I saw the other thread and gave a try to the Whisker Menu. Honestly, I didn’t get what its advantages are. The Applications Menu seems much more compact and you don’t have to scroll around to get to the qube you are looking for. Just make sure templates and system qubes are made internal, so they don’t show up in the menu. If you like the search feature, then a properly configured dmenu would be much better, IMHO.
I wont be able to run the poll, and in any case am not an Xfce user but I have many times observed that the best menu, in my opinion, is
a customised one that focuses on tasks and not qubes
When I did use Xfce, I found the menu relatively easy to customise per
user. It’s straightforward to do this in KDE, and only a little more
difficult in Xfce, and no doubt there are tools to help you do that
with a GUI.
A properly configured WhiskerMenu allows you to pull it up with a shortcut (I map mine to the Win key) and type in your VM/program/task, then quickly start it.
Mileage may vary from person to person, but for me this was a significant increase in the fluidity of my work flow–all for the minor investment in time and effort needed to set things up. Managing your application menu entries under Qubes settings is important here.
WhiskerMenus also synergizes well with other well-known modifications. I make use of ‘start this qube’ (an option when choosing application menu entries) paired with autostart, so starting a qube would start all relevant programs in that qube, and all that is condensed in one entry, conserving space in the ‘favorites’ submenu. The autostart function is a side-effect of installing Tasket’s vm-boot-protect. halt-vm-by-window, a script by the same author which allows you to shut down the VM of the currently selected window with a shortcut, extends the workflow benefit of WhiskerMenu.
On laptops especially, alt+F3 can be awkward to press. The Win key is already underutilized, so one might as well map that to either the application finder (what you’re using) or WhiskerMenu. You might like what you find.
Cool! So one can already get the search feature of WhiskerMenu without using it by just pressing Alt+F3.
Commenting further on searching, I don’t really like the matches it makes, at least in the standard configuration. For instance, it matches descriptions. When I type “tor” it finds lots of matches that involve “emulator” and I just want to find TorBrowser. Another example, in dmenu (perhaps with additional switches), if you type “dvm firefox”, it will separately filter out “dvm” and “firefox” and it will show you all disposable vms in which you can run firefox.
Yes, it’s a problem. This is why I would like to change the order of results. One can also adjust the search habits a bit (search for “rbr”?) and reorganize the available apps or their names. After a bit of work it saves a lot of time.
After that, the Whisker menu does not provide anything useful for me, since the search is already there. As mentioned above, the original menu does not require to scroll (if you still need it at some point).
Interestingly, when I am searching with alt+F3 for “firefox”, I get “debian-10-dvm: Firefox ESR” as a first result and “fedora-32-dvm: Firefox” as the second one. When I am doing the same in the Whisker menu, the results are inverted…
Another solution would be to use the favorites menu, have it open at keypress (via settings), and navigate using arrows. Arrange favorites by dragging and dropping so that more frequently used items are closer to the starting point.