Ubuntu

Natty: Users should be able to easily turn off (disable) global menu

Reported by mlaverdiere on 2011-03-13
This bug report is a duplicate of:  Bug #682788: Improve Unity Global Menu. Edit Remove
178
This bug affects 37 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Application Menu Indicator
Undecided
Matthew Paul Thomas
Ayatana Design
Undecided
Unassigned
indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: indicator-appmenu

With Natty, Ubuntu users will be presented a new default desktop, relying on upper bar global menu for applications, like Mac OS, but unlike all other previous Ubuntu desktops and all other mainstream desktops: Gnome (2 or 3), KDE, XFCE, MS Windows, etc.

While this may be an interesting change for many users, it may (will!) happen that some users will prefer to keep an "in-application" ("in-window" or "local") menus.

Right now (on Alpha 3 with daily updates), the only option is to deinstall indicator-appmenu package to achieve this (see: http://askubuntu.com/questions/10481/does-unity-support-disabling-the-global-application-menu).

This should be easier and more obvious, either by implementing an option somewhere in control centre or, at least, in gconf-editor.

Thanks.

description: updated
Omer Akram (om26er) wrote :

I think if an Operating System presents such option to its users *its broken*. After all global menus is only the case in Unity, if you are an advance user you know how to remove indicator-appmenu a normal user does not need to do that, since he/she will be using Unity and not global menus. So I think there is no point in exposing such feature to a user.

Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
mlaverdiere (mlaverdiere) wrote :

@Omer:

If we want to make this option not too obvious to non-advanced users, it could, at least, be available in gonf-editor or in an other advanced admin tool. Again, I don't think that users wanting to turn global menu off, while still liking the rest of the Unity experience, will be a marginal trend considering that no other mainstream desktops on Linux use this approach... Asking/suggesting all these users to remove a package could generate other problems in the long run (as an example: there's another default package with a similar name, i.e. indicator-applet-appmenu - so here's one risk of confusion) and I would suspect that with the apt-get dependencies system, there's also a "risk" that the indicator-appmenu package could be re-installed without user choosing to do so.

Linux users, Ubuntu ones included, are used to be able to customize their desktop/UI to some extent. Traditionally, customization options were more obvious in KDE than in Gnome, but even with Gnome, using gconf-editor ans similar tools allowed to customize many thing with the UI/desktop. I think we should maintain some reasonable options of this kind with Unity and I'm sure it will play in favour of its adoption, not the contrary.

Ok. I dont think indicator-appmenu developers will be working on this bug I
guess we can say 'patches welcome' ;)

On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 11:57 PM, mlaverdiere <email address hidden>wrote:

> @Omer:
>
> If we want to make this option not too obvious to non-advanced users, it
> could, at least, be available in gonf-editor or in an other advanced
> admin tool. Again, I don't think that users wanting to turn global menu
> off, while still liking the rest of the Unity experience, will be a
> marginal trend considering that no other mainstream desktops on Linux
> use this approach... Asking/suggesting all these users to remove a
> package could generate other problems in the long run (as an example:
> there's another default package with a similar name, i.e. indicator-
> applet-appmenu - so here's one risk of confusion) and I would suspect
> that with the apt-get dependencies system, there's also a "risk" that
> the indicator-appmenu package could be re-installed without user
> choosing to do so.
>
> Linux users, Ubuntu ones included, are used to be able to customize
> their desktop/UI to some extent. Traditionally, customization options
> were more obvious in KDE than in Gnome, but even with Gnome, using
> gconf-editor ans similar tools allowed to customize many thing with the
> UI/desktop. I think we should maintain some reasonable options of this
> kind with Unity and I'm sure it will play in favour of its adoption, not
> the contrary.
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to
> indicator-appmenu in ubuntu.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/734325
>
> Title:
> Natty: Users should be able to easily turn off (disbable) global menu
>
> Status in The Application Menu:
> New
> Status in “indicator-appmenu” package in Ubuntu:
> New
>
> Bug description:
> Binary package hint: indicator-appmenu
>
> With Natty, Ubuntu users will be presented a new default desktop,
> relying on upper bar global menu for applications, like Mac OS, but
> unlike all other previous Ubuntu desktops and all other mainstream
> desktops: Gnome (2 or 3), KDE, XFCE, MS Windows, etc.
>
> While this may be an interesting change for many users, it may (will!)
> happen that some users will prefer to keep an "in-application" ("in-
> window" or "local") menus.
>
> Right now (on Alpha 3 with daily updates), the only option is to
> deinstall indicator-appmenu package to achieve this (see:
> http://askubuntu.com/questions/10481/does-unity-support-disabling-the-
> global-application-menu).
>
> This should be easier and more obvious, either by implementing an
> option somewhere in control centre or, at least, in gconf-editor.
>
> Thanks.
>

Some of us run applications on a vncserver window (viewed remotely by a vncviewer); these
no longer have a menu at all in natty!

Roger Binns (ubuntu-rogerbinns) wrote :

More frightening are the web pages you get searching for [natty disable application menu]. The top match has you moving shared libraries around. Several others have you setting environment variables, or "simply" doing a whole bunch of removing and add operations. This page is in the top 10 and is the only one recommended removing the indicator-appmenu package. To mlaverdiere's point, there are 6 different packages with "indicator-app" in their name plus several more related ones.

You get the app menus foisted on you even if you choose "classic" desktop. I don't think it is particularly fair doing that since no desktop ever existed with them in the past so it can't be classic!

And most importantly 'apt-get remove --purge indicator-appmenu' doesn't actually work. In classic desktop you will get the menus on the apps, but the first login gives a message asking you to delete a panel item, and the panel has a "No indicators" item permanently present you can't get rid of.

(My own use case for turning them off is that I have large screens with many windows open and use focus follows mouse. appmenu is unusable for that combination.)

rihanha (rihanha) wrote :

Just a few hours new to Natty, but the app menu is driving me insane - even after returning to Gnome/Classic desktop I can't get rid of it. It appears to be affecting my ability to move and/or min/max windows. I've adjusted many settings and so far can not fix the issue. I'd like the ability to turn the global menu off from within settings, particularly given this is a major change to how I set up my layers/windows. I am frustrated with the sudden inability to work in my normal fashion.

rihanha (rihanha) wrote :

After much ado - and five system crashes before I did so - I finally got the "Classic" Gnome working without the global menu and have not experienced a single crash since. I strongly disagree with this being a 'wish list' issue, and as I preview the current posted bugs I see a lot of other users reporting similar complaints under numerous bug reports about windowing/min/max, app menu and related behaviors. I believe the ability to turn the app menu/global menu off for 'Classic' view is critical. If I could not have found a way around it (through trial & error) I would have returned to 10.10 and not upgraded until it was an option, or failing that, to another distro.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Over time, applications targeting Ubuntu should be designed with the global menu bar in mind. They will no longer have to artificially constrain their set of menus to the minimum size of the window. And because (modulo bug 732653) menus will be quicker to access, toolbars can become simpler too, making interfaces in general more elegant.

For this reason -- and because, as Omer suggested, it would just be poor taste -- it's inappropriate to offer a user-visible option to cram menus inside the window again. Of course you are welcome to mess around with libraries and uninstalling components and so on, but you're on your own if you do.

Don't confuse this with an aversion to customization in general. I would love to help out anyone who is interested in adding more customizability to our screensaver settings, background picture settings, battery menu settings, touchpad settings, and so on. There are many places where customization is appropriate; this just isn't one of them.

Please report the vncserver problem as a separate bug, if it isn't reported already.

Changed in indicator-appmenu:
status: New → Invalid
Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
Changed in indicator-appmenu:
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt)
assignee: Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) → nobody
Martin Owens (doctormo) wrote :

MPT - Consider changing "classic ubuntu" in this release so it doesn't use global menu bars, or that they are switched off by default.

At least in this release, since users have enough problems coping with their upgrade to Unity without having even more headaches with the classic ubuntu setting not actually looking or acting anything like 10.10.

Next release do what you want, but this release... soft landing time for options.

@MPT: Are you serious? Have you tried using app menus when you have multiple large screens with many windows open? I would have to move the mouse 1 metre on the screen (really - just measured 101 cm) to go from a window on the lower right side of my second monitor to get to its menu. And of course if I use focus follows mouse then I can't even get to the menus.

I use focus follows mouse, multiple monitors and several open windows concurrently because I have found that to be most productive. Now you are telling me that I should instead be less productive by being restricted to something that is optimised for a single smaller screen with single maximized windows?

The vibe I get from your comment is that I work your (suboptimal for me) way or I am not welcome on Ubuntu.

summary: - Natty: Users should be able to easily turn off (disbable) global menu
+ Natty: Users should be able to easily turn off (disable) global menu

I agree with Roger Binns. This bug is not invalid.

Like him I have my desktop spread across multiple monitors, and on that setup, a global menu would be a user interface disaster. It is a long way to move the mouse pointer from the window I am working in to the top of the screen. Global menus might make sense in the case of a single, fairly small screen (eg a netbook), but in the case of a power user with multiple large screens it is not a workable solution.

At this point in the Ubuntu release cycle, I would normally be running the beta on a spare laptop, and looking forward to upgrading on final release day in a few weeks time. Instead I am thinking about switching to Debian.

Tormod Volden (tormodvolden) wrote :

David and Roger, in natty the Classic desktop does not use the global menu any longer.

I am running Beta 2 in a VM that has just been updated. I am still seeing the Global menu when I log into classic desktop

Coffeecat (coffeecat) wrote :

I believe this bug is indeed invalid because you can already disable the global menu in the classic desktop very easily. I'm surprised no one's mentioned this yet.

The global menu is simply a panel applet in classic gnome. If you want to disable it, right-click on it and "Remove from Panel". If you want to re-enable it, right-click on the panel > Add to panel > Indicator Applet Appmenu.

Coffeecat (coffeecat) wrote :

Since I can't edit a comment, just to clarify. I meant invalid only for classic desktop.

Andreas Grois (soulsource) wrote :

I fully agree with Roger Binns. While it does make sense to move the menu bar to the indicator area for maximized windows, this is reducing productivity a lot in nearly every other case. In my opinion, there has to be an option to disable the global menu and to enable it only for maximized windows.

I know this is marked invalid, but let me add a +1 to #16. I am a focus-follow-mouse user, and although I really like global menu for maximized windows, I do not see it's utility when you have a bunch of, say, editors and shells opened in your screen --- you often are choosing things on the wrong *application*.
And moreover, a lot of application are misbehaving with global menu, there should be an easy way to blacklist them (for example, digiKam, the gimp itself, and counting...)

Pedro Bessa (pedbessa) wrote :

In Ubuntu10.10, I have the bottom bar, the title bar and the menu bar (3 bars).

In Ubuntu 11.04, using a hack that I found on the internet, I have the unity launcher always visible, so that things hiding and reappearing won't give me a <blink> feeling and using an other hack that I found on the internet, I have the title IN the top bar, so that my vertical space in 11.04 will be less occupied than in 10.10 (2).

I'm feeling awesome! Windows 95 was 16 years ago. Operating Systems are finally not looking like 95.

http://peterpants.blogspot.com/2011/04/ubuntu-1104-unity-how-to-disable-unity.html
http://www.webupd8.org/2011/03/disable-appmenu-global-menu-in-ubuntu.html

kinuvan (kinuvan) wrote :

I agree with #16 and #17. It's absolutely nuts to have to travel all the way to the top left hand side of the screen to access the menu for a window that's down in the bottom right.

Global menus are counter-productive on big screens, where applications are often used in a windowed (unmaximised) state.

With 11.10 doing away with Ubuntu Classic, it's important to make sure this horrible global menu isn't forced upon us without a simple way to get rid of it.

Irrlicht (irrlicht) wrote :

I didn't read all of the above stuff, but guys, did you ever try to work with GIMP and that POS AppMenu enabled? The idea is good, but what's the point of removing the menu of non-maximized windows?

Sorry for sounding rude, but beside this there are several changes that seem to be buggy and probably were never really tested. (The AppMenu thing just crashes after some changes (window effects) in the CompizConfig (picture attached), I can't use any widgets like the CPU meter or Wanda the fish, compiz effects are laggier than ever (moving windows), etc etc)

The kind of problem shown in Irrlicht post happened to me, too; I have been unable to reproduce, so I have not reported it. BTW: there is a way to restart the unity top panel without logout/login?

After a couple of weeks, I have to really restate what I said in #17. Global menu is a nice sapce-saver in my netbook when i have just one maximized window, but it is not intuitive nor useful when i have several opened windows in my desktop --- as often I have. The really ideal world would be "global menu for maximized windows, local otherwise" which I think is the expected, intuitive behavior.

I see that this issue is still marked as invalid, so probably it is not useful to continue to write here, and be prepared to switch to Gnome Shell or KDE for 11.10. As an interim solution, setting APPMENU_DISPLAY_BOTH=1 environment variable at least put a local menu in every window (see bug #778418).

I have open an "opinion" (would-be wishlist) for this subject. If any of the subscribers of this bug marked invalid wish to advocate for it, please add to bug#794888.

Bob Wiegand (bob-stuffofmine) wrote :

I would also really like to see this fixed. There needs to be a way to easily disable the global menu. It just makes my computer more difficult to use and slows me down.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Ok, Matthew requests for a such option keep coming every cycle in user discussions, blogs etc. There are good reason some users dislike the menu stripping (they use specific softwares that rely on using menus a lot and travelling the screen every time is time consuming for example), could we give them an option somewhere in gnome-control-center or a tweak tools to disabled the option?

Aaron Plattner (aplattner) wrote :

This menu-removing behavior also breaks the usability of multiple X screen configurations because the global menu bar is not present on the second screen, but the application menu bar is still removed, leaving no menu bar anywhere at all as a result.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Sebastien, if travelling across the screen is slower than a menu bar inside the window, that is a bug in the pointer acceleration settings. Fixing the bug would be better than adding an option.

Aaron, the menu bar should be present on the second screen. If it is not, please report that as a bug too. (It might be bug 771733.)

Matthew, the problem is not a problem of speed. If I have a 1600x1200 screen with 6 editors windows in it, I prefer having the menu on each window. Moving to the global bar is at least unintuitive, and often confusing (often it's not so clear for which window you are issuing a command). Think about a gimp session with two or three images opened side-by-side, or a programming session while editing the program, the input file, having the debugger opened on the side and a terminal to compile.

And that is when you use click-to-focus. If you use focus-follow-mouse, like myself, accessing the global menu means reach the top bar avoiding all the other windows in the screen(*)... and please, do not conclude that the solution is eliminating focus-follow-mouse.

Global menu is ok when you work with only one application/window in your screen. Otherwise is, IMHO, a step back. That's my rationale for advocating at least an _option_ to have global menu only for maximized windows --- best of the two world, no drawbacks(**).

Thank for your attention.

(*) yes, I can (most of time) press F10 and keyboard-navigate the menu. Not so pretty.
(**) If you ask me why I insist and not switch to gnome shell or KDE, is because --- apart this global menu religious thing --- I like Unity a lot.

Pedro: wrong link :-) I think the idea was to link to https://bugs.launchpad.net/unity/+bug/682788

Pedro Bessa (pedbessa) wrote :

thx, Mr. Giannetti! The idea was really to link there!

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers