need it to be in some separate
package, even if it could be combined with others of a similar ilk.
Since the same "upstream" (me) sources for this menu and icons may be
used in different distributions, I'd make the case that a separate
package is appropriate here, since others may wish to use the same
shared data without dragging it out of a Debian specific package.


Joerg's reply:

"""
This sounds like some kind of xdg-extra-menus package providing menus
like the electronics and hamradio one. Not a single package for every
5kb menu package.
"""


I then sought advice from Joerg on IRC (a summary):

Ganneff: they are small, so disk space is not an issue. so maybe have a
way to let a user enable extra menus, in case he wants them.

pcjc2: I suspect in the cases of ham radio and electronics, the clashing
possibilities are low.. but if the user wanted to install an
"Engineering" menu then you'd get packages listed in both Electronics
and Engineering menus

Ganneff: if you provide a small app for that than the user could ven
chose on their own, not an admin for them.

Ganneff: you can have a app that symlinks menus into the users ~. iirc
there is a place within that ~ for own menu additions?

pcjc2: ~/.config/menus I think

Ganneff: and if not - it would be a script for the admin to
enable/disable the menus for the whole machine

Ganneff: so you install them all in /somewhere, admin runs script, that
symlinks the wanted menus to /wherever

Ganneff: that gives them only the menus they want and us not a trillion
of 5k packages. (which ftpteam *really* dislikes).

pcjc2: I'm basically an upstream on gEDA, PCB and gerbv, all of which
need an Electronics menu

pcjc2: We need collaboration with hamradiomenus and any others which
would be covered under this

(EDIT.. we are talking about two so far, not 1 trillion)

pcjc2: Are you going to delete hamradiomenus from the dist, and tell
them to fix theirs too? (If not.. I don't see how there is any incentive
for them to help with this)

Ganneff: im not deleting it, but strongly encourage to move it into the
generics menu package, as soon as that starts to live



Summary (and my thoughts):

Use case... user "apt-get install geda", and finds their electronics
applications under "Electronics".

Joerg is advocating creating a package "xdg-extra-menus" to gather any
possible extra menus which could be installed by the user.

I'm concerned about category clashes (duplication of apps), and (IMO)
the best way to resolve this is to apt-get remove electronics-menu or
engineering-menu (hypothetical) which each deal with one category each,
and are suggested by other packages as appropriate.

Joerg's suggestion is to install all categories from a single package
then provide an application to copy them into /etc/xdg/menus from an
admin program (or ~/.config/menus/) for the user-specific configuration
case. "pusling" on IRC suggested looking at the a2enmod scripts for
examples of how to do this).

I am however quite concerned about how applications will by default
install where they can be found in menus. No new user will know to run
whatever script is required to enable a particular menu, meaning at the
they should probably be shipped enabled (they only show if an
application has this category anyway). In this case, where applications
fall into multiple categories, they will appear multiple times.

Will all apps desiring a category specified in "xdg-extra-menus" have to
depend on it being installed, or will it be installed by default with
the desktop?

Should we call it "xdg-..." this isn't from the xdg people.. does that
break name-spacing, or mislead about its origins?

As an upstream developer for gEDA Electronics CAD software, I don't
think that I can create or maintain this... I just know that our users
complain about not being able to find our software, and was hoping to
provide a solution.


Comments?



--
Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge
CB3 0FA

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)


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Old 01-13-2008, 11:43 PM
Charles Plessy
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

Le Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 07:34:21PM +0000, Peter Clifton a écrit :
>
> In gEDA, the .desktop files list "Electronics" and "Engineering" (both
> of which are sub-categories), and without an additional XML file
> describing a new menu, these applications will appear under "Others"
> under gnome, or lost+found under KDE.

Dear Peter,

Do you know how many .desktop files in Debian use the categories
Electronics or Engineering? If there are not enough to nicely populate a
menu, it may be better to patch them to relocate them somewhere else.

If there are enough, there is a third way of having an optional menu:
the Custom Debian Distribution. In the Debian-Med CDD, we have an extra
"Med" menu, and which user gets it is configured through debconf.

Have a nice day,

--
Charles Plessy
Debian-Med packaging team
Wakō, Saitama, Japan


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Old 01-14-2008, 02:09 AM
Hamish Moffatt
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 09:43:35AM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> Le Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 07:34:21PM +0000, Peter Clifton a crit :
> >
> > In gEDA, the .desktop files list "Electronics" and "Engineering" (both
> > of which are sub-categories), and without an additional XML file
> > describing a new menu, these applications will appear under "Others"
> > under gnome, or lost+found under KDE.
>
> Dear Peter,
>
> Do you know how many .desktop files in Debian use the categories
> Electronics or Engineering? If there are not enough to nicely populate a
> menu, it may be better to patch them to relocate them somewhere else.

We have quite a few hamradio applications and quite a few electronics
applications. Neither of these fit well into any existing freedesktop
menu. An Engineering menu might be more generic replacement for
Electronics, if there are enough other packages to make it worthwhile.

Unfortunately none of the top-level freedesktop categories fits either.
The registered categories list
http://standards.freedesktop.org/menu-spec/latest/apa.html does not list
any related categories for electronics. For ham radio, it suggests
Network and Audio, both of which are inappropriate for most of the
packages.

Nobody on the freedesktop.org xdg mailing list seemed to care when I
posted about this.

> If there are enough, there is a third way of having an optional menu:
> the Custom Debian Distribution. In the Debian-Med CDD, we have an extra
> "Med" menu, and which user gets it is configured through debconf.

All the other electronics and hamradio packages are in standard Debian.

thanks
Hamish
--
Hamish Moffatt VK3SB <hamish@debian.org> <hamish@cloud.net.au>


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Old 01-14-2008, 02:18 AM
Charles Plessy
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

Le Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 02:09:42PM +1100, Hamish Moffatt a écrit :

> Unfortunately none of the top-level freedesktop categories fits either.

We have the same problem with the scientific applications


> > If there are enough, there is a third way of having an optional menu:
> > the Custom Debian Distribution. In the Debian-Med CDD, we have an extra
> > "Med" menu, and which user gets it is configured through debconf.
>
> All the other electronics and hamradio packages are in standard Debian.

A Custom Debian Distribution only contains packages that are in standard
Debian:

http://people.debian.org/~tille/cdd/


Have a nice day,

--
Charles Plessy
Debian-Med packaging team
Wakō, Saitama, Japan


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Old 01-14-2008, 08:48 AM
Andreas Tille
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

On Mon, 14 Jan 2008, Charles Plessy wrote:


If there are enough, there is a third way of having an optional menu:
the Custom Debian Distribution. In the Debian-Med CDD, we have an extra
"Med" menu, and which user gets it is configured through debconf.


I might add the fact that this extra menu is currently not a
Freedesktop.Org menu but only a Debian menu solution. I also
came to the conclusion that the currently used user menu solution
is suboptimal because it does not scale. My plan for the future
is to use desktop-profiles. I'll check whether this is also
applicable to the Debian menu but I doubt that and I admit that
I feel that Debian menu is (unfortunately) badly maintained
(see previous threads on debian-devel about this).

Kind regards

Andreas.

--
http://fam-tille.de


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Old 01-14-2008, 11:09 AM
Jörg Sommer
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

Hi Hamish,

Hamish Moffatt <hamish@debian.org> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 09:43:35AM +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
>> Do you know how many .desktop files in Debian use the categories
>> Electronics or Engineering? If there are not enough to nicely populate a
>> menu, it may be better to patch them to relocate them somewhere else.
>
> Unfortunately none of the top-level freedesktop categories fits either.
> The registered categories list
> http://standards.freedesktop.org/menu-spec/latest/apa.html does not list
> any related categories for electronics. For ham radio, it suggests
> Network and Audio, both of which are inappropriate for most of the
> packages.

What's wrong with Network/Communication for ham packages? I agree, audio
is not a appropriated folder for ham.

Bye, Jörg.
--
Prof. in der Mathematikvorlesung zu einem vergessenen φ in der
Gleichung: „Klein‐φ macht auch Mist.“


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Old 01-14-2008, 08:25 PM
Peter Clifton
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

On Mon, 2008-01-14 at 09:43 +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> Le Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 07:34:21PM +0000, Peter Clifton a crit :
> >
> > In gEDA, the .desktop files list "Electronics" and "Engineering" (both
> > of which are sub-categories), and without an additional XML file
> > describing a new menu, these applications will appear under "Others"
> > under gnome, or lost+found under KDE.
>
> Dear Peter,
>
> Do you know how many .desktop files in Debian use the categories
> Electronics or Engineering? If there are not enough to nicely populate a
> menu, it may be better to patch them to relocate them somewhere else.

I currently have six installed, but there are more out there. (There are
also more packages which _should_ use this category, but don't.. on
account of it not being in the menu hierarchy.

Since there are no other categories in the XDG spec which fit, this is
really why the problem occurs:

"Every conforming desktop environment MUST support" (XDG menu-spec)

AudioVideo : NO
Audio : NO
Video : NO
Development (really meaning "programming") : NO
Education : NO
Game : NO
Graphics : NO
Network : NO
Office : NO
Settings : NO
System : NO
Utility (Small utility application, "Accessories") : NO

Clearly the people who wrote the XDG menu spec didn't consider any
technical applications:

Hydrology
GIS (Geographic Information system)
Mathematics, e.g. Matlab / Octave (if it had a GUI) / others
Mechanical CAD packages
Structural analysis
Electrical CAD, IC Design etc..
Circuit simulation

Also:
Hamradio, Knitting, Cave surveying, <insert hobby here>
Physics, Chemistry, <insert science here>
Medical imaging, Radar, <insert specialist topic here>


It is not so likely any one given user will have applications installed
which fit into all extra categories, they might have one or two.

Noting the above main categories are listed as "MUST support" seems to
imply the intention that additional categories (e.g. from the additonal
categories list) could be supported by distributions / desktops.


Suggesting that any of these should be shoe-horned into the nearest XDG
main category or risk not appearing in any menu is only going to cause
the XDG system to be further inefficient in meeting users needs. For
gEDA, we violate the menu spec and do not list a "main" category, as
getting lost under "Other" seems preferable to any of the above
categories.


> If there are enough, there is a third way of having an optional menu:
> the Custom Debian Distribution. In the Debian-Med CDD, we have an extra
> "Med" menu, and which user gets it is configured through debconf.

I don't think it is advisable to require installing a customised
distribution just for a particular task. I happen to use (ok, GNU/)Linux
for everyday computing, and believe the way forward is using
special-interest meta-packages which could pull in a suite of useful
tools for a particular topic.

We do produce and give students use a customised Knoppix Live CD with
Engineering applications on at University, but for every day Linux
users, this is actually a step backwards.


--
Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge
CB3 0FA

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)
 
Old 01-14-2008, 10:22 PM
Charles Plessy
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

Le Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 09:25:55PM +0000, Peter Clifton a écrit :
>
> Suggesting that any of these should be shoe-horned into the nearest XDG
> main category or risk not appearing in any menu is only going to cause
> the XDG system to be further inefficient in meeting users needs. For
> gEDA, we violate the menu spec and do not list a "main" category, as
> getting lost under "Other" seems preferable to any of the above
> categories.

Indeed, if there is not a critical mass, and if "Other" itself is not
crowded, it can make sense to have it there.


> I don't think it is advisable to require installing a customised
> distribution just for a particular task.

Do not worry, I just wanted to make sure that you are aware of all the
possibilities.


Since we have the same problem in Debian-Med, I suggest that we join our
forces to negociate with XDG. In my opinion, we would be more sucessful
if we already had things in a proper shape in Debian, so that we can say
that our claim is not just a wish, but refers to something real. We
could also try to discuss with other major players that are popular
among scientists: Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo for instance, and bring up the
issue with some kind of official support of working groups that can be
weighted by their achievements.

Shall I open a wiki page to start the coordination of this ?

Have a nice day,

--
Charles Plessy
http://charles.plessy.org
Wakō, Saitama, Japan


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Old 01-14-2008, 10:28 PM
Peter Clifton
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

On Tue, 2008-01-15 at 08:22 +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
>
> Shall I open a wiki page to start the coordination of this ?

That sounds like a good idea.. I will contact the SuSE and Fedora people
I know packaging Electronics applications.


I'd still very much like to get something like "extra-menus" uploaded in
Debian though.. as I get the feeling that it will take a reasonable
amount of time to get through the XDG (if anything comes of it).

If a new XDG spec comes out, and this is implemented by the various
Gnome, KDE etc.. packages, then new releases of the "extra" package
could be made to cut out implemented portions (with appropriate
dependencies on the newer versions of the appropriate spec. implementing
packages).

> Have a nice day,

Likewise,

Best wishes,

--
Peter Clifton

Electrical Engineering Division,
Engineering Department,
University of Cambridge,
9, JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge
CB3 0FA

Tel: +44 (0)7729 980173 - (No signal in the lab!)


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Old 01-14-2008, 10:45 PM
Charles Plessy
 
Default electronics-menu REJECTED (discussion)

Le Mon, Jan 14, 2008 at 11:28:00PM +0000, Peter Clifton a écrit :
>
> On Tue, 2008-01-15 at 08:22 +0900, Charles Plessy wrote:
> >
> > Shall I open a wiki page to start the coordination of this ?
>
> That sounds like a good idea.. I will contact the SuSE and Fedora people
> I know packaging Electronics applications.
>
> I'd still very much like to get something like "extra-menus" uploaded in
> Debian though.. as I get the feeling that it will take a reasonable
> amount of time to get through the XDG (if anything comes of it).

Definitely, I also think that we should try an implementation in real
before asking for modification of the standard.

I have drafted something, but I have to go to work now. Feel free to
modify, rename,…

http://wiki.debian.org/ExtraMenus

If it is getting boring for the readers of -devel, why not moving the
discussion on -science ?

Have a nice day,

--
Charles Plessy
http://charles.plessy.org
Wakō, Saitama, Japan


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