Base Directory Spec Queries

Waldo Bastian bastian at
Tue Aug 5 14:30:35 EEST 2003

Hash: SHA1

On Tuesday 05 August 2003 06:18, Biju Chacko wrote:
> Hi,
> I was just reading the Base Directory Spec so that I could hack support
> for it into XFce 4.2. I have a few queries:
> 1. Why does $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS default to the rather cryptic /etc/xdg
> rather than, say, /etc/desktop-config ?

The name "desktop" has been avoided in general since some people interpret 
that in a rather narrow way. There may also be specs that want to use the 
Base Directory Spec but that can have application outside a desktop context, 
such as the mimetype spec. 

> 2. Why isn't there a system-wide counterpart to $XDG_CACHE_HOME? I
> realise that /var/cache is obvious ... but it offends my sense of
> symmetry not to have it explicitly stated. :)

In the case of $XDG_CONFIG_DIRS and $XDG_DATA_DIRS there is a strong relation 
between the system-wide files and the user-wide files and it is to a large 
extent up to the user / admin to decide whether to place files in user-
specific or system-specfic locations.

With cache data this is much less the case. It pretty much follows from the 
design of the application whether the data should be cached on a per-user 
basis or on a system-wide basis. It's IMHO also very unlikely that an 
application wants to combine both system-wide and user-wide cache locations.

> 3. How stable is this spec? Is there any plan to work on it further? It
> seems pretty clean and complete to me, but I thought I'd ask... :)

There may be additions such as $XDG_CACHE_HOME but existing parts should not 

> 4. Is there a reference implementation? That is, is there code that I
> could spend a couple of hours downloading, studying, compiling and
> installing so that I could avoid writing the 10 lines or so needed to
> support it? :)

No, not yet. Maybe an "xdg-config" tool would make a nice reference 

- -- 
bastian at -=|[ SuSE, The Linux Desktop Experts ]|=- bastian at
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