Base Directory Spec Queries

Biju Chacko botsie at
Wed Aug 6 11:36:45 EEST 2003

On Tue, 5 Aug 2003 13:30:35 +0200, Waldo Bastian wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> On Tuesday 05 August 2003 06:18, Biju Chacko wrote:
> > 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. 

That makes sense. I'd still prefer something less obscure than 'xdg'. No
big deal, because 'etc' is probably even _more_ obscure.

> > 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 change.

$XDG_CACHE_HOME is already mentioned.

> > 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 
> implementation.

Thanks Waldo, that was a clear and concise explanation.

-- b

Biju 'botsie' Chacko                        biju_chacko at vsnl dot net          Public Key available on request

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