Fwd: XDG Base directory specification

Waldo Bastian bastian at kde.org
Sat May 24 20:06:41 EEST 2003

Hash: SHA1

- ----------  Forwarded Message  ----------

Subject: XDG Base directory specification
Date: Saturday 24 May 2003 17:11
From: Richard Boulton <richard at tartarus.org>
To: bastian at kde.org

[If there is a better place to post discussion of the XDG Base Directory
Specification, please let me know & feel free to forward this.  The spec
itself lists only your address.]

I've been reading the spec: there are a couple of points which I feel it
would do well to address.

1) What should the application behaviour be if the value of
   $XDG_CONFIG_HOME or $XDG_DATA_HOME is empty?  (ie, defined
   as the empty string).  One risk if the application doesn't
   handle this specially is that the application could be
   persuaded to spew config files to its current working
   directory (if it assumes that joining the XDG_*_HOME with a
   resource name will produce an absolute path).  This could
   easily create quite a mess.

   A useful behaviour might be for the application to assume
   that the user does not wish it to save the data if
   XDG_*_HOME is empty: this would provide the functionality
   that the ROX desktop provides when its $CHOICESPATH
   environment variable begins with a ':'.  On the other hand,
   I'm not convinced of the need for this functionality - I'm
   not sure why a user would ever want this, and if he did he
   could simply set XDG_*_HOME to point to a dummy directory and
   revoke access permissions for it.

   Alternatively, the spec could define that an empty value
   should be treated identically to an unset value - ie, the
   default path should be used.  I'm not certain that empty
   values for environment variables are supported on all
   platforms - if not, this behaviour seems the only reasonable

2) Typo: "The order of base directories denotes their
   importancy" - there is no such word as "importancy" - use
   "importance" instead.

- --
Richard Boulton <richard at tartarus.org>

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