Bug 443742 - Option to show subcategory structure
Summary: Option to show subcategory structure
Status: CONFIRMED
Alias: None
Product: plasmashell
Classification: Plasma
Component: Application Launcher (Kickoff) (show other bugs)
Version: 5.23.0
Platform: Kubuntu Linux
: NOR wishlist
Target Milestone: 1.0
Assignee: David Edmundson
URL:
Keywords:
: 444086 444462 446989 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks:
 
Reported: 2021-10-14 20:07 UTC by Łukasz Konieczny
Modified: 2022-11-05 16:03 UTC (History)
14 users (show)

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Latest Commit:
Version Fixed In:


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Description Łukasz Konieczny 2021-10-14 20:07:50 UTC
SUMMARY
I have set order of programs in every category using KMenuEdit and Kickoff doesn't repsect that. Instead it shows programs in every category in alphabetical order. I have had unchecked showing programs in alphabetical order in kickoff settings from the beginning. Weirdly, only programs in Multimedia category behave as I expect. Changing order of programs in KMenuEdit doesn't work.

Moreover, I have folders for less important programs nested in every category. Kickoff doesn't show those folders.

STEPS TO REPRODUCE
Update Plasma to 5.23

OBSERVED RESULT
As described above


EXPECTED RESULT
Nested folders are shown and I can go to them. Kickoff obeys order of programs set in KMenuEdit.


SOFTWARE/OS VERSIONS
Operating System: Kubuntu 21.10
KDE Plasma Version: 5.23.0
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.86.0
Qt Version: 5.15.2
Kernel Version: 5.13.0-7614-generic (64-bit)
Graphics Platform: X11
Processors: 8 × 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 @ 2.40GHz
Memory: 31.2 GiB of RAM
Graphics Processor: Mesa Intel® Xe Graphics

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Kubuntu Backports PPA enabled.
Comment 1 Nate Graham 2021-10-14 22:30:29 UTC
Not showing the nesting is intentional; we got user complaints that showing the nesting required unnecessarily fiddly navigation. If you're the kind of person who likes it, then Kicker (Application Menu) may be better for you.

Showing apps in alphabetical order is likewise intentional, though you may have a point. We can use the bug to track that.
Comment 2 Łukasz Konieczny 2021-10-15 18:18:45 UTC
(In reply to Nate Graham from comment #1)
> Not showing the nesting is intentional; we got user complaints that showing
> the nesting required unnecessarily fiddly navigation. If you're the kind of
> person who likes it, then Kicker (Application Menu) may be better for you.
> 
> Showing apps in alphabetical order is likewise intentional, though you may
> have a point. We can use the bug to track that.

I think there could be apropriate configuration options in Kickoff configuration window.
Nesting folders is very useful, for example one user (like myself) has many "junk" applications, which aren't "big" programs, but rather small utilities, like Bluetooth assistant, KColorChooser, KRuler, vprerex, UXTerm, ImageMagick, which register their entries in menu, but user never launches them from menu. For some reasons though the user doesn't want to remove those entries of small utilities from menu, but wants to store them in folder "Others" nested in apropriate category. The user can then hide those utilities from "big" applications, like OBS Studio, Strawberry, LibreOffice Writer or Kid3.
Listing applications in order specified by user instead of alphabetical order is also useful when user wants some programs to be on top. For example I like to order programs of similar purpose near each other. In Multimedia category for example my order of applications is as follows: Strawberry -> Yarock -> Elisa -> Kid3 -> VLC media player -> mpv -> Subtitle Composer -> OBS Studio -> vokoscreenNG -> Handbrake -> K3b. As you can see, this order resembles closely such groups of programs: audio players -> tag editors -> multimedia players -> subtitle editors -> recording software -> multimedia converters -> disk burning software. That's the reason the user wouldn't want their programs be listed in alphabetical order.

Conclusion.
Please make configuration options for various types of users instead of hard-coding particular behavior.
Comment 3 Nate Graham 2021-10-15 18:42:08 UTC
For apps like those, maybe you could put them all in a big top-level "Junk" folder.
Comment 4 Łukasz Konieczny 2021-10-15 18:46:49 UTC
(In reply to Nate Graham from comment #3)
> For apps like those, maybe you could put them all in a big top-level "Junk"
> folder.

Yes, I could do so, but those utilities come from various categories, so, again, nested folders could be very helpful.
Comment 5 Noah Davis 2021-10-16 03:33:33 UTC
> Weirdly, only programs in Multimedia category behave as I expect.

I have a theory for why this may be. Please confirm that you have no subcategories in the Multimedia category with items in them.

My theory is that Kickoff is supposed to respect the "Always sort applications alphabetically" setting, but it falls back to alphabetical sorting whenever a category has subcategories with items in them. If that is the case, we'll need to change the behavior of the Kicker models, which are used by Kickoff.
Comment 6 Łukasz Konieczny 2021-10-16 10:20:41 UTC
(In reply to Noah Davis from comment #5)
> > Weirdly, only programs in Multimedia category behave as I expect.
> 
> I have a theory for why this may be. Please confirm that you have no
> subcategories in the Multimedia category with items in them.
> 
> My theory is that Kickoff is supposed to respect the "Always sort
> applications alphabetically" setting, but it falls back to alphabetical
> sorting whenever a category has subcategories with items in them. If that is
> the case, we'll need to change the behavior of the Kicker models, which are
> used by Kickoff.

Yes, I don't have any subcategories (nested folders) in Multimedia category.
Comment 7 S. Christian Collins 2021-10-18 04:35:26 UTC
After upgrading to Plasma 5.23.0, I was bummed to find out that sub-categories no longer work, as I have a huge number of audio production tools that I've sorted into categories like "Music Creation", "Audio Tools", "Media Players", etc. Now everything is smooshed into one really long list.

Similarly, Wine applications no longer show up in their natural Start Menu hierarchy, so I have five "Uninstall" apps that I can no longer see what program they're associated with.

I'd definitely vote for a "Show sub-categories" option to enable the old behavior, especially since the new menu is otherwise quite superior to kickoff, IMO.
Comment 8 Nate Graham 2021-10-18 13:25:59 UTC
Yeah, I guess we should have a user-facing an option here. I continue to believe that subcategory folders are overkill for most users, but it's a valid point that some people carefully curate their menu structure and want to see the structure they created reflected in the menu. Or maybe what we can do is use section headers within the category views to group apps and indicate at least the first level of hierarchy. Or maybe both.
Comment 9 S. Christian Collins 2021-10-18 14:16:33 UTC
I would agree that the sub-category view should be off by default. Thanks, Nate, for all your great work on Plasma! Every new version brings measurable improvements :)
Comment 10 afedotov861 2021-10-20 06:05:24 UTC
*** Bug 444086 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 11 afedotov861 2021-10-20 06:15:39 UTC
Problem with setting subcategories to hidden by default, is that a user with a fresh plasma installation might try to right click kickoff (since it's the default launcher) > "edit applications..." and make subcategories there right away, and be confused why they don't see them, while being hinted at by the menu editor. It is counter intuitive to have this functionality enabled by a configuration option they may not be aware of.
Comment 12 Nikos Maragkos 2021-10-20 13:37:33 UTC
I agree with the TS, there should be an option to preserve submenus in Kickoff.

P.S.
Since this is my first post here, kudos to the KDE team for their work :)
Comment 13 afedotov861 2021-10-20 16:09:17 UTC
I think, if an option is to be added, that it should be to opt-in to this forced alphabetical order, not opt-out, and that the option should be in KMenuEdit, not specific to this launcher. The point of KMenuEdit is to refrain from configuring application orders for each launcher, and making Kickoff negate this by default does not make sense to me. In an effort to make things "simpler", the implementation has made the launcher more complicated.
If the user desires an alphabetical order in Kickoff, there is already a perfectly fine way to sort applications alphabetically in KMenuEdit... and this way, no one is forcing anything on anyone, instead keeping things configurable, as KDE should be. However, I acknowledge that newly installed applications are added at the to the top of the categories even when they have been sorted in this manner. May I suggest moving this option to KMenuEdit? The option would continue to move the application's entry into its respective place in the alphabetical order. There are two advantages to this. The menu order would be consistent across launchers by default again. Second, this option would be found in the place they expect; in KMenuEdit where people are used to going to configure their menu order.
If yall are concerned about overwhelming new users with subcategories and application order, then maybe a better way would be to set new defaults for KMenuEdit? This option I mentioned previously to force alphabetical order, and a removal of subcategories by default?
Comment 14 Noah Davis 2021-10-20 16:12:23 UTC
The option is already opt-in. The problem is that the models are falling back to alphabetical order when there are subcategories with items in them.
Comment 15 afedotov861 2021-10-20 16:21:53 UTC
Apologies, I confused alphabetical order vs. subcategories. As I understand it now, the discussion is considering removing subcategory view by default. While I am curious how applications would be put back into the main category (would it be alphabetical at that point, or as if the subcategory at that position was just expanded with all of the applications inside it in the order that they were...?) I still think that the better way to address this is to change defaults in KMenuEdit, not here.
Comment 16 Noah Davis 2021-10-20 16:27:36 UTC
No, subcategories are already gone in Kickoff.
Comment 17 afedotov861 2021-10-20 16:39:39 UTC
Judging by the option 'always sort applications alphabetically' I guess the Kickoff philosophy is to let the user choose when they wish to contradict what is set in KMenuEdit, so I change my suggestion and support the Kickoff option to 'show sub-categories' as discussed previously. I hope this is an acceptable compromise
Comment 18 Nate Graham 2021-10-28 15:52:27 UTC
*** Bug 444462 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 19 Nate Graham 2021-12-15 17:28:14 UTC
*** Bug 446989 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 20 Josesk Volpe 2021-12-15 18:17:04 UTC
I vote for a option to bring back the old sorting style. It was much better to me than mixing a lot of shortcuts and applications together
I don't like Kicker (Application Menu), i liked how Kickoff looks until it has changed how it sorts applications
Comment 21 Josesk Volpe 2022-03-06 17:55:29 UTC
While this is not solved, i'll stick with Legacy Kickoff
It's really awful to see all my applications mixed together
Comment 22 Irorcaiaturor 2022-03-13 14:46:47 UTC
I also vote for an option to bring back the old sorting style or at least implement an option to 'show sub-categories' in the settings. A lot of programs brings a bunch of menu entries and without sub-categories it looks like a total mess.
Kicker (Application Menu) on the other hand support sub-categories but feels not smooth (very slow / lags when you hover over the entries) so I also have to use the not supported Legacy Kickoff menu.
Comment 23 Josesk Volpe 2022-03-13 19:28:49 UTC
I also don't like Kicker because of it's appearance, the lack of categories icons and user icon and name makes it strange to me
Comment 24 petrk 2022-11-05 16:03:36 UTC
I would like to vote for respecting structure, at least optionally.
Say, user installs easyeffects/pulseeffects, it pulls LSP Plugins, which adds ~130 elements to menu, cluttering Multimedia section completly.