Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Gnome Menu With Eye Candy

Making the switch to Gnome 2.24 from KDE 3.5.10 has been, for me, a fairly fun and interesting experience. I never had a lot of luck with Gnome in the past. I found it clunky and awkward compared to KDE at the time. Now however Gnome has reached a level of sophistication I can easily work with.

I like to be able to customize my system's look and feel and make it unique. Which is why I went to all the trouble to learn how to change the menu button for Gnome Main Menu.

Now though I want to discuss a new menu option for Gnome called, appropriately enough, GnoMenu.

GnoMenu is a fork of Gnome Vista Menu, orignally by qb89dragon at Gnome Look here. Whise (Helder Fraga) has vastly improved the GnoMenu version and has fixed many errors and bugs found in the original Gnome Vista Menu, though it is still in its initial development state. GnoMenu is a fully functional replacement menu that adds eye candy to the otherwise bland selections of available Gnome menus.

Many will not like GnoMenu's Vista like look. However, there are other themes available. Even a couple that are XP like. GnoMenu is a very serious attempt to bring a fully themable eye pleasing menu to the Gnome desktop.

GnoMenu is easy to install and configure no matter what distrubution you use. Once you download the package and unpack it all that is required is to make sure you have the correct dependencies installed, which are listed in the "README BEFORE INSTALLING" file. Then as root run the "make install" command. GnoMenu will then be listed in your "Add to Panel" options. Simply right click the Gnome Panel and select "Add to Panel" and then select "GnoMenu" to add it to the panel.

The preferences dialog allows one to select the various theme options, Menu, Icon Panel Button and Program Widgets. You can mix and match these as you please. However, under Program Widgets the selection of Animated is not recommended as it does not properly work (yet) and its best to select Classic. (These are the only two available options under Program Widgets at this point.)

GnoMenu, being in its initial development state, has some issues and annoyances. The menu does not disappear if you click the menu button again. In one instance GnoMenu actually remained on my desktop until I restarted it. It also does not revert to the main selection level after you select an application to run. The menu does not use the system default Icons and uses its own defined Icon themes. Finally you have to scroll to the bottom of a sub-menu to go back to the previous menu. Despite these annoyances I am using GnoMenu for its eye candy ability.

GnoMenu is a definite step in the right direction in bringing more eye candy to the Gnome desktop. Though the initial Menu Theme options are very Vista or XP like its still, in my opinion, better than the bland looks that Main Menu, Main Menu Slim and Menu Bar offer.

GnoMenu is well worth the look, and well worth using if you want additional eye candy for your Gnome menu. As more people start making use of GnoMenu and create more themes and options for it I expect it to become more fun to use and play with.

GnoMenu is availabe through Gnome Look and can be seen and downloaded from here.


Thoufeeq said...

The taskbar of the screenshot looks really pretty. Can you please share which is the theme. A direct link to download the theme would be really appreciated.

I am using Ubuntu Karmic

Thanks in advance.

technoshaun said...

You can find that here: