Upstream Gnome removing menu bars from applications

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Upstream Gnome removing menu bars from applications

Postby gweaver on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:01 pm

Since Gnome 3.4, the Gnome developers have been removing the menu bar and window close button (whilst maximised) from core applications and replacing them with a super/gear/cog button and global application menu.
The Gnome 3.4 release notes, with screenshots to illustrate, are here: http://library.gnome.org/misc/release-n ... tion-menus

I regard this as a usability disaster - I now have to click, move the mouse and click again just to close a maximised window! Functions that were previously found under the menu bars are also hard to find. Among the first casualties was Epiphany. As of Gnome 3.6, this change also applies to Nautilus, Baobab, Contacts, Documents & others. Mint users may be largely unaware of this, as prior to Mint 14 only Epiphany is obviously afflicted.

I'm posting this in the Cinnamon sub-forum as I believe that this change will significantly affect Cinnamon users, unless something is done about it. Has this issue already been discussed? Do the Cinnamon developers have a (proposed) solution?
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Re: Upstream Gnome removing menu bars from applications

Postby xenopeek on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:42 pm

Moving it to chat, as more discussion than request for technical support. I'll try to get this some attention, but with Linux Mint 14 almost out the door the developers are pretty swamped with last-minute work to get that done.

There may be users that prefer the new interface. Opinions differ and sometimes with strong feelings about it. Let's be respectful of each others' opinions in this topic.

Nautilus has already been forked by the Linux Mint developers for other reasons, with Nemo (the fork) set to replace Nautilus in the next Cinnamon release (already available in romeo). So at least there you won't have to face this.

I installed epiphany-browser (3.4.1) on Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon to have a look. Indeed. Here is the screenshot from Epiphany maximized, with the gear wheel icon menu shown (note it is not showing window controls):
Image

And here with the window not maximized (note the reappearance of the window controls), showing Epiphany's Web menu:
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Re: Upstream Gnome removing menu bars from applications

Postby gweaver on Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:53 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply Vincent, I know the Mint developers must be pretty busy right now.

For me this feels like the removal of the minimise and maximise buttons all over again. Some people will like it, some won't. In that case gnome-tweak-tool came to the rescue, allowing users to restore the old behaviour.
I'm sure some people will prefer the new behaviour (perhaps those running Gnome-Shell on a tablet?!). To be fair, the Maximus extension http://cinnamon-spices.linuxmint.com/extensions/view/19 appears to have been well received, but these changes to Gnome applications go further and there doesn't appear to be an option to revert to the old behaviour. That's what irks me - not having the option.

I've started asking questions on Gnome Bugzilla https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=687887. The option to restore the old behaviour can't be incorporated into gnome-tweak-tool. My concern is that these applications might have to be forked or downgraded in order to give users the option of the old behaviour, and that would be no small undertaking. I'm really glad that the Mint developers have forked Nautilus, but it's a real shame that upstream changes meant that the Mint developers felt they had no other option, as it must involve a lot of effort.
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Re: Upstream Gnome removing menu bars from applications

Postby chdslv on Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:44 am

gweaver wrote:Since Gnome 3.4, the Gnome developers have been removing the menu bar and window close button (whilst maximised) from core applications and replacing them with a super/gear/cog button and global application menu.


I like that! The cog is better than looking at Windows 96 type menu bars. The first thing I do with Firefox is to get the menu bar out of sight. Many of you do that too, I believe, so why not the cog? :) .
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Re: Upstream Gnome removing menu bars from applications

Postby xenopeek on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:35 am

gweaver wrote:My concern is that these applications might have to be forked or downgraded in order to give users the option of the old behaviour, and that would be no small undertaking.

I think your are right about that. There are some other options, like for Baobab from GNOME you could switch to the disk usage analyzer from MATE (which is a fork from GNOME 2' Boabab). It is in the mate-utils package. Not ideal perhaps, but next to forking anew the GNOME 3 applications one could also look for alternatives to those applications.

This isn't only affecting Cinnamon users BTW. GNOME 3 applications are also used with the Xfce edition. I've already once done a build with Xfce on top of MATE, and that worked fine. That may be at least a way out for Xfce users that don't like where GNOME 3 is heading.
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Re: Upstream Gnome removing menu bars from applications

Postby gweaver on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:29 am

chdslv wrote:I like that! The cog is better than looking at Windows 96 type menu bars. The first thing I do with Firefox is to get the menu bar out of sight. Many of you do that too, I believe, so why not the cog? :) .


I agree that it looks nicer, but if it takes me longer to find the function (if it still exists) I need I'm not happy. As I said, it would be nice to have the option.

I'm not a complete Luddite. I think the Unity HUD approach is interesting. I'd be happy to see menu bars replaced with a function finder widget that lists matching functions as you type. The widget would also probably need to display common/recent functions and offer an interface to list all functions.

Vincent Vermeulen wrote:There are some other options, like for Baobab from GNOME you could switch to the disk usage analyzer from MATE (which is a fork from GNOME 2' Boabab). It is in the mate-utils package.


Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. I've just tried it and it works well, the only thing that is missing is a menu entry.
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