Beta Minimenu Preview Beta For You To Try!


skeezix

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Hey folks,

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: http://www.codejedi....er_20110126.pnd
NEWER ONE here: http://www.codejedi....er_20110127.pnd
NEWER STILL here: http://www.codejedi....er_20110201.pnd
Newest! http://www.codejedi....er_20110202.pnd
Custom categories and newest yet: http://www.codejedi.com/pandora/minimenu/mmenu_beta_installer_20110209.pnd

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.)
http://www.codejedi....menu_beta_1.png

- toggled off detail panel by hitting 'A'
http://www.codejedi....menu_beta_2.png

- switched to Game tab; notice the first two entries are folders for subcats
http://www.codejedi....menu_beta_3.png

- within the subcat, you see only that category; there is a '..' entry, but you can hit X to go back up
http://www.codejedi....menu_beta_4.png

- 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.)
http://www.codejedi....menu_beta_5.png

- the config panel showing the known categories and show/hide (yes/no) option, showing the parent category
http://www.codejedi....menu_beta_6.png

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

mmenu_beta_3.png


jeff
 

Chaser

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Sounds good Jeff, will try it now as I dont use mmenu at present (hotkeyed xfce ftw) so it matters not if it borks.
 

sebt3

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As Chaser have a good point. I've tried it (a few so far).
Here is my points :
- I pressed [esc] and got back to login screen (is that normal ?)
- ActionGames Have their own tab, but are also a sub-category of games
- I do have a 3Dgraphics tabs (my fault, this PND is not yet released anyway) with "game" as sub-section, but I do have a Game tab that show exactly the same content.
- the GNOME category is not standard
- random crash (followed by a restart of mmenu) when switching to sub-category or back from. This is not always, but does happen.
- does have a ".." in main categories (shouldnt imho)

So far. But it look good and promising ;)
 

Chaser

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Got my baby daughter kicking off here but it seems to do as you planned,

Installer works fine, still ran from my desktop icon (I haven't tried booting into it)and quits back to xfce on esc as usual. Accepts old skins fine (obviously no toggle, and the real estate is welcomed), config menu works fine for sorting tabs etc, as does the file explorer listing each card or HDD, though I dont think I get preview pics when within that, despite a re-scan.

It happily launches Arora for documentation still and the 'live on app' is a very welcome option to avoid the delay each time, though it may eat a fps here or there perhaps if it's running in the background. Though I doubt it would be noticeable.

Only issues is the subcat folders, as per your pic, need to be grouped at the front of the tab rather than alphabet based, or its just as much scrolling around. In addition, should it be possible for self made folders within mmenu/games/etc1/etc2 to show up under anything except the filemanager, as they currently dont seem to and that's where they lack a preview pic aswell? Also I cant get the wallpaper.png idea to overide the default skins background no matter where I place an 800x480 png named wallpaper.png.

Otherwise I think its a good improvement already and the 'live on' option makes it nicer aswell. Good stuff and many thanks. Theres probably loads I've missed as a non mmenu user but It seems better already :)
 

milkshake

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please add memory card icons at the bottom that show how big your card is and how much space u have left on your memory card :)
 

skeezix

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Evildrago -- noted that the subcat folders are mingling with the apps, not sorting to front; Bug, will fix
sebt3 -- noted that ESCape is my sneaky way to force-quit of the app for dev, but can be annoying on device, so I'll suppress ESCape from quitting mmenu
Evildrago -- in prior builds, All always sorted left-est (if turned on.) Now may not be, so I should force it to left again.
Evildrago and sebt3 -- noticed oddities where some apps have (say) Network as main cat, and others have NEtwork as subcat, so with mmenu trying to keep them happy, it ends up creating nesting loops and such; nasty.
Todo item still -- add config item 'turn off all subcats' (so you can selectively turn some back on, but its easy to get a pile of subcats depending on your pnd collection)
Todo -- tab ordering is not yet in, though mentioned in the UI.

I think it best to enforce the freedesktop categories, so I may remove the option to permit crappy categotries; this will make my life easier, so I can make it work a little more consistent. (ie: right now you can specify a standard category, thats a subcat, and make it as a maincat, and confuse things. It should generally work okay, but its weird. If I"m strict on freedesktop, more so than now, then I will detect that error and bump it to Other better.) I'll do some cleanup there for next build. So a mainct can only be a maincat, and a subcat can only be a subcat, and they must eb valid; anything else and straight to the 'Other' bucket. Next version :)

So far it sounds like this build is working more or less pretty well.

jeff
 

DaveC

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skeezix said:
I think it best to enforce the freedesktop categories, so I may remove the option to permit crappy categotries; this will make my life easier, so I can make it work a little more consistent. (ie: right now you can specify a standard category, thats a subcat, and make it as a maincat, and confuse things. It should generally work okay, but its weird. If I"m strict on freedesktop, more so than now, then I will detect that error and bump it to Other better.) I'll do some cleanup there for next build. So a mainct can only be a maincat, and a subcat can only be a subcat, and they must eb valid; anything else and straight to the 'Other' bucket. Next version :)

So far it sounds like this build is working more or less pretty well.

jeff

But what if you don't like the way freedesktop does things? For example the idiocy of Emulators showing in Game. I DONT want emus under the Game tab I want them under the Emulator tab (imagine that).

And yes it would be nice if main cats only show in tabs and Subcats only show as folder icons..

It is getting better though just needs a bit moer polish and user control of what goes where, naming etc.
 
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Esn

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I haven't yet tried this (maybe tomorrow), but I agree with DaveC about the emulators folder. Eventually, it would be good to have an easy way for users to reorganize the way the tabs and folders show up, and create their own tabs/folders & assign programs manually to show up in them (overriding the freedesktop settings). i.e. press "A" when a program is selected, a menu pops up with options like "move to:" or "assign to hotkey".

Also, I wonder if it would be possible to give the user more hints sometimes about which button does what... for example, when you're in a subcategory, could some text be added to the unused space in the top-right saying "press X to go back"?

Anyway, those are just some preliminary comments from looking at the screenshots... I'll give it a proper go soon. :)
 

skeezix

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I posted to other thread but --

If an emu shows up in Game and not Emu (it shoudl be _both_ obviously) then its because the guy who type dup the PXML blew it, not the system/standard. You can't _guess_, its up to the dev doing it right.

ie: I mentioned example .. one game I have declares its category 'Dungeon Crawler' (note the space in the middle which is also not permitted); theres no way any menu can guess that is a Game or what, so its just wrong. Minimenu will historically give you a Dungeon Crawler tab in that case and let you shut it on/off, or manually override it with an ovr. In this build it'll figure out its a bad cat and shove it to Other, which is really the right way to go and what xfce would do.

But an emu should declare itself as Game main, and Emulator subcat, and then it'd all be peachy. Its not hard to do, is a standard thats been around for years, just peopel don't look it up in the specs or whatever. And minimenu would historically 'sort of work' (show you the tab, even if it only has 1 app in it).

So if we make minimenu stick it into Other, like xfce would, maybe the PXML packager will get the hint and do it right :)

So for that, its not the system, its the packager.

I will get to (eventually) easier UI to re-assign categories and do all that; the infrastrucutre supports it, just theres no easy UI for it yet; I'm working towards it, in a few ways, so you can assign apps to tabs as you see fit. But first, we need to stop all these crappy ones from making up their own random tabs.

jeff
 

skeezix

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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.

http://www.codejedi....er_20110127.pnd

jeff

There is a very minor buglet; the main tabs honor the show/hide configuration option you've selected, but when it creates the subcat-folders (if you have that option enabled, which it default is) it makes them visible every time right now; it should honor the show/hide of those as well, so you can hide away all those subcat-folders you don't need. I'll fix that soon, too.
 

DaveC

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skeezix said:
I posted to other thread but --

If an emu shows up in Game and not Emu (it shoudl be _both_ obviously) then its because the guy who type dup the PXML blew it, not the system/standard. You can't _guess_, its up to the dev doing it right.

But an emu should declare itself as Game main, and Emulator subcat, and then it'd all be peachy. Its not hard to do, is a standard thats been around for years, just peopel don't look it up in the specs or whatever. And minimenu would historically 'sort of work' (show you the tab, even if it only has 1 app in it).
jeff
That is the point I make and others too like ESN. I DONT want the Emulator to show up in both games and emulators. Why would I want it showing up twice and each app taking up two spots? That is just slop and totally un-needed.

Also why would I want an emu to show up in Game tab with a folder as Emulator? I would want an emulator to show up in the Emulator tab (main) and if I wanted to catagorize that into console, computer, portable etc subcat I could. That makes much more sense. MM needs to easily allow users to do that.
 
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skeezix

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First things first :)

Now that (in theory) we've got a more sensible default scheme sorted out, I can work towards the user defined side of things. The infrastructures been there since day one, but now I think I've got the time to work on this side of it. Nearly there.. :)

Now, anyone tried this build? :)

jeff
 

DaveC

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I haven't tried this yet as I am waiting for a more "finalized" version. I am kind of scared to overwrite a version that I know works. If there was a way to put this onto the sd and just test run from there I would do it. But it going in and rearranging things permanently in my NAND is a bit scary.
 

skeezix

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Its probably safe enough to try.

The 'undo' is essentially..

sudo bash
<password>
cp /media/<whatever>/pandora/appdata/mmenu-beta-installer/mmenu /usr/bin/mmenu

Thats it; I might have the appdata path wrong. I think Thunar could do it too, if it knows how to ask for permission to copy to the /usr/bin directory. The appdata path is because I made the installer back up the current mmenu first. I should add a uninstall option, but not had time and on time for a day or two.

jeff
 

skeezix

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What about an option "if app is assigned to subcat, hide it from parent category"?

That might be useufl for you, but then, you'll probably just want to use the custom assignment later, so option not needed.

jeff
 

Esn

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Ok, I tried this out. Seems to work well. But xfce is still quicker to use, here's why: I don't like how there's a short (quarter-second?) delay between selecting each item when I use the d-pad. Makes the whole process too slow. The image previews I think are pretty useless; I would much rather have the short description of what the program does in that space, plus it'll be quicker to load. I don't always remember what a program does, so it would be extremely useful to include this information. Like in the Application Finder in xfce (which is also useful because of the alphabetic search feature).

The documentation thing is nice, but does it really have to open up in a webbrowser instead of a simple text reader? It takes so long...
 

skeezix

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Hf5 beta 3 includes this already :) (came out between beta2 and beta3)

Themes should be fine but need a easy update for toggle-detail-panel to be allowed

Jeffphone

Not sure what you mean about quarter second.. It moves as fast as you press. The delay to bring up detail panel is to let you move faster.. If detail update for art was instant it'd need much more time up front. Xfce menu shows only name so mmenu should be faster and even show more info?
 

skeezix

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Actually could be right, there is a tiny delay in there which I'll take out next build... But noticing a .1-.2 sec delay? Leave i to gamers to notice ;)

Jeffphone
 
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