Startup menu structure #213

GoogleCodeExporter opened this Issue Mar 15, 2015 · 7 comments


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2 participants

Here is an improvement that would be surely valuable:
A better icon structure in the startup menu.

Instead of a messy structure icon (often with duplicates) it would be nice to 
have a simple 2 levels icon structure.

Example :
Now ->
  /TheProgram/Uninstall TheProgram
After ->
  /Npackd program category/TheProgram

It is possible to define a localized name for "Npackd program category" and 
change the icon for a better look.

It will be a great improvement for the desktop, helping the user to find easily 
and fastly programs.

Original issue reported on by on 5 Mar 2013 at 9:00

Note: currently directories are only created by installers, never by Npackd. 
Npackd always creates shortcuts on the top level.

Original comment by on 5 Mar 2013 at 8:16

  • Changed state: Thinking
  • Added labels: Type-Enhancement
  • Removed labels: Type-Defect
Maybe it is possible to set a parameter in the installer "with no startup icon" 
? Then run custom script after the installation that would do exactly what we 

Original comment by on 6 Mar 2013 at 9:04

We should define how the ideal icon placement looks first. The actual 
implementation could be as complicated as necessary.

Original comment by on 6 Mar 2013 at 9:34

We have developed such a functionality on our custom version. See 
a19880d> for more details (we do not publicly deliver the corresponding 

Original comment by on 19 Jun 2013 at 11:25

New URL (rebased) : 

Original comment by on 20 Jun 2013 at 3:09

Microsoft guidelines for the start menu 

Do Not Place Shortcuts to Documents, Help, or Uninstall in the Start Menu
The Start menu is designed to give users easy access to launch applications. 
Usability studies show that when the Start menu becomes too cluttered, users 
can no longer do this.
Do not place shortcuts to documents, such as readme files, in the Start menu. 
If you have important information that the user should see, consider displaying 
that information during the install process.

Do not put shortcuts to help files in the Start menu. Users can access help 
once they launch the application.

Do not place shortcuts to uninstall in the Start menu. The Add/Remove Program 
control panel applet provides this functionality.
The following behaviors, though not required, are recommended:
Place your icon to launch your application directly under Start -> Programs. 
Avoid placing it in a folder under programs. In particular, do not create a 
folder in the Start menu in which you only put one item. Often, applications 
will create a folder, based on Company name, and then put a single shortcut to 
launch the application inside that folder. Instead, consider renaming the 
shortcut to include the company name and dropping the use of the folder.
Programs    My Company    My App    (Avoid this)
Programs    My Company My App          (Recommended)
Do not put anything in the top of the Start menu, as users consider this their 
own personal space.

If you have support applications, tools, or utilities associated with your 
application, and you wish to publish these in the Start menu, create a single 
folder in the Start menu as a peer of the icon to launch your application and 
place them there.

Original comment by on 7 Mar 2015 at 8:27

Thanks for the microsoft documentation it helps to know what is required, what 
is recommended.
As Npackd is a OS wide tool not just a program, this recommendations cannot be 
respected... If you had to respect this, every installation done by Npackd 
would be in StartMenu\Npackd\...!

In addition, I've been using the "Category/MyApp" structure for Windows for 
some time now (I am creating folders & shortcuts manually) and my menu is much 
more tidy and comprehensible than with the Microsoft recommendations. I have 
about 10 folders with 5-10 shortcuts in it. Most of my categories have been 
borrowed from Gnome desktop.

Here is why is think Npackd can be really improve the Windows desktop 
experience :

One of the main drawback of the opensource ecosystem is that there are lots of 
programs that does the same thing but with strange/funny/original names, not 
describing what they are doing. (GIMP, Pidgin, ...).
The usecase that happens often to "the geek in the family" aka "the 
administrator of the family computer" is that:
- he installs a program (he knows the name and how to use it)
- another person logs in and see new programs shortcut in the menu (they don't 
know what they do)
- the day they need the previously installed program they dont even know they 
have the program installed so they are blocked (or they install a ***ty program 
full of malwares, etc)

The category folder gives no warranty of understanding but at least it gives a 
small hint on every installed program.

Using the Npackd database you would be able to make a much better solution than 
my manual startup menu: the folder name could be localized, the folder icon 
would be automatically computed.

In conclusion, I still recommend the implentation of this feature. That been 
said, it might be a good idea to implement it with some kind of flag or 
configuration entry so it can be disabled if any political issue with Microsoft.

Original comment by on 7 Mar 2015 at 9:39

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