Some developers are working on a neat new program menu for KDE called Raptor Menu. Thanks to Plasma and other underlying KDE 4 technologies it is now a pretty trivial hack to change the program menu if you don’t like the default. Such enhancements exist for KDE 3, but they are all very kludgey. Thanks to Plasma’s modular nature, it’s easy to replace it. Even the KDE developers have acknowledged this when people have complained about their new program menu. Bear with them to fix it, they say, but if you don’t like it, it’s now very easy to implement your own.
What’s so great about the Raptor Menu? Well, I do have to say that right now it’s mostly in the conceptual stage, although they do have some code that compiles. What *I* believe are their biggest strengths are the fact that it looks great – kinda like the Mac dock that everone’s always trying to emulate, it calculates your most used programs and makes those available up front, and it combines some command line savvy. The command line part is where it has a little text box where the user can start typing the name of the program and it narrows down the choices in the menu. This is great because I’ve found myself all too often (whether using KDE, Windows, or Gnome) wandering the menu structure looking for some program that I want, but I can’t remember that it’s an “office” product and not a “sound” product or something like that. I think as we evolve as computer users, interfaces like this make more and more sense. I’ll definitely be giving them a try once Fedora 9 comes out and I install KDE 4.