I discussed the process of manually generating an applications menu in Window Maker in a previous post. If you are running a Debian (or Debian-based) Window Maker installation, one thing you might miss is automatic menu updates whenever you add or remove applications.
I'm going to provide a method for (nearly) automatic menu generation an updating in Debian Window Maker systems in this post.
Step 1: Install the packages "menu" and "menu-xdg."
These two packages are available in all three divisions of the Debian repositories (i.e., stable, testing and experimental), so open a terminal and enter:
sudo aptitude install menu menu-xdg
Step 2: Make the file /etc/menu-methods/wmaker executable
In a terminal, enter:
sudo chmod +x /etc/menu-methods/wmaker
Step 3: Run the update script
In a terminal:
If all went well, you should find your default Window Maker menu transformed into something like this:
Now, I mentioned that this method provides (nearly) automatic menu updates. The (nearly) part means that each time you add or remove software, you will need to remember to run the "update-menus" script. If you are so inclined, you could set this up to run at each session login, but that's up to you.
The downside to this approach, as I mentioned in a previous post, is that you lose the ability to customize the menu manually using the WPrefs.app menu functions. I'm a bit torn on this - on the one hand, being able to manually tweak the menu by adding all sorts of commands and also being able to organize the menu items exactly as I see fit is nice. On the other hand, the manual approach takes a good deal of work - especially on a fresh install of Window Maker, and having to remember to add every application I install each time I install something can be a pain.
I might also serve notice that I am not familiar with Window Maker's menu behavior outside the Debian world. I have run Window Maker on an Arch Linux installation, but I honestly don't remember the specifics for that distribution. If you are using anything but Debian, please look for information specific to your distribution.
So I've covered two menu production approaches for Debian-based Window Maker instances. If you know of other - possibly better - approaches, please don't hesitate to let me know!