Personally, I don't like the hover metaphor. It is not always clear which options have a sub-menu that responds to hovering, or which items will do something useful
in response to a click. Subjectively, I dislike waiting for a hover-provoked item to appear, perhaps only to find that this is an item that needs a click. Clicking is definitive and deterministic, whereas waiting for a hover item to appear is open-ended and
may never happen.
Why has this been done? In conversation with one of the developers, I learned that there is an interest in reducing the amount of screen
space occupied by the controls, particularly for those using smaller screens. Given that netbooks have pretty much died out, and that we don't build Thunderbird for iOS, Android or Chrome OS for use on tablets, smartphones and ChromeBooks, I'm not sure where
this userbase with smaller screens comes from. There has also been a fair amount of interest from some users in moving to a Firefox-like menu system, where the menu can be configured to be accessible behind a single orange button, so together these are given
as the reason for the change to using the Application Menu. I understood that the intention was for the Toolbars to remain visible, but this doesn't seem to happen.
far as I understand it, this loss of menus or toolbars doesn't affect Mac users.
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