Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

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That Random Guy
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 1:08 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by That Random Guy »

seppalta wrote:Rufwoof, sounds like you have a nice system. This is what is nice about Openbox. Just about anyone can design his own desktop. You people new to openbox, don't let the commentary fool you. It is much easier for a literate person to configure with words in a text than click some buttons offered by an overly simplified GUI that, at most, will only achieve a small piece of what you really want. So when someone states that openbox or lxde is "over-simplified", or "ugly", or "offers no ways to be modified", or "lacking", etc, they are just expressing their own lack of information, which is surprising because the Internet literature on Openbox is huge. I've put up on my website ([url]hhtp://lxlinux.com[/url]) stuff that has crossed my path, but that only scratches the surface.
Rufwoof: I don't know how you built/build your system, ...
My starting point is to install a basic openbox based distro like SparkyLinux MinimalGUI - No Codecs (https://sparkylinux.org/download/), based upon Debian Testing, because it is not so minimal as to require a lot of mundane setting up, but, on the other hand, has very little bloat. For those who like Ubuntu and the vast Ubuntu repository app collection and vast support network, there is Icebox (https://unit193.net/icebox/), a minimal openbox distribution similar to Sparky that can be easily built into a full-fledged operating system. For a detailed configuration recipe, see Icebox Configuration (http://lxlinux.com/icebox.html).
Rufwoof: If you switched out lxpanel for Xfce's panel then that has a whisker menu choice ...
Once upon a time I used whisker menu a few days to just see what it was. I recall installing it as an app on fbpanel, so I do not think you need xfce4-panel to use it, that is, its exec is independent of any other xfce4 component.
Are you saying there's a way to install and run the Whiskers menu without installing XFCE or the Xubuntu DE?

Can it run on Lubuntu with openbox?

rufwoof
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:49 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by rufwoof »

Look for obmenu in your repositories, that's a openbox menu editor. I'm constrained by Debian Jessie to be running a older version, so I usually use obmenu to build the main structure, but then manually edit the ~/.config/openbox/menu.xml file to put in the icon links.

For instance for one item (lxterminal) after editing my entry looks like

Code: Select all

<item icon="/usr/share/pixmaps/lxterminal.xpm" label="">
			<action name="Execute">
				<execute>lxterminal</execute>
			</action>
		</item>
I have others that use .png files and even .svg i.e. I don't think the size or file format matters. xml is similar to html if you're in anyway familiar with that. I usually just use a simple text editor to make changes/edits.

From what seppalta said you might be able to install whisker menu from your repository and still continue using the lxpanel ... if so (perhaps the best choice to meet what sounds to be your needs) then its just a matter of clicking the panel and select the add/remove panel items choice (or something like that) and add the whisker one, remove the current one. IIRC when you right click each item in the panel there's a option to move it left or move right ... so you can rearrange items in the panel to how you like. LXDE panel isn't the most intuitive/easy to modify and easy to screw it up ... so as ever make backups first as more than likely you'll need to restore a working version.

In Debian you can install something using
apt-get update
apt-get install <some program>
and if dependencies are missing they can usually be installed by running
apt-get -f install
which 'fixes' the install.
Or there's synaptic which is a more friendlier graphical interface to search for and add/remove programs.

rufwoof
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:49 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by rufwoof »

seppalta wrote:the Internet literature on Openbox is huge. I've put up on my website (http://lxlinux.com) stuff that has crossed my path, but that only scratches the surface
Thanks seppalta, got a dead link until I noticed the hhtp mistake. Great web page. Thanks. (I've only skim read it so far, bookmarked it to return later).

drooly
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:45 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by drooly »

That Random Guy wrote:Are you saying there's a way to install and run the Whiskers menu without installing XFCE or the Xubuntu DE?
Can it run on Lubuntu with openbox?
yes, and yes.
you will need the xfce4-panel, but not the whole xfce desktop.

seppalta
Posts: 449
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:09 am
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by seppalta »

Drooly is right. You do need to install the xfce4-panel to get the whisker-menu since it is a panel plugin which apparently only plugs into the xfce4-panel. However, you do not need to use any more of the xfce4-panel than it takes to hold 1 icon, the whiskers menu icon. Right click the xfce4-panel to get a nice little GUI which configures its geometry (height and length). Here is a picture showing a top panel combination - about 5% in the left corner for the whisker menu on a little bitsy xfce4-panel, and the other 95% is an fbpanel. The total weight to add the whiskers menu (including the xfce4-panel) to an openbox based installation (like Lubuntu) is about 7700kb, which is not that much these days. Photo:

Image

Another nice (dynamical) menu showing just "Categories", which comes free with pcmanfm, is the pcmanfm applications menu. You can put a panel launcher for it by using "exec=pcmanfm menu://applications. Picture:

Image

Finally, the lxde-menu can be fairly easily expanded to include both additional categories or additional launchers. See http://lxlinux.com/menucategoryconfig.html for the recipe. Pictures, one a menu with a favorites category entry and one with a launcher for qupzilla web browser added:

Image Image

rufwoof
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:49 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by rufwoof »

seppalta wrote:Another nice (dynamical) menu showing just "Categories", which comes free with pcmanfm, is the pcmanfm applications menu. You can put a panel launcher for it by using "exec=pcmanfm menu://applications
Nice! I've added it as just a 'A' label at the bottom of my (mostly icons only) menu
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That Random Guy
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 1:08 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by That Random Guy »

I wanted to avoid using two desktop components side-by-side, but if that's the only way to get what I'm asking, then I'd rather just ditch Lubuntu all together.

There's no point for me to use XFCE in Lubuntu (even though it's allowed). It feels like I'm making light of the work that the folks contributed to.

I like LXDE, it's fast, but the way the menu looks by default is just a total loss when it comes to usability (from an HCI perspective).

It's accessible, sure, but I can't have something that small. It just won't do.

IF I wanted to use XFCE, I'd had used Xubuntu--which is another alternative at this point--but I like Lubuntu.

Lubuntu will work wonders on my old laptop, and I'm planning on loading it once I've graduated from my institution.

I just need a way to modify how it that menu looks and I'll be golden.

Hopefully a work-around or something can be managed eventually.

drooly
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:45 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by drooly »

That Random Guy wrote:I wanted to avoid using two desktop components side-by-side, but if that's the only way to get what I'm asking, then I'd rather just ditch Lubuntu all together.
There's no point for me to use XFCE in Lubuntu (even though it's allowed). It feels like I'm making light of the work that the folks contributed to.
did you not read my previous post?
you don't need the whole xfce desktop to use the whisker menu; you only need xfce4-panel. it is perfectly capable of running independently from the xfce de.

That Random Guy
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 1:08 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by That Random Guy »

drooly wrote:
That Random Guy wrote:I wanted to avoid using two desktop components side-by-side, but if that's the only way to get what I'm asking, then I'd rather just ditch Lubuntu all together.
There's no point for me to use XFCE in Lubuntu (even though it's allowed). It feels like I'm making light of the work that the folks contributed to.
did you not read my previous post?
you don't need the whole xfce desktop to use the whisker menu; you only need xfce4-panel. it is perfectly capable of running independently from the xfce de.
Yes, I did read it.

I don't want to run the XFCE (panel) and LXDE together. That's unnecessary.

The end user shouldn't have to do that to get a decent menu out of LXDE/ob/whatever you call it.

This issue wouldn't even be discussed if the configuration of ob or the menu allowed for custom styling.

Just saying, it'd be nice.

I'm not going to import the Whisker menu. I've dropped that as a solution. I want to find a way to modify the styling for the menu itself.

Seeing how it uses XML, I'm curious if I'm able to use CSS on it.

I appreciate the feedback, however. Very useful information and hopefully someone can make use of it.

I'm actually happy that solution got addressed here as I've seen it in other forums.

Have a good one!

drooly
Posts: 675
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:45 am

Re: Any plans on updating LX [panel/start] menu design?

Post by drooly »

That Random Guy wrote:I don't want to run the XFCE (panel) and LXDE together. That's unnecessary.
the thing is, LXDE's components are so independent from each other that it really doesn't matter (and so isthe xfce4-panel).
let's say LXDE is a lego car made all of white bricks. you replace one white brick (lxpanel) with a blue brick (xfce4-panel).
you have now one separate white brick that you don't need anymore. you can even uninstall it (but beware of meta packages).
this is doable as a quick hack (disable lxpanel, autostart xfce4-panel), or you can do it properly, integrating the new panel into the desktop environment by editing the appropriate config files.

of course there will be a minimal increase in resource usage, because you asked for additional functionality, and you're getting it.
xfce4-panel is really very good.

if you're still not convinced, you should write a whiskermenu plugin for lxpanel.

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