Release Minimenu Preview Beta For You To Try!


Internal Development
Mar 11, 2003
Sorry, I posted this a couple hours ago to gp32x forum, but forgot to post here. In my brain, the two are just one board, so I tend to forget one or the other :)

The gp32x thread:

Lets see how a giant copy-pasta works:

I've been hacking a lot on minimenu lately, and looking for folks to give the latest build a good solid beating! I want to know if its stable or unstable, and I'm sure that a lot of you guys will enjoy the new features that've been built in. (And much more to come, but I like to have waypoints along the path to ensure I'm going in the right direction, you know? :)

The installer is substantially untested, and I didn't include an uninstaller .. life is too busy! So please BE WARNED! But a few brace souls, I'm sure we'd all appreciate it :) The installer just copies over a new mmenu binary and a slightly updated default skin. If a skin is not updated, it will not allow the detail panel to be toggled on/off, but the modifications are trivial (just a few entries into mmskin.conf. Let me know if you'd like to know the details.) Anyway, after the installer, running minimenu should get you the updated application, and the default skin will permit the detail panel toggle to occur.

SUGGESTION: Prior to running the installer, you may wish to switch to xfce, so if mmenu is blown up after, you can just reboot and are good to go ;) (otherwise worst case might need to reflash or futz around.) ie: switch to xfce, run the installer, then run mmenu once and ensure it runs, and then switch back to mmenu as you prefered environment if you so wish.

The installer should show up under Accessories if memory servers; get it here:



newest again!:

custom categories, and newest yet!:

My little one is screaming away right now, so I'll be briefer than I anticipated (lucky you ;)

The highlights ..

- 'A' toggles detail panel on and off .. so you can get a nice glorious full screen grid of icons. Further, when detail panel is hidden, the loading of preview pics is disabled, so you can get around a touch faster.

- By default, subcategories are now loaded as subfolders to the main categories; you can toggle this back to subcategories getting their own tabs if you like in the config screen. (This behaviour does depend on properly defined PXML in the pnd files, and most are good enough.)

- You can go to config panel and turn on the directory browser, which will add a tab for each SD (really, each media device that is mounted.. could be USB drives etc.) You can use the browser for basic things now, such as running pnds or executables from any old random folder on your SD. You could use this to organize pnds any old way, and run them from your own folders, or from SD root or whatever. In the future I will add options to copy/move files, perhaps fire up preferred mp3/video/picture player for those kinds of files, etc, but trying to decide how far we need to go for 'mini'menu.

- by default, any nonstandard/bogus categories will just move the app over to "Other" tab; you can turn off this behaviuour if you want the old behaviour that shows the tabs as is

- you can disable pnd autodiscovery by minimenu if you like; doing so makes it start up pretty darned fast.. but not much to look at ;) However, if you turn on directory browser, and turn off pnd-browser, you can just walk around your SD and run things that way (manual discovery).

- 'X' will 'go back up' .. if you're in a subcategory folder, it'll go back up to the parent category; if you're in a subdirectory in the dir browser, it'll go back up.

- (you can also run '..' to go back up, but X may save you from having to navigate a few screens up to find ..)

- config panel has some aesthetics changes -- has a 'scroll arrow' up/down on left side so you know when theres more options either direction; also a counter in bottom right so you know how far in you arem in the case of hundreds of entries. (BTW, you can hold d-pad down to autoscroll.) It also notes that you can hit Y to go back up a level as well, to avoid having to find the 'go back up a level' entry.)

- config panel will show parent category beside each tab, in the show/hide tab screen, so you have a clearer idea what you're looking at

- 'temporary reveal hidden tab' option will show parent category beside tab name

Let me know if it feels faster or slower; I tweaked things a bit so should run faster overall, but then I went and turned down a few other options which might have made it feel slower even though being more efficient. I've got some more changes to apply to make it run faster and yet use less cpu anyway, but I've not had time for that yet.

Screenshots, for fun..

Screenies are from my desktop dev environment, not real pandora; have to re-setup my keybinding for 'grab screenshot' on the pandora, and couldn't be bothered just now :) I reflash too often and lose such options quickly ;)

- normal display you're more or less used to; notice the Other tab, and the lack of crappy subcategory tabs. ("LogicGame" is a broken tab I use to torture my testing, so ignore it.)

- toggled off detail panel by hitting 'A'

- switched to Game tab; notice the first two entries are folders for subcats

- within the subcat, you see only that category; there is a '..' entry, but you can hit X to go back up

- the file browser tab in action; if it sees a folder, you get a folder; if it sees a pnd, it pulls out the icon etc live; anything else is shown as a utility icon, and you can attempt to run it; if its executable, it'll try to run it when asked. (Can't really tell if its executable or not until you try, due to DOS filesystems mount showing everything as executable, so it only checks the mimetype when you try to run something.)

- the config panel showing the known categories and show/hide (yes/no) option, showing the parent category

Theres a lot of other little changes (should run a little faster), but thats the main bits so far


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Sweet. I will give this a go in the morning. Looks like a lot of hard work. Thanks Jeff.
Yar Welcome! :)

Theres some issues (usually not too bad) noted in the other forum.

Mostly its due to bad PXML in some of the pnd-applications, which tortures minimenu when its trying to be nice :) ie: IF one app says Network main cateogry and subcat Geography, and another app says Network is a subcat of something else .. then you can end up with a category loop which can lead to a crash. This build of minimenu tries to avoid some patholofical cases, but what we've learned is ..

For the next build, I think I will go for strict freedesktop standard category support, instead of allowing a lot of 'crap' to get in and confuse things. So next build, if it sees Network as a subcat instead of a main category, it'll just chuck the app into "Other", and eventually the developers will fix their pnds :) (I'm guilty myself, some of my apps are typoed in the categories .. eep!)

So this build is relatively stable, but if you haev just the right mix of screwy pnds, it can get confused in some spots. But at least it more or less works, and I'll put another build together in a few days.

Some comments. Transitions seem to be just a very tiny bit slower, but the underlying feel is much better. Being able to turn off the preview window is the best feature yet! I love that and it makes this more snappy. I also LOVE the folders. Cannot wait till you add copy and paste functions.

I had only used minimenu just to check it out before and did not run it that much. But after this update, I am probably going to abandon using the other interface and stick with minimenu. Thanks for your hard work! Love it!
I've updated the installer to a more strict version; its now much MUCH pickier about categories suggested from the PXML; you'll probably find its shoving 30% of your apps into Other now, but the devs should fix their pnd applications to advertise the correct categories now ;) Theres a lot of pnd with types or bogus categories or nonstandard broken stuff.. that stuff was confusing the previous version a bit, so this one is stricter by far, and more stable as a result.

Very welcome :)

Anyone try it, report back? Good, bad, I'm the guy with the gun?


Assuming this is part of the new HF5 beta, then yes, I've tried it - the A button worked *once* to hide the detail panel and now does nothing :( In fact, it's stopped working since I switched to the "midnight" theme.

As noted*, the themes need minor update to be compatible with the toggle-detail mode (ie: the theme needs to tell mmenu where to put things when detail panel is missing.) mmenu checks one of the config keys thats new, and if present, assumes or tries its best. But if not present (an un-updated theme), it won't permit the mode, to be nice and safe. So, the theme needs patching (about 6 entries in the config.)

Pretty soon I'm going to add some new artwork requirements as well, but I will make it so if it can't find them, it'll check the default theme, so that those functions still work for old themes.


edit: * on bollocks, I didn't mention it here, was in another thread or the othr forum or something. doh!
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I noted an interesting bug. Not sure if it is related to the minimenu or the game I was trying. I was running Powder (Nice game btw) and when I loaded from minimenu, the game seemed to crash. So I reran and noted that the game was exiting to minimenu as soon as it loads. Tryed another launch and I had three instances of the game running. Exited to xfce and saw all 3 instances of powder running so I killed each. When running Powder from XFCE I do not get this issue.
Looks like powder is scripted poorly; the run-script inside actually quits .. I'm guessing the run-script or run-binary forks and executes another job (The game), which leaves the actual pnd to exit. Or else the run script does somethign like "./powder &" to run it in backgrond by typo. Either way, the pnd is actually 'finished' and wraps up (which fails, since the binary is still running and keeping the resources busy), so things get funny. Powder should still work likely, but will leave a bit of a mess behind in the system, and obviously doesn't run right from all environments.

So .. inform the Powder author they need to fix their run-script; either take out the '&' in the run-line, or if the job forks and runs for some reason, then need to put in a loop in the run-script to wait for the alternate process to die before exiting.

Updated again:

This one changes it so .. when you have an item selected (currently has to be an app, not a folder or a directory browser entry) and hit SPACE, it shows a 'context menu'. (Used to be that space would just run the app, same as hitting Start or B, but not SPACE is reserved for popping up this menu.)

This menu lets you specify _overrides_ for display name, preferred cpu speed, preferred prime category, preferred subcategory, or hide the app (to save you heading into the config main menu via Select menu.)


Battle for Wesnoth might be too long a name for you; so hit Space, pick Change display name, and type in "Wesnoth", hit Enter. It'll ask you to confirm, and if you pick "Confirm", it'll write out an .ovr file beside the .pnd file on your SD card. (same filename, just with .pnd changed to .ovr); it'll create the ovr-file if needed, or update it if its already present.

.ovr's are already supported across the system since day one (just no easy editor until now), so a change in mmenu will actually show up in xfce or anywhere, next time they rescan the applications. (ie: next boot or rescan .. mmenu will force itself to do a rescan immediately, of course, so will reflect the change right away.)


This lets you assign a category or subcategory (or override what is already present), but does not yet let you create new categories or subcats. We're still mulling that over.

This update may not go into hotfix 5; we think this will need more testing over more time with more people, so we'll leave hotfix 5 going as 'stable', and put this in for hotfix 6. Please help me test :) The pnd installer should work, and shouldn't break anything, but be warned!

It is not in hf5-beta4 that ED just posted.

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This looks good, but when I tell it to hide certain PNDs, Minimenu doesn't listen. They still show up even though closing and rechecking the options confirms that the options did save.
Oh? You mean if you go to Select -> Configre -> Apps it'll show the app as 'no' (hidden) but it still shows up?

You're on the latest mmenu 'beta'?

Which app?

Do you have any ovr files?

I've never seen that sort of thing before. One evil trick to do could be to remove your saved preferences (its in your homedir on NAND .. called ~/.mm<something-I-forget>); maybe some old kruft is conflicting in there. But.. weird, I'm prety anal about making things work going forward :)

I'll keep an eye out for it :)

Hey Jeff, how do you get the awesome atari 800 icon for the 800 emu? I don't have that and am insanely jealous.