Minimenu -- Likes And Dislikes? Requests?


skeezix

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I'm not really sure of how many people live in minimenu versus xfce, but I'm ratehr assuming at least some of you like it :) If its somethign you want to like, but don't.. let us know why! If you do like it, but some things annoy you... let us know what! If you have some ideas for improvement, let us know!

Now, theres no bets I'll do anything, but hey, what can you do ;)

Some ideas we've been floating around..

- Right now (as of current hotfix), it (by default) shows a tab for each discovered category and subcategory, which is a lot of tabs if you have a lot of apps. It does have the config UI so you can show/hide whichever tabs you like (and it rememebrs that forever of course), which should let you set things up pretty well; likewise, theres a quick option in the Select menu to let you pull up a hidden category/subcat to show 'right now'. But one idea is to show the main categories, and instead of having tabs (at all) for subcats, just show them as folders in the main categories display. (ie: Could sort those folders to the top of the main cat windows, or in with the app list alphabetically, whatever.)

Q: Do you like it as it is (show/hide of each cat/subcat?)
Q: Or do you think we shoudl just ditch subcats as tabs at all, and show them as folders for the main cats instead .. to reduce 'tab spam'? (could have config UI options .. show subcats as folders, show subcats as tabs, shun them entirely from the world of men, etc)

- A long standing idea .. hit one of the action buttons on a app to bring up a little menu that shows info about it (file size, location, etc), with options to delete it, or hide it (to save you going to the config UI.)

- An 'ovr file' editor (for minimenu and xfce and everything else); this would let you create an override-file mated to the pnd-file, so you could override app name, preferred speed, preferred category, etc.

- For theme hackers (Are there any anymore?) -- I should make it so if mmenu 'crashes' or 'can't run) a few times in a row, that it switches back to default theme choice. (ie: so if you download a theme-dir, or are hackijng on one, and somehow make mmenu unstartable, it shoudl fall back to default theme directory as an attempt to save you from reflashing :)

- Maybe a search option; hit a button to bring up an entry field, and as you type, it filters down to apps that match the word-so-far

Anyway, just some ideas; let me know..

jeff
 

Pleng

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Well I would love to use mini menu as my main menu but there were a couple of things stopping me. First was using the Pandora button to force quit, and another was the problem with the background on the select menu.

I'm sure there was another, but I forget now.

Cats/subcats... What I think would be good would be this:
You have a list of tabs at the top for main categories, and another list down the side for subcategories. When a category is selected then ALL the icons for that category are shown, but pressing on a sub-category will restrict the view to just the items in that subcategory (pretty much how the app store works at the moment, but with the x and y axis reversed).

I'm sure Dave C will violently disagree with me on this :p

Of course this isn't much good unless you can actually organize things how you want soooo....

The little menu you suggested for delete and hide would be great. If there were options to copy and move the icons too that would be brilliant - this of course would mean that OVRs would need to be generated/altered by the menu... unless minimenu used its own system for keeping track of these. I also maintain that the menu should only affect the individual ICON that has been selected, and not ALL icons representing an individual application (for example, if an app has been been assigned multiple categories, then moving/deleting an icon should only remove it from the category currently selected).

Yes the crash prevention for skinners would be good. Maybe also a 'hold button x while starting to force default skin' option for those of us who make skins which load fine but are simply not usable :p
 

skeezix

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The bg on select menu was fixed last hotfix (thanks for pointing it out :)

The button assignments could be altered, but we need someone to sit down and design out what they should do, I think :)

I've avoided a second layer of tabs, be it side or top/bottom, since it becoes non-obvious how to operate them; as is, using triggers is obvious to some of us, but not everyone, and I don't want folks to be forced into touchscreen. Thats why I was thinking folders -- everyone alive should know the implication of a folder in this sort of context.

The context menu is mostly a shortcut; you can already hide apps form the config UI, but this woudl make it more 'live'. Delete is just a simple frill. Copy and move sort of crosses into file management which I've been trying to shy away from .. its 'mini'menu :) If by 'copy' you mean show in multiple cats (or creating categories by implication), then an ovr editor would do that; list whatever cats you want. An ovr editor would be an external tool so that it works for all environments since ovr files work at the libpnd (pnd file) level and thus work for everything.

As to effecting an app versus an icon .. well, baby steps :) Perhaps the context menu could do something like 'delete, hide app, hide from this tab', though.

hmm, might be a good way there -- the 'if crash several times in a row' could be a pita to get just right, but woudl be nice for normals as a safeguard; but instead of it, or in addition, yeah .. 'hold B while starting up' or something could be a cool way to force to default. Good idea.

jeff
 

Pleng

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skeezix said:
The bg on select menu was fixed last hotfix (thanks for pointing it out :) )
You're welcome :)

The button assignments could be altered, but we need someone to sit down and design out what they should do, I think :)
I think generally it was accepted that hold-down-pandora-for-more-than-2-seconds-to-kill was the best idea. Though I still prefer fn-Pandora :p

I've avoided a second layer of tabs, be it side or top/bottom, since it becoes non-obvious how to operate them; as is, using triggers is obvious to some of us, but not everyone, and I don't want folks to be forced into touchscreen. Thats why I was thinking folders -- everyone alive should know the implication of a folder in this sort of context.
Well asking for suggestions and then poo-pooing them... I don't know!!!

I would disagree that the concept of folders is more obvious than a second layer of tabs. In fact I think your theory is reversed, while it might be obvious to many of us how a 'folder' works, the general user is much happier narrowing down search results with filters on amazon and ebay than they are navigating and moving folders.

Hmm thinking about it further, if it was implimented it would be quite fun to make a google-style skin, with the categories listed across the top (where google would list web-images-video), the icons displayed as search results, and the sub categories shown down the side under a 'only show results from...' heading.

The context menu is mostly a shortcut; you can already hide apps form the config UI, but this woudl make it more 'live'. Delete is just a simple frill. Copy and move sort of crosses into file management which I've been trying to shy away from .. its 'mini'menu :)
Well it's icon management, not really file management...

If by 'copy' you mean show in multiple cats (or creating categories by implication), then an ovr editor would do that; list whatever cats you want. An ovr editor would be an external tool so that it works for all environments since ovr files work at the libpnd (pnd file) level and thus work for everything.
Yup that's exactly what I mean - copy would duplicate the icon in another category, move would remove it from the current category and add it to the newly selected one. Yes an ovr editor could do it as an external tool, but that's hardly intuitive to the end user (and still a pain even for the experienced user - especially with the massive inconsistency of category assignments for PNDs at the moment)

As to effecting an app versus an icon .. well, baby steps :) Perhaps the context menu could do something like 'delete, hide app, hide from this tab', though.
I thank that's a bit too confusing. When a user selects 'hide' I honestly would think they only expect the hiding to take place on that tab. Each icon to the end user is a separate entity. If they want to hide it from 2 categories they would most likely expect to have to perform the same action in each category.
 
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DaveC

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skeezix said:
But one idea is to show the main categories, and instead of having tabs (at all) for subcats, just show them as folders in the main categories display. (ie: Could sort those folders to the top of the main cat windows, or in with the app list alphabetically, whatever.)

Q: Do you like it as it is (show/hide of each cat/subcat?)
Q: Or do you think we shoudl just ditch subcats as tabs at all, and show them as folders for the main cats instead .. to reduce 'tab spam'? (could have config UI options .. show subcats as folders, show subcats as tabs, shun them entirely from the world of men, etc)

- A long standing idea .. hit one of the action buttons on a app to bring up a little menu that shows info about it (file size, location, etc), with options to delete it, or hide it (to save you going to the config UI.)

- An 'ovr file' editor (for minimenu and xfce and everything else); this would let you create an override-file mated to the pnd-file, so you could override app name, preferred speed, preferred category, etc.

jeff
But if you have subcat folders then for example MAME will show in the Game tab Then an emulator folder under Game will have MAME in it(Emus in Game I don't agree with, should be in Emulators as main cat as it IS an emulator, not a game. The way emus default now is dumb). I don't think that is a very good idea at all. I just want MAME under the emulator tab and that is it, NO where else. Anything else is just a cluttered mess, having it in two spots, makes no sense. I wish I could get rid of subcats altogether, they are redundant.

A context menu is a great idea but you should add an option to set it to show in a certain tab only. So if I want MAME only to show in emulators the context menu would come up with a list of catagories and I could then pick which tab it shows under. It would show up there and ONLY there.

The other annoying thing I keep bringing up but gets forgotten is when there is no preview pic in the PND I should be able to add one by the usual override pic method. It doesn't work now.
 
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skeezix

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If a game (say) Vektar were to appear .. it'd be a Game, but more specifically, it'd be Arcade.

So it makes perfect sense to show it under Arcade, and also under Game.

Its really a question of representation and filtering; if Dave wants it only in one, then he can use the ovr editor to specify just one, but everyone else probably likes the fact they can be more or less specific.

Various random options .. feel free to add more :)

- tabs across the top as it is now - Game | Arcade - and you can hide none, both, or one of them, to your hearts content.
- tabs across top and bottom .. would be confusing
- tab across the top by main cat (Game), with another row of tabs below that ("All" + Arcade, default to All I suppose.) So switch to Game, it shos everything.. but switch to Arcade to only see those games. Q: How to rotate between subcategories?
- tabs across top by main category (Game), with tabs along the left going up/down with the subcats, with top tab being All (the default)
- tabs across the top by main category, but with folders for the subcats
- tabs across the top by main category, but when you hit some button, replace that tab list with a list of subcats; that same button (?) could revert back to normal cats. Like a 'detail level' toggle .. we showing main cats, or subcats?

I don't like having tabs on the left I think, since that'd eat up a lot of space; certainly an option, but it'll make DaveC cringe. Others might be okay with it, I dunno :)

- ED had an idea months ago .. tab only for main cats (Game), and hit a button (which?) to bring up a menu of subcats (All + Arcade for example), where the user can pick one; default is all. But I like to keep subcats more obvious, so the user knows he can do filtering, and in a nice easy predictable fashion, not 'another UI mode'. But I've been wrong before :)

Add more options, and pick one :)

jeff

Dave -- not forgotten, no; I keep a list of tasks for each of my many projects. Its just with RL, I only have so much time to commit to a project, and pick a project each week :) So it takes awhile sometimes :)
 

techFreak

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Hi Skeezix,

We've been talking with Ed and I have told him some of my ideas to improve MiniMenu. My first idea is to add a counter node to .pnd config file. This counter will save the number of executions of the application. With this way we can understand which applications are used mostly. In other words, we can understand the favorite applications of users. With this information we can :

- Sort the applications by the counter value. So the most used apps will be on top and least used items move down.
- Create a tab for TOP 10 applications. The applications with highest counter value may move to this tab.
- Make the icons get bigger as they are clicked more. The favorite apps' icons get bigger so they're much easier to be recognized and there will be larger area to touch to execute them. The grid lay out could be set in a smart way so it shouldn't look weird.

My other suggestion is to remove the right pane which hosts the screenshots and other info. It would be better to use the whole screen for icons and the information pane may pop out when clicked on Y button. The same pop up window can have those move / copy / remove commands as well.

I have some more ideas on this and I'll let you know when I have more time.

The Best,
Fatih
 

EmuGuy

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I like the tabs, and I think I'd prefer tabs to folders. I haven't had time to configure my tabs yet, but IIRC I have 4 emulators that show up under a Games tab and then again under Emulators (not sure, don't have my Pandora with me to check). So it'd be good to get in there and clean it up a little. And I want the first tab to be "All" or "Apps" and the 2nd tab to be "Games"...is it possible to set the order of the tabs? That's about all I need.

Anyway, voting for tabs. :)
 

trix

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I like the subcategory idea, but personally, I was thinking of it like Newegg has it. Click a tab for the main category, then hit a link that filters it down more specific if necessary.

Or instead of subcats you could put check boxes right below the tabs, to filter the results. That way apps could have tags and could be filtered by category first, then tags second.

- trix
 

skeezix

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Ordering tabs is possible, just haven't had time to build that into the config UI yet. (Was going to add an option to push the selected category up or down the list.)

mfk -- the counter, being minimenu specific, shoudl just be stored in the minimenu user config (piece of cake); or to be across environments could stick such a thing in an .ovr file .. but that'd be a lot of files (a .ovr file for every .pnd .. bleh :) The 'sort function' is just a function minimenu uses to weigh each item, and then it places them in weighted order; altering that function to account for a score would be trivial, its just a matter of coming up with a good weighting system :)

Keep the debate going..

Getting rid of the right-side-pane is fine by me; could be an option in the UI even..

jeff
 

DaveC

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skeezix said:
Ordering tabs is possible, just haven't had time to build that into the config UI yet. (Was going to add an option to push the selected category up or down the list.)
Its really a question of representation and filtering; if Dave wants it only in one, then he can use the ovr editor to specify just one, but everyone else probably likes the fact they can be more or less specific.

mfk -- the counter, being minimenu specific, shoudl just be stored in the minimenu user config (piece of cake); or to be across environments could stick such a thing in an .ovr file .. but that'd be a lot of files (a .ovr file for every .pnd .. bleh :) The 'sort function' is just a function minimenu uses to weigh each item, and then it places them in weighted order; altering that function to account for a score would be trivial, its just a matter of coming up with a good weighting system :)

Keep the debate going..

Getting rid of the right-side-pane is fine by me; could be an option in the UI even..

jeff
Hopefully some sort of counter could be disabled. I don't care what is used more and I don't want the thing writing to the card everytime I click on an icon. Nor would I want the thing rearranging my icons based on what is used more or icons getting big, more tabs for top 10 etc. If any of that was implemented hopefully it could be shut off, I don't care for any of that.

I think all kinds of tabs all over just complicates things. Having rows of tabs on the top and side bottom etc would be allot of clutter. Look at Gmenu2X that was popular, that just had catagories along the top with an icon panel underneath. Why do you want the same app showing up multiple times? That just seems like needless mess to me. There should be a way to highlight the app, then pick from a list under which tab it shows up under.

I think the best thing would be to have it as it is now with the main catagories only in the tabs along the top. Then if you want things catagorized into subcats those would show as a folder in the icon panel in place of a regular icon. The folders would sort to be in the first positions in the grid like PCs do, scattered throughout alphabetical would be sloppy. So under the Game tab you may have a folder called Shooter, Arcade, Racing etc. If you go into a folder and want to go up a level you would just hit "X button" or something. When subcts were turned off the folders go away and everything then just shows as an icon in Game. To me this is the most intuitive and that is how all PCs etc work anyway so no one is confused. It also means it is easier to navigate as folders in a grid can be accessed faster than scrolling through subcat tabs. If someone has 100 subcats and wants to find something it would be faster navigating through the grid than clicking tabs 100 times one by one.

I just don't know how that would work if I wanted a tab dedicated to emulators and the emulators would ONLY show there and not in Game. But then for games I would want maybe under Game tab a folder for Shooter, Racing etc. That is kind of a hybrid, maybe that is where the ovr files come in? Also there should be an override for subcats. If there isn't you will get folder spam with things like "action" "Logic" "Arcade" " "side scrollers with characters with red suits" "Racing games with cars" Racing games with Red cars" Racing games with red cars 2 doors and convertible" etc. I have seen it already. For example I wouldn't want a folder for "logic" AND "Puzzle" I would want those in the same folder called "puzzle".

Or maybe the ovr system could not be used and a gui in MM could just edit that info in the pnd itself.

Does anyone really like the apps showing up in multiple places (3 if you show All, then you have Game, then emulator) if it is an emulator? Just curious.
 
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thatgui

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I'm going with DaveC on this one. I'm the type of user who wants to blindly navigate the menu - so please make the favorite-thing an option. But I do like the idea that the "info-pane" is invisible and can be made visible via a specific button .
My addition would be to make the tab orientation a user-choice. I would like to have my tabs on the left side to get some vertical space
 

mcfab

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Hi,

Voting for the DaveC way too :)
A simple layout makes navigation simple and fast.
If users want to have more category levels they can use the folder paradigm, as in every standard file manager.


I'm thinking about an handy function we usually have in PC file managers (unless it already exists):

At every moment, we could type the first letters of an app/folder name (from the focused tab) then mmenu will hilight the first matching icon on the fly, ready to be launched.
 

Emnasut

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mcfab said:
At every moment, we could type the first letters of an app/folder name (from the focused tab) then mmenu will hilight the first matching icon on the fly, ready to be launched.
^ This, but instead of only highlighting also filter every match so only matching stuff gets shown. Also, an option to start with "*" so we can also filter for postfixes. :)
 
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EvilDragon

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Well, my idea (that skeezix mentioned above) basically is like NewEgg: You select the category and it displays all files. Then you can press a button (select maybe?) and a pop-up menu shows all subcats here and you can filter it down to whatever you like.
This is useful if you have a lot of games (over 50) on your card and want to browse... feel like playing a puzzle game? Use the filter to only show puzzle games. No big deal :)
This would be the most convenient way in my opinion. femame also did it like that :)

Now onto some thing DaveC said:
He wants emulators as own tab, not within game... well, we're sticking to the FreeDesktop-Categories to not break any compatibility with other Linux desktop environments.
This way, you can run any Linux desktop (like KDE4, Gnome, etc.) on the Pandora and the files will always appear where they should.
If we don't follow that standard, they all would appear in "Other" (that's the reason why some PNDs show up in "Other" in XFCE4: They are not using proper categories).

However, to make this possible, I have another additional config idea:
Lets assume we only show categories and then either filter subcategories as explained above or do the same using folders, etc. (whatever). What would be really cool is if the user could change the config to show a subcategory as own tab (and either do or don't show files from that subcategory in the main cat folder anymore).
Then DaveC could simply select that the subcategory "GAME / Emulator" would show up as own tab and the emulators would be removed from the game tab.
I would also most certainly use that :)

What do you think about that?
 

skeezix

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I'm thinking now along the lines of a config option..

Show subcats as: <foo> where user picks one of these:
- subcat as main tab (so they show up on the top, where they do now, subject to show/hide constraint from the config UI)
- subcat as subtabs (so they show up on the left side, say, siubject to show/hide constraint from the config UI); maybe something like right/left shoulder rotates through main cats as now, but hold right shoudler and hit left to cycl through subcats or something weird like that :)
- subcat as folders (so they show up as folders in the main grid, subject to show/hide constraint from the config UI)
- subcat are hidden - need to use a key to pull up a request to switch to a subcat view, or back to main cat view (ED's idea)

I think what DaveC is sort of hinting at is .. making that choice on a per-category level, which might make my code a nightmare; but hen you coudl pick any one cat or subcat and mark it as a tab on the top, a tab on the side, a folder, or hide it.

So right now you have 'show or hide' option in the config UI, but instead you'd have.. hide, show as main tab, show as side tab, show as folder (in tab <foo> pick one?)

Shit, hell with it...

You know what would make DaveC happy? :) Make your own tabs, and put your apps in them, in one single place (plus All).

/pandora/menu and /pandora/desktop and /pandora/mmenu as root; what if you stuck your app in /pandora/menu/game/foo.pnd .. then have minimenu just detect 'game' and make a tab for it, and put the app there.

I could add an option in minimenu config UI: "<checkbox> Use manual tabs", that just follows the filesystem as a guide for what apps to put in what tabs.

I had made adirectory browsing mode (currently disabled) for this purpose, but just mapping directory to tabs would do it.

Normal folks (early unexperienced, whatever) could just use the normal grid and enable/diable tabs, bu those who want more control could just file thigns in the filesystem.

xfce/etc woudl work all the same (the system already scans subdirectries to find the apps.)

What o you think of that, Dave? (Also, coupled with the upcoming change so data is filed to the same directory as the pnd, ought to make you smile :) No more automatic, just by turning on one option.

jeff
 

DaveC

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skeezix said:
I could add an option in minimenu config UI: "<checkbox> Use manual tabs", that just follows the filesystem as a guide for what apps to put in what tabs.

I had made adirectory browsing mode (currently disabled) for this purpose, but just mapping directory to tabs would do it.

Normal folks (early unexperienced, whatever) could just use the normal grid and enable/diable tabs, bu those who want more control could just file thigns in the filesystem.

xfce/etc woudl work all the same (the system already scans subdirectries to find the apps.)

What o you think of that, Dave? (Also, coupled with the upcoming change so data is filed to the same directory as the pnd, ought to make you smile :) No more automatic, just by turning on one option.

jeff
So basically the system would mimic the dir structure and ignore the cats in the PND. Placing the apps in the tab you want is as simple as dragging and dropping the pnd into the directory, and it uses the dir name as the tab name. That would be not only super simple (no more dicking around with ovr files) but be pretty clean too. Plus you would only need to make those dirs once basically then it is just drag and drop from then on. Yes, that is a good idea to me. If you place the pnd into a subfolder then mm treats that like a subcat which then would show as a folder in the icon grid.

So if I had DOOM.pnd in a dir Game/shooters and Giana in a dir Game/Platform then a tab would show up "Game" and folders would show in the grid called Shooters and Platform. That is great EXCEPT (you know there would be one) to do this and if I had Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem in the shooter dir then all of those pnds plus their icon overrides and preview overrides would all be in one big pile in Shooters. Not terrible but could get a bit unwieldy. So if I put DOOM.pnd in a dir Game/shooters/Doom (Doom dir, where all of the Doom files icons etc would be ,and if appdata change was made, then all of that data too) to clean it up would I then get a folder in Game called Shooters then when I go into shooters would I then have another folder with just the one game Doom in it? That would be bad. I guess you could just make it so that MM only shows two levels, one for main cat, one for subcat, and if you are weird and bury something in more subdirs below that it would flatten those and still show in only the one subcat level (or just show everyting as icons, no folders in you turn off subcats)in MM. If you did that it would work great.

The only other issue is if I had Doom plus the override icon, data, etc in a dir called Doom under the Game dir to keep the files together it would then show as a folder in the grid not a game icon. I may not want it to show as a subcat but it would with this. I suppose you could put a special character in front to tell MM that it is just a dir and not a subcat. Something like: _Doom as a directory would tell MM to just show the game icon and not show as a subcat or something.

I can see this being the most user friendly of the bunch, gives users total control without hacking text files, and can't get any more logical. The other thing I can see here is an option to use the filename as the appname in MM. So if I get something with a title imbedded in the PND called "The Great Gianna Sisters for Pandora" and I don't want the text under my icon saying "The Great Gia" I could just rename the pnd to "Giana.pnd" and it would show up in MM as "Giana"

Also you were thinking about the panel on the side going away. I could see an option to move it to a separate screen you call up with "Y". So then you would get the help text like now plus the preview pic in there as well. That could be an Ok option.
 
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Aninhumer

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How about having a secondary category (not just the subcategory) in the PND?
One for keeping with the FreeDesktop standards, and one that follows the categories we'd be used to on the GP2X etc.?
We could even allow a setting to use the alt category for system menus.

Alternatively just break the standards slightly for our .desktop handling implementation to allow "Emulator" as a category.
I don't think stuff showing up as "Other" in people's custom OS installs is much of a problem.

While the FreeDesktop standards are great for desktop computers, I don't think they're well adapted for our particular niche.
 

naples39

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I am pretty satisfied with minimenu at the moment. Just a few thoughts;

-OVR editor. I am in the habit of making new ovr's everytime I download a new pnd for the clockspeed and categories I prefer. It would be nice to just be able to put the pnd on the SD, then be able to access pnd info and edit the ovr for name, info, clockspeed and category.

-Related to ovr editor, maybe there could be a favorite tag in the ovr file, and a separate tab for favorite programs (so such favorite programs would appear in their category and the favorite tab).

-Increased touchscreen support, not that I use that much right now.

-Kind of weird to hit 'b' to run a pnd, but you to hit enter to select an option from the side menu such as shut down. I'm used to it by now, but a little awkward at first.

-Simple theme/background image selector from within minimenu. Yeah, I know you can do it elsewhere, but I am linux idiot.
 
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