Menu auto-hide should be disabled

Bug #879110 reported by Manuel Cerón on 2011-10-20
This bug report is a duplicate of:  Bug #732653: Menus are hidden by default. Edit Remove
This bug affects 13 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I consider that the auto-hide behaviour of the application menu bar is a serious usability problem (

Currently, the appmenu indicator only shows the name of the current active application. The application menu remains hidden until I put the mouse over the menu bar or press the alt/meta key.

I've seen many users having trouble trying to find app options. The existence of an app menu is not obvious at all. It's hard for them to guess that they have to hover the mouse over the top of the screen to see the menu. And there is not a single clue for them.

Consider the following use case:

My mother is reading a PDF file with Evince. She wants to print it, but there is not a toolbar button for "Print" anywhere. She remembers that there is usually a File->Print menu option in most applications, she looks for a menu, but she can't find it. She is a little familiar with Mac OS X, so she looks at the top of the screen looking for a global app menu, she doesn't see anything, just long empty bar with the text "Document viewer". She looks for help, but surprise surprise, the help option is in the menu bar, ergo is hidden. She ends up very frustrated.

My proposed solution is to always show the application menu next to the application name in the appbar.

I apologize if you have discussed this issue before, I tried to find an explanation, but didn't find anything.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: indicator-appmenu 0.3.1-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-12.20-generic 3.0.4
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-12-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
ApportVersion: 1.23-0ubuntu3
Architecture: amd64
Date: Thu Oct 20 15:59:09 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Release amd64 (20111012)
 PATH=(custom, user)
SourcePackage: indicator-appmenu
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Manuel Cerón (ceronman) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in indicator-appmenu (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Chris (chris-yourdreamnet) wrote :

Although I agree with this premise, this is not in fact a Paper Cut - "A new feature is not a paper cut, a paper cut is a problem with an existing piece of functionality, not a new piece of functionality". Since this is a new feature, it cannot be considered a Paper Cut, instead a bad design choice which has yet to be justified by anyone who made it. It is, however, very simple to rectify.

Please, please fix this annoying behavior! If it can't be enabled as the default, provide at least an option to let the user decide. Maybe even hide it in the gconf database if the casual user should not be able to touch it.

But the current behavior is definitely out-of-place. The motivation seems to be to force developers to get rid of old school application menus altogether, which really only makes sense for a limited set of applications. It looks like Ubuntu more and more only targets casual users. Is there some document that states the grand vision behind these decisions?

RomanIvanov (ivanov-jr) wrote :

When It comes to support by phone - Hidden menu always a problem as user do not understand when you ask him to do smth from main menu - it is not shown so does not exists at all.

Dilyan Rusev (dilyanrusev) wrote :

I can see the value of a global application menu, and I absolutely like the idea. However, I want to be able to see it all the time. When I'm using my touchpad it is very difficult to use the menu.... Alt fixes this to some extent. but with nested menus (menu->submenu), it is very uncomfortable (e.g. firefox video downloadhelper), as the user can easily navigate off some sub-menu, and then the whole process has to start anew.
I would very much like to have an option to make the global menu visible by default!
Thank you for your time!

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

This is not a duplicate of bug 682788, which is about where menus appear on large screens, not about their default visibility. If the "desired change" described there was implemented, this bug would not be fixed.

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