Menoku 0.1.1

Menoku is an innovative new menu system that combines the best features of several common application launching schemes.
Menoku is an innovative new menu system that combines the best features of several common application launching schemes.

Menoku project lets you graphicaly search through neatly organized icons and choose any icon quickly with a short sequence of keys.

It supports hierarchical submenus and is easy to configure and organize with drag and drop interface. It works on Windows and Linux with the Qt4 library.

You have nine groups of nine icons, each of which can either launch an application or load a new menu of up to 81 icons.

Because of Menoku's unique layout, any icon on the screen can be selected with at most two keypresses, expressing the position of the program you want to launch. You can memorize these key sequences, or hunt through a large full-color icons to find the program you want.

The idea behind Menoku is to make an application menu laid out like a Sudoku board. A single window is divided into nine groups of nine icons, making an array of nine by nine. Each icon can either load a new menu of up to 81 icons or can launch an application. To select an icon, you can either click on it or use your numberpad to select which group of nine icons to choose from and then which of the nine icons to activate. (See the Screenshots page if this isn't clear)

Why is this a good idea? Well, the purpose of Menoku is to try to make a more effecient menu system, and it does so by combining the best elements from several common application launching methods:

The Messy Desktop

Using the desktop to start applications is nice because it lets you browse through a large number of applications graphically using large icons. Unfortunately, keeping a desktop full of icons organized is a pain! Also, having launch icons on the desktop is really pretty inconvenient because you have to minimize windows to see all your icons. You shouldn't have to disrupt what you're doing to start a new program.

Menoku lets you graphically search through a large number of icons, just like a desktop, but its unique grouping layout enforces some level of organization, so you always know where to look. Also, Menoku is not a desktop, it's more like a popup menu. It comes onto the screen when you ask for it (on top of any other windows) and when you select an application to start, it disappears.

Keyboard Shortcuts Sequences

Many power users like to use the keyboard to start their favorite programs. This means they don't have to move their hands to the mouse to start a new program, and it's also much faster to just type out a memorized combination than to browse through a menu. Of course, the problem with this is that you have to memorize all your key combinations! You can make yourself a cheat sheet, but having to lookup a key combo before you type it defeats the purpose.

In Menoku, any icon you see on the screen is uniquely accessible through typing at most two keys: one to select which group of nine you want, and another to select one of those nine icons. This means that every application you want to start with Menoku has its own short key sequence. You can quickly memorize the sequences for your favorite programs, but if you forget you always have the icon display to remind you.

Hierarchical Menus

The standard way to start programs in a WIMP interface (such as Windows or X11) is to open up a menu. You click a button and get a long list of names and small icons, some of which represent programs and others more menus. The reason menus are so ubiquitous is that they work! You can store any number of programs that way and organize them into groups. Unfortunately, menus are very slow. You have to browse through text, which is inefficient, and you also have to wait for new menus to pop up beneath your mouse.

Menoku is in large part modeled after a standard hierarchical menu. Although you can only have 81 icons in any given menu, you can have any number of submenus which can also have 81 icons. You can easily group your programs together either by putting them into the same group of nine or by putting them in the same submenu. However, browsing in Menoku is much faster. You can search for large icons instead of text, and you can use your keyboard instead of following a winding path with your mouse.

Here are some key features of "Menoku":

Quick key-sequence launching of your favorite programs
Mouse addicts can click on an icon instead of using the keyboard
Trigger any command with any number of arguments
Full color icons with transparency
Tray icon for more menu-like functionality
Configurable global hotkey
Hierarchical menus in XML
Drag and Drop menu editing

Installation:

First of all, to compile this code you MUST HAVE Qt 4.0 or above installed on your computer and you must use the version of qmake that comes with it.

To make sure you are using the right version of qmake, run the command "qmake -v" to see which Qt version it came with. Because the Qt libraries are in a state of transition from qt3 to qt4, you might have separate programs named qmake-qt3 and qmake-qt4, or something similar on your computer. If this is the case, use qmake-qt4 instead of qmake in the instructions below.

To compile Menoku, simply run:

qmake
make

If you use the wrong version of qmake, you will get error messages and the code will not compile.

The next step is to install. This will copy the menoku binary and the menoku icons into appropriate locations on your computer. The default place to put the binary file is /usr/bin/ and the default place for icons is /usr/share/pixmaps/. If you want to change these paths, edit the lines in menoku.pro that set target.path and icons.path so that they refer to the directories you want.

To install, make sure you have permissions for the intall directory (su root, if needed) and run:

make install

What's New in This Release:

Some minor bugfixes have been made.

Fixed the following:

If you dragged a cell to another location then chose swap from the popup menu, you'd get a segfault
In some cases, changes in the number of icons would go unnoticed after drops (causing things like hiding empty cells and zooming single items to misbehave)

last updated on:
February 10th, 2006, 18:17 GMT
price:
FREE!
developed by:
Menoku Team
license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
category:
ROOT \ Desktop Environment \ Tools

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