TastyMenu dates back around June 2006, when I saw a thread on the kde-usability mailing list about how a "Start" menu should be presented and there was some hype around the just-announced SLAB menu that Novell developed for GNOME (Kickoff was born some months later).
So I started to try out the various alternatives that existed at that time (and not only for KDE) in order to build up a personal idea on how a "Start" menu should look. I was never satisfied with any of the options available, so I started to implement my own.
First of all: do we still need a "Start" menu on today's desktops? I think so, or at least I have still not seen a viable alternative: the only radical different approach on today's operating systems is the combination Finder + Dock in Mac OSX, but I think that launching an app via the Finder requires too many clicks and putting all the most used applications in the dock takes too much room.
What's wrong in the traditional menu? The amount of applications installed in a modern Linux distribution can become enormous, and displaying them in a popup menu can end up with an intimidating list that covers up nearly the whole screen, so I have made something that, although still very big, takes only a fixed amount of screen space, no matter how many applications are installed. The application list is presented as a normal list view - the widget that I think is more adept at displaying a large amount of information.
Some other features are:
- Ability to search through the installed applicaions
- A list of bookmarked applications, but the list of all the other applications is still in the main window and not buried in submenus or other windows
- Keeps track of recently-installed applications
- The usual logout/fast user switching buttons
Plans for the future
At the moment TastyMenu is only available under KDE3, but I think someday I will start a port to KDE 4: real life can be a harsh mistress, so I can't promise when :)
I think there is still room for a menu like TastyMenu in KDE 4, because the choice is good, you know :)
This will be for those who want a more classical approach, because I think it will remain a classic Application-centric interface, aimed to launch applications with the smallest number of mouse clicks as possible.
Most notable differences will probably be a better integration with Strigi and a simplified user interface.