XDG Base Directory Spec

Marco Canini marco.canini at fastwebnet.it
Mon Feb 9 20:36:02 EET 2004

I understand what you're suggesting and my ideas are the following:
* don't make them fixed as you agree
* define defaults (without "My " prefix)
* let the user configure actual places with a simple config file
overridden by env vars
* don't add localization for folder names, if you want localized icons
make them as link (even windows doesn't make localized folders, windows
is mainly a single user per session and single locale OS IMO)

The My prefix makes IMO the directory layout not easy to understand
1) It adds 3 unnecessary characters to dir names
2) Since the directory is in your home folder by default it's obvious
that it contains YOUR files, so it's stupid to say MY ...
3) The default sort order is alphabetical and when I search for a video
instinctively I go to Videos folder under the 'V' letter, 'M' for music,
'D' for documents and so on. It's useless to go every time to the M,
search for My and the read the word after.
4) Spaces in dir names aren't all that UNIX users friendly


On Mon, 2004-02-09 at 18:27, Lee Willis wrote:
> On Mon, 09 Feb 2004 16:28:39, Marco Canini wrote:
> > One of the things i like more in using linux is the absence of all the
> > fixed things that windows has.
> I'm not necessarily saying that they're "fixed", just that they're there
> by for new user accounts, ie they're "defaults" in the absence of the user
> telling us anything else.
> > And also this My Anything thing is so stupid and useless.
> I'd be interested to think why having a sensible, easy to understand 
> directory structure is stupid, or useless? You just object to the name?
> > I want my
> > music to live in music folder or mp3 folder
> Absolutely - but if a user doesn't have one, we should at least be able
> to create one for him, and have applications treat it consistently.
> Personally, my music is unlikely to ever sit in the "standard" music folder
> (Since it lives on my Windows XP partition for a start!).
> However, the case we're trying to deal with here is making the whole
> desktop experience more pleasant by having well understood defaults
> that different applications can use in a consistent way.
> > what the hell apps care about the actual place?
> No apps should care in the sense that they shouldn't stop working if 
> music isn't in the "My Music" folder. However it can lead to an easy
> to use desktop for users if, for example, MP3s are downloaded to the
> music directory, CDs are ripped to the music directory, and the music
> player automatically finds them there.
> The exact case that prompted the discussion, is that when someone runs a 
> music player for the first time, where should it look on disk for music
> files?   Right now I see we have two choices:
> (1) Search $HOME - which is probably bad since it is likely to contain large
>     amounts of data that aren't relevant. This especially causes an issue if
>     the music player wants to monitor that location for changes in the future
> (2) Ask the user for their location - which is OK, but would be nicer if we
>     could guess, or suggest a location
> I'm not proposing we remove anyone's right to store their music where
> they want, just trying to come up with a consistent approach that can
> help users use a system that comes with sensible, consistent defaults.
> I'm also, for the record, not proposing for one minute that we call
> it "My Music", or that their aren't localisation issues to be dealt with
> before we can get this right ...
> I'd love to hear from anyone who has ideas on how this could work, or a
> list of obstacles that need to be overcome before it can.
> Thanks
> Lee
Marco Canini <marco.canini at fastwebnet.it>

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