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Show Me That New GNOME Main Menu

[Update: Please refer to “Show Me That Updated GNOME Main Menu” to see the latest info on the Main Menu, including a video.]

[Audio: There is an interview with developer Jimmy Krehl about this topic on Novell Open Audio.]

[Follow-up: I have posted a follow-on called “Customizing the Main Menu” to answer some questions posted on digg.com.]

[Note: Since tuxmachines.org seems to have picked up this post, I should clarify up front that I do not know whether this has been or will be accepted into the main source tree of gnome.org. This is just the menu that I have been showing in public demonstrations of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. The possible implication that it is indeed the stated direction of gnome.org is not intended. As I am heading to GUADEC next week, this clarification may spare me much flailing from many of my colleagues who are deeply invested in the health of the GNOME community. 21:46 MDT 17-06-06]

gnome-main-menu Favorite AppsA lot of the people I have spoken to at various shows and events have wanted to see more of GNOME’s new Main Menu which Novell aims to deliver with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10. The newly overhauled navigation resulted from studies in Novell’s desktop usability labs. (See BetterDesktop.org for some of the information on the findings, methods, etc.) So let’s take a moment to examine it.

The menu is accessed from a single button, labelled “Computer.” There is no “My Computer” on the desktop, as our testing found that newer computer users expected anything but a file system browser to come up when they clicked on the one on Windows. We also found that having a name like “Start” (as Windows does) confuses users when presented with tasks like “shut down your computer.” Nevertheless, a lot of users look to the bottom left for a single all-access button. Hence the Computer button. That’s how the origins of the Computer button have been explained to me.

gnome-main-menu-Recently Used

The Main Menu that pops up from the the Computer button contains:

  • Search linked to Beagle
  • System tools that offer the functions that users need most often
  • Disk space and network connection status indicators
  • A selector for “Favorite Applications”, “Recently Used Applications”, “Recent Documents”
  • A “More Applications…” button which takes you to the Applications Browser that I showed in a recent post.

So, I provide two screens shots of the menu, one of Favorites, and the other of Recently Used Applications.

(Apologies about the layout. I have not had a chace to work out the kinks in my WordPress template.)

34 Responses

  1. For a second there I thought you were going to do a “show us your GNOE Main Menu” thing.

  2. על התפריט הראשי החדש של GNOME ב-SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10…

    חברת נובל (חדשות) מיישמת מסקנות ולקחים מסקרי ומבחני שמישות (חדשות) שהיא עורכת – בעיקר בסביבת GNOME, שול…

  3. […] Show Me That New GNOME Main Menu – odhalenie nového menu v GNOME […]

  4. that looks interesting … is it going to work on other *nixes like ubuntu ?

  5. […] GNOME’s New Main Menu Revealedread more | digg story […]

  6. Weird. Not sure if I like this or not. I’d have to see it in action. It’s nice and colorful, but it seems kind of big — not to sound negative. Development is always a good thing. The current menus in Gnome are kind of boring. This just seems so big.

    It does remind me of the XP menu. Sorry if that is insulting. I’m just being honest. Nevertheless, it looks colorful.

  7. Lovely…

    A doubt though (since I cant try it yet), do we have to *click* the More Apps button to access all apps or is it on-hover open ? Kinda reduces irritation…

  8. QM: See my later post on Customizing Main Menu. –T

  9. […] Anyway, the new Gnome main menu is the topic of this post. Reverend Ted posted some screenshots of the new Gnome main menu to his blog the other day. There was a lot of unexpected interest in the screenshots too, as seen by Reverend Ted’s blog stats graph. […]

  10. It’s interesting, but ,a href=”http://linuxgeekboy.wordpress.com/2006/06/29/novell-linux-and-vista-oh-and-boy-george/”>a bit too much like Vista for my liking.

  11. pretty sweet…

  12. […] GNOME’s New Main Menu Revealedread more | digg story […]

  13. Is it just me, or does that look really similar to Vista’s start menu? Either way, it’s a very nice menu. I hope it makes it into GNOME 🙂

  14. […] I installed and setup NetworkManager on my desktop yesterday – works beautifully! I’ve been using it on my laptop (running FC6) for a while, but I’ve never tried it in Gentoo before. I had to install it as a dep for slab (https://reverendted.wordpress.com/2006/06/17/show-me-that-new-gnome-main-menu/), which I decided to give a go… It doesn’t work very well to be honest… I might try it again someday, but meh. Hmm… I wonder if it works under FC6 easily… […]

  15. […] New “kickoff” KDE and “Slab” GNOME menus […]

  16. Where can I download it?

  17. xactive [19]:
    During GUADEC 2006, Novell submitted all the work on this menu into GNOME as a module called “slab.” You should be able to search GNOME CVS for “slab” to get the latest sources. It is now included in openSUSE 10.2, and it has been packaged for multiple other distributions, including Fedora, Ubuntu, and many others.

  18. Its awful!! I hate it!! SUSE 10.2 is such a good release too, but why oh why oh why did you copy XP?!? And, no option to switch it off!!!


  19. blah [21]:
    Right-click the Computer button and choose “Remove from Phanel” from the menu. Once you have removed the button, you can right-click the panel where the Computer button used to be, and choose “Add to Panel…” The item you want to add is called “Menu Bar,” which is the old main menu from Gnome.

  20. […] technical advancements, but also continuous improvements in the look and feel of the desktop. The new Main Menu for Gnome that debuted with SLED10 showed how studying user interaction with the desktop can result in a […]

  21. […] technical advancements, but also continuous improvements in the look and feel of the desktop. The new Main Menu for Gnome that debuted with SLED10 showed how studying user interaction with the desktop can result in a […]

  22. […] (in openSUSE) unter den Programmnamen sogar kurze Beschreibungen der Programme – siehe z.B. die von hier entliehen Grafiken. […]

  23. And if you want a “My Computer” icon on your desktop add it yourself.
    Right-click on empty desktop, choose “Create Launcher…”
    Name=My Computer (or whatever)
    Command= nautilus computer///:
    Click on the icon to choose a suitable one, eg /usr/share/pixmaps/system.png

  24. ubuntu can do it. but i need some else, may like vista menu. Any solution?

  25. artha [27]:
    I really don’t have any suggestion for you. There likely are hacks available, but unless they are backed by a committed development team (or an insanely dedicated individual), chances are that it would be…well, hackish.

  26. […] كيفية ربط الـ Application Browser بها, و هي عبارة عن تطبيق خاص بـ gnome-main-menu يقوم بعرض كافة البرامج المثبتة لديك على توزيعتك في […]

  27. Oooh i hate this new panel since it looks to much like that other OS.
    Thank you very much Ted Haeger (Jan 19) for your explanation.
    i removed the panel and now im very happy again with me sue linuex.

  28. @henck [30]: Happy to oblige.

  29. Thank you Ted!

  30. how to addnew shortcuts or new menu in gnome tools bar

  31. drag and drop from the “More Applications” on right bottom corner

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