One of the things that has been mentioned several times while
discussing the distribution of plug-ins is the fact that the menus are
too crowded, and new users can easily get lost.  The user interface is
indeed a significant problem, but I think that it should be handled
separately from the packaging issues.

Distributing fewer plug-ins in the core package would not solve the
user interface problems.  Having less plug-ins could help a bit on a
single-user system, but not on multi-user systems because the
administrator would sooner or later install most of the plug-ins
anyway.  So the users who start the Gimp after all plug-ins are
installed would still be faced with the same problems as today
(probably even worse because more plug-ins will be included in the
additional packages).

So in parallel with the discussion about the distribution of plug-ins,
there should be a discussion about how to organize the menus.  One
idea that was proposed on this list some time ago was to be able to
limit the number of things that are included in the menus.  Some M$
applications offer reduced menus for beginners, and some GNOME
applications allow you to select different levels of details (from
novice to advanced user).  Maybe we need something similar for the

I can think of four different levels of details for the menu:
- Dumb user (oops, I mean beginner): only some basic operations are
  visible in the menus and in the toolbox, and the Gimp allows you to
  do as much as the venerable XPaint (or Windows Paint).
- Apprentice: all core operations are visible, and only the plug-ins
  distributed in the core package are available.
- Normal: all plug-ins are available.
- Expert: some additional entries become available, such as the PDB
  browser, parasite editor and other things that are more interesting
  for a developer than for a normal user.

Unfortunately, I do not know how this could be implemented.  I am not
so keen on the idea of overloading the menu strings with some
characters that have a special meaning, but maybe this is the easiest
solution (example: "%2" at the end of the string would mean that it
should be displayed if the menus are configured for the apprentice
level or more).  Other suggestions are welcome...


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