Current desktop detection / app access - take 2.
hp at redhat.com
Thu May 27 21:50:51 EEST 2004
On Thu, 2004-05-27 at 12:50, George wrote:
> Realistically I doubt even all the specs already written will be
> fully adopted for quite a number of years. A perfect solution is always
> nice, but always kind of several years off.
The reason I don't buy this is that in every case where the hackers
involved have in fact just sat down and done the work, they've gotten it
done and adopted pretty quickly. It's not like freedesktop.org is a
high-overhead process with a bunch of bureaucracy.
Amounts to: 1) discuss with the 2-3 key relevant hackers 2) implement.
There is no approval process or committee involved, just the usual open
The slowness in the past has been because of people who didn't have time
or didn't care to work on it. But we have people actively working on the
MIME thing, and plenty more people who could be. Plus there's the
trivial get-it-done-today interim spec Waldo posted, "there is a binary
desktop-launch, use that to launch" - spec completed. We're done, I
don't want to hear more about how long it will take to write the spec.
I have certainly been hoping that Novell's plans to support both
desktops strongly would result in finally getting a lot of this useful
For tooltips, button order, etc. I think we should address that in a way
specific to the problem at hand. DESKTOP_UI_GUIDELINES=gnome|kde for
example, is much less bad than DESKTOP=gnome which is a hack of
unbounded damage. Though choosing one set of guidelines to me is the
only sane thing to do, I agree it is not politically feasible (yet).
To me it's obvious that if we're really going to support multiple
desktops in the long term, we have to do so sanely and maintainably. If
the goal is to give lip service for a while and then drop one of the
desktops, then DESKTOP=foo sounds like a great way to avoid wasting
time. But DESKTOP=foo is an O(n) rather than O(1) approach in terms of
effort, and so I don't see how it's better even by the "less work and
faster" metric if we really, genuinely intend to solve the multi-desktop
If we're going down the DESKTOP=foo road what we're saying is: "There
are two Linux desktop platforms. You have to port your app twice and
separately test and certify with each platform. We have no plans to fix
this problem, in fact for the apps we write ourselves we are porting
twice and spending double the effort."
Moreover, DESKTOP=foo plainly excludes any desktop environments other
than GNOME and KDE because nobody will bother with the others, the
others will have to emulate one of GNOME/KDE.
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