On Thu, 10 Feb 2000, Nick Lamb <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 10, 2000 at 04:47:48AM +0100, Marc Lehmann wrote:
> > c) you gave _no_ reason why?
> Ah, that wasn't clear from my diagrams? GTK+ draws space either side of
> a menu item, so the Help menu can cover over Xtns, making it useless
> and forcing me to have an otherwise unnecessarily wide toolbox. If the
> Help menu was in the same SET of menu items as File, Xtns (ie on the
> left) it would never overwrite them, and therefore use less space. Also
> if we're going to have casualties from manually shortened toolboxes,
> Help is much less useful than Xtns, because its key features are
> duplicated elsewhere. Hmm... I should have written that before.

For a first-time user of the Gimp, there is no problem: the default
layout of the toolbox has the colors, brush and gradient to the right
of the tools and aspect ratio of the toolbox is close to a square.
Since there is enough room for the full menu bar in the default
layout, the user will be able to access "File", "Xtns" and "Help"
easily.  Also, the location of "Help" is consistent with other

But things are different once you really start using the Gimp: most of
the users that I have seen start by resizing the toolbox to the
"traditional" shape which puts the colors, brush and gradient at the
bottom of the list of tools.  They prefer the thin aspect ratio
because it is easier to work with the toolbox when it is on the edge
of the screen and not taking too much valuable space near the center.
Once you resize the toolbox, its size is saved in your sessionrc so it
will always have the same shape (even after you upgrade, so it is easy
for us to forget what the default layout looks like).

If you have the "thin" layout, then there is not enough room for all
items on the menu bar.  For example, what I get under Solaris (the font
sizes are slightly different under Linux) looks like this:
   "File   X Help"
As a frequent user of the Gimp, I use "Xtns" much more often than
"Help" and I would certainly prefer the following layout:
   "File   Xtns H"
Or even this, if there was a way to persuade Gtk to reduce the reduce
the space between the items:
   "File Xtns Hel"

If there is no easy way for the Gimp to detect when the menu bar is
too narrow (depending on the font size and other parameters), then I
would prefer to have the help menu item changed from first-on-right to

If it is possible to detect when the menu bar is too narrow (I haven't
checked the Gtk code), then there are several things that could be done:
- rename "Help" to "?", as Simon suggests
- reduce the space between items, if possible
- switch help from first-on-right (which would be the default) to
  last-on-left, dynamically


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