Monday, October 18, 2010

Fix for Eclipse Menu Issues in Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition

This is but one of the many,many reasons I love free software.

In my previous post about Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition I pointed out there are some issues with the menus in some applications, which in my case I ran into with Eclipse (actually SpringSource Tool Suite). I posted to the Ubuntu Forums and in no time a kind user pointed me to this bug report (which I somehow missed in my searches before posting to the forums), and also provided the fix for the issue which is simple enough. Basically you just have to tell Ubuntu not to use its own menus when you start the application, so from a terminal you do this to start the app:

UBUNTU_MENUPROXY= /home/mwoodward/sts/STS

Note that there is a space after the equals sign. Of course if you're having this issue with another application you'd just substitute the path to that application where I have /home/mwoodward/sts/STS And you can obviously throw this into a launcher script so you don't have to remember to type this every time.
I was also having problems with the menus on UltraEdit so I was happy to see this fix resolved those issues as well. With a workaround for this issue I now give the Unity interface a grade of a nice solid B as opposed to the C I gave it in my previous post. There are still some quirks here and there but at least now I can use STS without any issue.

I'm always amazed, yet never surprised, at the excellent support available from the community of free software projects. With commercial software you pay for support, and in my experience it isn't very good as a rule, but with free software you have legions of users at the ready to help other users, and you can also pay for commercial support if you so need or desire.

What's not to love?

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