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Re: Simplified UI

> >I think it would make more sense to advance a group of students 
> >all together at the teachers discression (i.e., without any 
> >automated testing).
> Or, maybe, the children will learn how to add things on their menu
> theirselves.  That is, at first they have a standard menu, designed
> for their age and so, and when a teacher wants to introduce another
> program, s/he instructs the pupil how to add it on the menu.  That
> way, they will control the system themselves, managing their own menu
> and desktop.  When a friend, maybe an older friend, talks about a
> program they don't have on their menu, they can manage to add it
> themselves, or with a little help.
>   Is that too optimistic?

It's an interesting idea.  But you'd probably want to add batches of 
related applications to a menu all at once.  Like if you are in a 
physics class you can add all the physics applications easily, only 
learning what they all are later on -- some might not even be 
necessary to know, the teacher only introducing them if there is 
some particular reason or for some particular student.

Maybe if there was an complete menu -- something that contained 
everything on the system.  It could even be categorized in several 
different ways, by class, by age, by application type, etc., with 
duplicate entries.  Then the student could have a personal menu 
(kind of like the wharf in Window Maker, but more 
complete/compact), allowing them to copy things from the 
complete menu to the specific menu -- both entire categories and 
specific applications.

> >  Also, I don't think permissions would need to 
> >be used -- the different environments should be meant to direct the 
> >students, not limit them.  So a menu for younger children might not 
> >include difficult tools, but if they find a way to run them anyway 
> Again, you're right.  My primary thought is that if it can be done
> using the ordinary system instead of a special program, that's better.

I think the Debian menu system could be manipulated to do this.  
In Debian menus X11 programs won't show up in a non-X11 
environment, and SVGALib programs won't show up in X11 (more 
or less).  I don't know the exact mechanics behind this, but I 
imagine that it would be possible to do more than just X -- like a 
high school category, an elementary category, etc.

However, Debian menus aren't easily manipulated.  But it would 
probably be much easier to make the few small utilities necessary 
than to recreate a menu system that interacts with many window 

I'm under the impression Gnome is doing some sort of menu thing 
itself -- in relation to the panel -- but I don't know exactly how that 
works and how it interacts with non-Gnome applications.

Ian Bicking <bickiia@earlham.edu>