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Re: Simplified UI (menu-systems)

>> A menu-system that isn't hierarchical?  As long as you dont put
>> averything in the main menu, I don't really know what you mean..
>Now, I'm not relational database lover.  SQL queries for a menu 
>would be just silly.  But something more in that direction might be 

Well..  I AM a relational database lover, in a sence.. I often feel
trapped when programs force me to use tree-structures.  But as for a
menu, I like to have it as small as possible, and I will learn where
all things are.  A menu is something I can use often, every time I
start a program I haven't placed on the panel.

It would be possible to make another layout of the menu. Nothing
prevents you from placing the same entry in several places or so, but
I would personally don't like to use it.  I want it small, fast and
unambigous.  Generally, you don't search the menu for the program you
look for, you know where it is and just want to start it.

>This is true.  But isn't everything potentially good for education?  I 

That is true.  But we have to start somewhere, pick one or two word
processors we like etc.  We will have to mention to the teachers that
will use the systems that the programs we present to them are a
choice of a much larger pool, and why we've chosen them.

The howtos of today aren't enough.  There are some getting
started-books about linux, but they are often proprietary, and often
directed to a specific distribution.  What we have to say to the
teachers about the main programs they will use, both normal
applications, specific educational ones and scientific.. That is
something we should write down and publish _free_.

>useful in an educational setting.  Whatever system is created 
>should be fairly inclusive.

Inclusive, but still specially designed for the purpose.  One of the
good things with linux is that it doesn't require that much
disk-space, memory etc.  We won't be able to include everything on a
classic PC 386..

>Definately.  It would be nice if there was a good framework for all 
>the small tools an administrator uses, so that it wouldn't have to all 
>be integrated and this small tool could be created on its own.  And 
>I suppose there is -- the command line and its associated 
>programs.  But the command line probably wouldn't be appropriate 
>for many of the audiences of this tool.

There are some more.. There is a graphical linuxconfiguration for
example (I don't remember it's name, it's not in the distribution I
use at home), where you can add users, groups, devises, etc...

>> I saw that the
>> sowftware-page had a pointer to a good program for administrating
>> large group.  I haven't tried it, but maybe it could be fitted in
>> there?
>Which program were you thinking of?

Hmm, I don't remember.. I'll look as soon as I connect myself....
Yes, the "psntools". In the description it's for managing large
number of user-accounts.  hmm, looking at the web-site, it's nothing
graphical though..  ..maybe GNOME has some...or KDE....  yes, they
both have admin-programs..  I'll look more into what they really do..

>> No, that's the big thing.  In a debian-system, the global menu
>> contains allmost every application installed.  In a red
>> hat-enviroment, only the one we chose to will be in the menu.  Maybe
>> that isn't such a bad thing, if you want a menu specifically for
>> aducational use...
>Like I said further up, I think almost anything could be potentially 
>useful for educational use.  But starting out with the most obvious 
>programs is probably the best short-term solution.

Or if someone would take the great task of making a policy for rpm's
and menu's...  That would require getting all srpm's and making good
install-scripts to them...  Or maybe a program to convert deb's to
rpm's, but then I don't see why you should use rpm in the first

Or, maybe there is some distribution allready doing this?  There are
lots of them, and most use rpm's.

I don't know how it is with slackware.. As I understand it, they use
only tar.gz-packages with install-scripts?  It's really just putting
the menu-file in the archive and write in the installscript where it
should go..

>The KDE-like solution is definately more inclusive for various 
>distributions.  It's also rather crufty -- not KDE's fault, but the fault 
>of the distributions who should really be the one's doing that job.

Can we get red hat to do the job for us? :-)

>After all, isn't it rather silly to run ldconfig on every bootup when 
>libraries are installed an order of magnitude less frequently than a 
>bootup in the case of a personal computer, or perhaps exactly the 
>opposite in the case of a server.  These are the exact inefficiencies 
>which plague Windows and MacOS.  Sigh.

Yes, rebooting AT LEAST once during an installation of a new program
is totally silly and unnecessary if it's done right!

>Yes, choose a distribution doesn't make sense.  But it seems like 
>SEUL's (and SEUL/edu's) place to encourage/help/push 
>distributions to do certain things.  If everything is done in 
>distribution-neutral ways that isn't really right either -- it begins to 
>coopt distributions' rightful roles.

I think that if it could be done in one way that fits all
distributions, that would be great!  Unfortunately, I don't think it
can!  That would require a separate program in a separate package
putting al things in the right menu, and then we're back to kde's
solution.  The idea with packages is that they will install the files
needed to the directories meant for that.  Putting an application
into a menu is a part of that.  So lobbying the packagers would be
the best, if we don't want to do all the work by ourselves.  At
least, independance should have it, aimed at beginners...

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