Curse the appearing ghost menus

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Do you know what I’m talking about? They are everywhere. Here are a few places you can find them:

  • In recent WordPress installs, in the comment management section, the menu that gives you “save, edit, spam” etc choices is invisible until you move your cursor near it.
  • In Unity, all the menus are invisible until you approach them, even the entire set of application menus that are not mac-esquely along the top (but invisibly so).
  • Also in Unity, all the other menus, as I recall. (I ditched Unity as soon as I learned how, about two hours after installing it.)
  • Gnome 2-point-whatever (the current version, contaminated by Unity) the damn scroll bar does not appear until you approach it with your cursor, and you better damn well know where it is because otherwise you won’t find it very easily.
  • There are a few such menus in Mac OS X, mainly the top menu bar when you’ve maxed the app…but that is actually when the menu is supposed to disappear, so that’s appropriate.

There is no way that most of these “I won’t be visible to you unless you know that I exist and where I might be and try to click on me good luck with that” (iwbvtyuyktieawimbatrcomglwt or just “glwt” for short) user interfaces are good. They are just a style. It is a technology that came into being and is now being used and abused and foisted upon us by user interface “designers” (I use that word laughingly) for no other reason than that it exists. It. Is. Stupid.

How long does it take for these fads to pass? Let’s try to speed it up, folks.

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5 thoughts on “Curse the appearing ghost menus

  1. This is the kind of ‘feature’ that caused me to move to Mint 12, where I’m using Gnome 3, only with the “Classic” theme selected at install – very much like Gnome 2. Next Mint install will use “Mate”, the Gnome 2 clone that has been under developement.

  2. Oy vey! So many of my tools were growing annoyingly outdated so I ran apt-get dist-upgrade and I’m still crying. GNOME had made the journey to hell long ago, but KDE was quite usable and tolerably bloated in versions 2 and 3. KDE4 sucks shit as GUIs go and attempts to out-bloat Winduhs. It’s almost enough to drive me back to using a Mac. I may have to put some serious effort into looking at xfce and other GUIs.

  3. I sometimes think that there’s a whole generation of UI designers who have decided to deliberately break every single established rule of good UI design… Presumably just because doing things the right way is stuffy and old-fashioned.

  4. This is where the cynic points out that in the GNU world of paid-for support, every bug, inefficiency, infelicity or inadequately documented feature is a potential profit centre….

  5. If you understand a Mac, a Mac is a good system to use for many things. However, you can’t go back to using your old Mac. Somewhere along the iMac lineage there is a hardware shift (talking desktops here) that is required to run the current system (staring with Lion) . I don’t know the laptop hardware situation.

    Which reminds me: If anyone out there has an old iMac or other mac and lives in the twin cities, I know somebody who can put Linux on it and use it in a classroom for a highly targeted science class thingie.

    (Or an old PC for that matter, but you are probably using the old PC.)

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