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 Forum index » House Training » Beginners Help ( Start Here)
How to edit Puppy's menu?
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marada2

Joined: 19 Oct 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 09:36    Post subject:  How to edit Puppy's menu?
Subject description: Drag and drop would be nice
 

Having only experience of windows, I have to say I absolutely love puppy linux, it is so fast and by far the fastest operating system I have ever used. It would be perfect if it was possible to make the start menu bar a little more flexible. I have read through the forums and downloaded a few tools making removal and adding things to the menu easier, however it still lacks the native flexibility that I would like. I can’t find on any of the tools the ability to delete a menu category e.g. such as the games menu? Is there no build of puppy which would give me the ability to delete things on click from the menu and drag things directly to / from the menu like you can do in windows?

I really would like a simple option like this as, while with a bit of studying I may be capable of manually editing things, it is a hassle. Also if I am to setup my elderly mother on a puppy system she would be totally clueless if anything was remotely technical. So if there any version of puppy which will enable me to have a drag/drop/ click to delete start menu?
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watchdog

Joined: 28 Sep 2012
Posts: 676

PostPosted: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 14:03    Post subject:  

Have a look to the following HowTo if it can help:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=84352
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marada2

Joined: 19 Oct 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 17:22    Post subject:  

Thanks for your reply. I had a look at this tutorial here:

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=63006

but putting # in front on the menu line did not hide that menu group. I am using precise puppy - any idea why this is not working?

Also even if I get this working by editing these lines, is there no way to setup the menu system for drag and drop with the mouse. It seems so easy to do this in windows but on puppy it seems a nightmare.
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Jasper


Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 18:28    Post subject:  

Hi,

I use Precise 5.6 and jwm.

To hide any main menu categories:
Right click on the ".jwmrc" file in the root directory and choose "Open As Text".

Now read the third line of text which commences "IMPORTANT......".

After you go to the file as directed by that text and copy it somewhere so that you can restore it if necessary; delete (not # Rem) any categories you want to exclude from the menu then save the changes.

To hide (not delete) individual menu items download PupMenu from radky.
In PupMenu you can hide apps one-at-a-time or scores-at-once - then view any and all hidden apps/files in PupMenu.

PupMenu does much more, it even has a drag and drop facility to make desktop icons.

My regards
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marada2

Joined: 19 Oct 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 20:15    Post subject:  

Thanks for your reply. I managed to remove the fun menu by deleting it from the .jwmrc" file in the root directory. I am also aware of the pup menu program, but in all honesty I find this all a bit clunky. Is there no way to setup simple drag and drop with the mouse, instead of editing scripts or using another program every time I want to add or remove something to the menu?
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MochiMoppel


Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 510
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 22:33    Post subject:  

marada2 wrote:
but putting # in front on the menu line did not hide that menu group. I am using precise puppy - any idea why this is not working?
No, but you can avoid the trouble to modify /usr/sbin/fixmenus and simply hide categories in /etc/xdg/templates/_root_.jwmrc by changing PUPPYMENU to something else like #UPPYMENU . After that run fixmenus and restart JWM.

Quote:
I managed to remove the fun menu by deleting it from the .jwmrc" file in the root directory.
Not a good idea. Will be overridden whenever you add a new program or run fixmenus.

I agree that manually editing the menus is a nightmare and that there should be easier ways. At least a good documentation would be a start.
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nic007

Joined: 13 Nov 2011
Posts: 788

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 02:28    Post subject:  

Perhaps another way of doing things. Desktop files are found in /usr/share/applications. Just the other day I added menu entries for some of my wine programs. Eg. Wanted to add a financial calculator so checked the menu to see where other calculators were categorized, right-clicked on one of the existing calculator desktop files in /usr/share/applications and opened as text, edited the entries to suit my new program, saved my new desktop file with new name, ran fixmenus in terminal. I'm sure existing desktop files can also be deleted and then run fixmenus. I have frugal install so the changes are made on the save file so no big issue. Haven't tried it but instead of deleting existing desktop files, one can perhaps just rename them to say text files and then run fixmenus. When you want to include them again, rename to desktop files and run fixmenus.
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amigo

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 2297

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 02:40    Post subject:  

"simple drag and drop with the mouse" -this is the *only* feature found in windows which I miss under Linux. As far as I know, there is no window-manager/taskbar/menu which can do this under Linux -although WindowMaker comes close to this -when you open the preferences utility, you can, indeed, drag-n-drop existing items to change their location. Being able to right-click the menu to re-arrange the items is also handy.

It sound like a simple thing, but actually this capability is quite complex. I'd certainly be interested if you *do* find it implemented somewhere.
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Jasper


Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 04:14    Post subject:  

Hi,

You made a mistake and did not read the IMPORTANT note on which file to edit.

So you know PupMenu exists, but not how to use its power.

Using PupMenu, to tick boxes in a single alphabetical list, I hid some 180 apps from my main jwm menu in about four minutes (which time included decision making).

Clunky is as clunky does, but when in Rome .... and just enjoy your new experience.

My regards
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 9067

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 05:34    Post subject:  

Quote:
Using PupMenu, to tick boxes in a single alphabetical list, I hid some 180 apps from my main jwm menu in about four minutes (which time included decision making).


wow you counted them...well done.... that menu is a new users nightmare.... I fully understand why its top 10 on the list of things to change.

The puppy window managers are not particularly standard with regard to menus so require another layer of scripts to 'fix' them. Something more regular like say XFCE4 at least has easy menu/apps handling though the drag and drop approach does seem to have been left out of the linux world. Windows is THE user friendly system...that what made the billions.....its appauling insecurity was hidden from the eagar public by such 'glossiness' and the rest is history so a little compromise is worth it but you also do have options if your window manager is a pain in the neck

mike
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marada2

Joined: 19 Oct 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 06:46    Post subject:  

You said that "XFCE4 at least has easy menu/apps handling"

With regards to this do yo know if anyone has made a puppy iso with XFCE4?

Also why do you think drag and drop has been left out of the linux world? There are many things wrong with windows but the simplicity of drag and drop is one thing I feel they have right.
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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 9067

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 07:42    Post subject:  

Quote:
Also why do you think drag and drop has been left out of the linux world?


Well for menus....perhaps microsoft have some dubious patent on the subject.
Puppy with rox does have that drag and drop to make a desktop icon though.

Xfce4 puppies... they exist and there are packages for it.... a nosy around the forum needed.... xfce4 also has easy to add launches on its taskbar too.... there are other window managers too... I suggest getting familiar generally and look at the options out there before diving in...live cd's do make a handy way of testing things out befor commiting.

When i say easier menu handling applications are launched by their .desktop files usually but not only in /usr/share/applications/.... there are often tools included for gui creation and they also include info to select what menu category to be placed in... in other words the program packager decides where their application fits into the picture. It sort of makes sense...I add a graphics program and its menu entry appears in the graphics tab.

mike
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Jasper


Joined: 25 Apr 2010
Posts: 1206
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 08:20    Post subject:  

Hi,

mikeb wrote
Quote:
wow you counted them...well done.... that menu is a new users nightmare.... I fully understand why its top 10 on the list of things to change.


(1) Some 15 x 12 (a reduction of some 15 pages times some 12 items per page).

(2) If "that menu" refers to PupMenu - when it as fast or faster than Drag and Drop for the desired task- and simple - I despair.
It also works in many other Pups and is far from restricted to iwm.

@ all,

By way of obiter dictum I always drink coffee, but never tea. I have no idea what preferences BarryK, radky and Bill Gates may have. So what?

My regards
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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6464
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 08:47    Post subject:  

marada2 wrote:

Also why do you think drag and drop has been left out of the linux world? There are many things wrong with windows but the simplicity of drag and drop is one thing I feel they have right.

No, the reason they have "simple drag and drop" is that their menu is so badly conceived. On windows when a program is installed it isn't put into a logical menu category for the users to find. They have to go looking for it by name, even though names are usually not self-explanatory, or even worse, by the author or publisher's name. Even if the menu entries are sorted alphabetically, they probably have to look in four different places in the menu, because some programs put a sub folder in the menu, and others just a shortcut, and these tend to be sorted separately, as do programs installed "for all users" and those not. In this chaos it is essential for users to be able to easily bring some order. And it is ideally suited to random editing and rearrangement of menu entries, because there is no system , no structure to fit into or rules to obey. But even that isn't enough, and that's why windows now has that find-as-you-type menu search feature.

I think there are several factors why Linux systems don't tend to have such "easy" editing:
- historically Linux users were used to editing configuration files manually, and users without the major desktop environments still are.
- modern xdg based menus are good enough that users don't really need to edit them, so people don't bother developing the ability to do this.
- because of the way the system works, it is a little tricky deciding how this editing should work. If you edit a menu entry, should the original .desktop file be edited, or should a new one be saved in your home folder which overrides it, so you can keep your old out of date copy even after updating to the latest version? What should happen if you drag an entry to another category, given that a program can in theory have more than one category?
Anyway, I have seen the functionality you want - I think it was probably in KDE or Gnome, but it is years since I tried these.

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mikeb


Joined: 23 Nov 2006
Posts: 9067

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct 2013, 10:17    Post subject:  

Quote:
(2) If "that menu" refers to PupMenu - when it as fast or faster than Drag and Drop for the desired task- and simple - I despair.

nope..I was referring to the puppy menu as it comes in default releases and its busting at the seams with a curious assortment of 'programs'.... hence the need for apps like pupmenu to help clean up the mess...

Agreed...following the xdg format makes good sense and in essense removes the need for drag and drop menu fiddling....indeed xfce4 phased out their menu editor as xdg does the job quite nicely.

mike
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