Here is an interesting experiment for those who do not understand
what the problem is with the "Help" item in the toolbox:
- start Gimp
- resize the toolbox so that all tools are on a single column
(approx. 30 x 750 pixels)
- try to open a new image, or to do anything useful
The problem is that Gtk draws the "right" menu items on top of
evetything else. So in this case the help item occupies all the space
available and it is not possible to access "Xtns" or even "File". And
if your window manager does not put decorations on the toolbox, then
you cannot even quit the Gimp without resizing it first.
So the users who prefer the thin and tall toolbox will have some
problems with the help menu. I just discussed that with a colleague
who suggested that the menu bar should not be part of the resizable
toolbox because the two features "being able to use the menu" and
"being able to resize to toolbox" are simply incompatible with each
other (in some cases). There are several solutions to that:
1. Use WM hints to ensure that the toolbox has a minimum width. This
is a bad solution (IMHO) because it would prevent some users from
using their favorite layout and it is hard to take font sizes into
2. Try to take corrective measures in the Gimp when it detects that
the menu bar is too narrow (as I described in my previous mail).
Unfortunately, in the extreme case of a single tall column, only
the "File" menu would be visible.
3. Make it possible to split the toolbox in several independent
windows (menu, tools, colors & stuff), or at least make it possible
to detach the menu bar.
4. Use some tricks in Gtk to make sure that the full menu bar pops out
as soon as the mouse passes over the visible menu area. The menu
would be extended out of the toolbox window and would have the
minimum size necessary so that all items are visible.
I think that solutions 3 or 4 would be the best long-term solutions,
but I doubt that we could have them in the next stable release. In
the meantime, maybe solution 2 would be the best choice.