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Re: Simplified UI (menu-systems)

>> Or, maybe, the children will learn how to add things on their menu
>> theirselves.  That is, at first they have a standard menu, designed
>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.

The teacher can very well refer to the program with its name, and
maybe category... (look further)

>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 
>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 

I don't know the mechanics _behind_ the menu-system, but I know how
to add an entry in it.  With debian packages, a file with the
packages name is put in "/usr/lib/menu/<package>".  That file
contains information about all the applications the package contains.
 This information includes requirements of the enviroment ("text"
or"x11"), the section (eg "Apps/Editors"), title ("Emacs 20"),
command and icon.. If there are to be any local menu-entries, they
can be done in "/etc/menu/", and personal in "~/.menu/"..  To make it
work with kde, gnome, afterstep etc, there are "/etc/menu-methods/",
witch for the debian menusystems update-program describes how to
insert the programs into its menu...  It works very well, anyhow.

With KDE (and GNOME I think), you can easily make a personal menu
with the programs you use, or have them on the panel, by in a
graphical program choosing from the systems menu.  A teacher talking
about Dr Geo for instance, can at one time mention that it's under
"Education/Math" or something.  The student can then easily choose to
place it on their own menu.

That way, all the programs are in one menu, the kids' favourite in
another, and exploration of all programs can easily be done.

>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.

I don't know if the menu-system can recognize any user-category or
so, I think it's just requirements for making it work.
  What could be done, is that the group of pupils' "~/.menu/" is
linked to a single (write-protected) directory somewhere.  Adding a
program in there would then add it for the whole group.  Or, you can
make it a double pointer.  You can have
"/etc/menu-groups/high_school/", "/etc/menu-groups/primary/" etc. 
The users .menu would point to a virtual /etc/menu-gourps/class_3A,
wich in turn could be moved as they move along.  A simple re-link
would change the whole category.

>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 

The problem with this is that is't debian-specific..  Well, off
course the programs could be used with rpm's as well, but the process
isn't automated in the same sence, the administrator would have to
run eg update-menus by hand (I think, there aren't install-scripts in

Educational Free Software - http://hem.fyristorg.com/edufs/