Idea Standardization for categories for deskbar menu

Dear Folks

as current situation for haiku menu on deskbar that seem clutter , can we just set Standardization so
people that maintain recipe on haikuporter can follow it
when i check on repologi example: with random delete entry: see like this

Education (2)
Sciences/Astronomy (3)
astro (2)
sci-astronomy (3)

Applications/Internet (3)
Networking/WWW (5)
Unspecified (2)

Games/Strategy (5)
games (7)
games-strategy (3)

archivers (2)

lets say that 1 level is enough for now example : 7zip into submenu archiver/7zip
so lets edit on haikuport recipe so will contain.

addAppDeskbarSymlink $appsDir/Archive/7zip “Archive/7zip”
… how about that?

The subject was debated so many times on the forum… Consensus seems to be that we can use HaikuDepot categories for that. Then it would create the right menu entry/entries when installing. The main problem is that the code to do that was never written.
Also, it is raising some questions easy to answer but meaning a good amount of work. Check all recipes, one by one and adapt them. What to do with software that belongs to multiple categories? Take blindly the first one? Then we need to be sure that first category in recipes is best choice. If, in doubt, comparing with other sources can help why not?

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yes… because the idea actually have been apply in some recipe… like qt, calligra,libreoffice… so i think just continue that thing… but you are right about good amount of work…

I just wish Haiku would get back to BeOS feature parity with the app related folders. Are the blue folders going to get replace in the next beta release with a more flexible option?

As soon as someone works on it, there is no specific roadmap.

I personally want to work on a replacement build on tagging apps soon.
That is, haikuports or you assign tags, deskbar tries to make medium sized specific categories and tries to keep the one you use when changing installed apps (that is, if an app is available from severall categories it will keep in mind from which ones you’ve launched to kerp that category around.)

Not sure how feasible this is yet but I’m certainly willing to try :slight_smile:

The blue folders are extremely flexible. They are text files which you can edit to add/remove more folders to be listed in DeskBar. Also if you don’t like them, you can replace them with normal folders if you want. Then you have to manage your DeskBar manually.

Really the problem is they are too flexible and no one knows what to do with them.

I don’t really like the “artificial intelligence” way of doing this with the computer trying to be smart and doing things dynamically. It makes things hard to document (the documentation will have to say “application X is… in the DeskBar. Somewhere. We don’t know how your DeskBar is organized.”) and moving from one computer to another will be confusing too.

Why not simply define a reasonable set of categories and assign each app to just one of them for a start? There are reasonably obvious things like “Games”, “Graphics & Design”, and “Software Development” and already that would split the Application menu to more manageable size for most of us?


…so … just we continue to mod the recipe? its relatively easy task… eventually result will be seen
and only need to rule the category?

The issue with the blue folders is that you can’t view their contents in icon mode, which is my preferable mode when viewing apps, etc.

I know about the manual option and have that currently configured for my R1B3 install. The one issue that hasn’t been addressed is the folders (Applications and Preferences) are missing their icons, which I believe is a regression introduced in R1B1.

My 2 cents… the docs for Haikuporter compare it to Gentoo’s portage system. Why not follow their app categories (without sub-categories, only main ones) then, too? Like the ones in the summary here:

Recommended applications - Gentoo Wiki

I am not sure why do we need the blue folders and categorisation at all? They can just be a shortcut to the Applications folder, and that’s it. I am aware that they can be used to get data from multiple sources but why the complication? IMO, it’s better to encourage users to arrange their stuff the way they like, instead of doing it for them. We don’t need to follow current application presentation trends, Classic Mac OS and BeOS did it simple enough. Aliases are perfect for a personal layout.

In my macOS system, I generally keep my Applications folder always open in a bare Finder window, and it’s easy enough to see and execute stuff if I’m not using the keyboard. Spotlight is easier to find and execute programs with keyboard.

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The “blue folders” are just super-alias that can point to multiple directories. This allows to have both packaged and custom apps in your DeskBar if you want to. And if you don’t ever want custom non-packaged apps, you can indeed replace them with a link to the packaged application directory.

But I don’t see how hardcoding that would make things more customizable?

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So why not support icon mode in Tracker for these special folders?

No one implemented it yet. The support in Tracker is a quick hack based on the code for showing query results (which also don’t support icon mode), and no one touched it since.

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My thought process is something like this:

  1. Applications link in leaf menu gets big and convoluted. It’s hard to find stuff in it. It grows bigger. Applets, Demos, and Preferences mostly stay the same.

Possible solution: Keep the Applets, Demos, and Preferences as a regular folder shortcut, no blue folders. Get rid of applications altogether.

  1. Haiku does not have something akin to macOS’ dock. And it will be hard to find where applications are located.

List a curated selection of applications in the menu, so when someone clicks on the menu, it will be easy to find something to launch. Basic stuff. Stuff that normies will need. It won’t be just a dumping place for all the applications. Add a key modifier to open the source location on item click. There still should be a way to manually organise the menu contents like as it is now.

  1. Nearly all application ports and Haiku software automatically add an entry to the menu. Won’t this still convolute the menu?

Maybe. A global setting which tells whether newly installed packages can add their entries to the Deskbar can help. Also, a right click menu selection that says “Add to Deskbar Menu” will help users easily curate their own selection. Another thing, maybe on release builds, installing “Demos” with the optional selection in Installer can also be on point.


In the past, I used to think that Deskbar open applications should act like a Dock, and applications can be pinned to it, but I started thinking that it would use a lot of screen space. Leaf menu is better for this kind of stuff. CC @xoblite

MacOS has a dock that gets unwieldy after a while. When I had 10.6 on my Mac Mini, I eventually put shortcuts into stacks so that they would be curated in the same way as is being proposed for the categories on the deskbar menu.

Can you stop using the word “normie”, it is pejorative and insulting. Our users deserve better respect.

Also, clearly, such people wouldn’t run an obscure operating system like Haiku anyway (by definition, “normie” meaning someone who conforms to existing norms and usage and don’t think by themselves, so they won’t be using anything else than Windows anyways)

And more to the point, I am not at all convinced by MacOS way of doing things with a dock and I don’t see how it solves any of our problem here. It just moves the very long and unusable list of apps to a different place.

Really, why not settle for the two obvious things: more directories, and some way to search globally by typing the name of what you want?


The word choices are my own, instead can you stop being a thought police and mind your own business? Also what’s wrong with getting normies to use Haiku? You want Haiku to stay obscure forever? I think you do.

Anyway, to get back to the point, I am not sure if you’ve read my post at all, since no one is suggesting a dock, what I am saying is, Deskbar menu could as well as function like a dock which only lists the curated list of applications or user’s personal choices (minus managing open applications).

Haiku is “my own business” as far as I know?

I don’t care if it remains obscure. But “we should do it like this because [macOS,Windows,Linux] does it like this” is not a valid argument to me. I like Haiku because we can do things in our own way and experiment with that. Sometimes it will result in things being different than other OS.

Also, “thought police”, seriously? I just pointed out that the word you use is insulting and I tend to treat Haiku users more respectfully. You disagree? Ok, fine, you can think and do what you want. Continue insulting people, then.


mmmm, it is just a idea.
i think the core team have right to accept or not.
:sweat_smile:that’s no need such like policeman.

I don’t think this qualifies as artifical inltelligence. You can document where applications end up. If you rather have a long list you can document more easily that works too.
The only dynamic part would be that it might remove caregories on installation chanhes if they become too small, but only if you’ve never used it.

My aproach would only prevent it from creating mini categories with two entries or entries with a huge ammount of entries, I think.
Both I think aren’t usefull.
It’s supposed to be like a tree view, but if the branches become too specific it should instead flatten it a bit.

I don’t like the idea of adding apps to just one, they should be in every category they reasonably qualify for.
In any case, this would still be perfectly feasible with apps tagged, just without any of the automatic hiding of categories I’d want.

Perhaps I can implement this “full” mode first without any hiding?

It’s amusing how you become so incredibly agitated about someone having a different opinion to you, and then proceed to call them a thought police :smiley: