RPMs and *.desktop files

George jirka at 5z.com
Wed Mar 3 01:33:33 EET 2004

On Tue, Mar 02, 2004 at 10:40:17PM +0100, Julius Schwartzenberg wrote:
> I still have a question about categories though. When I use one of the 
> standard categories from the XDG, the menu in SUSE 9.0 doesn't put the 
> application in the correct category it puts it in a menu called 
> Applications instead. Is this a problem with SUSE 9.0 or is it a problem 
> with my version of KDE? What can I do to solve this problem?

The categories will NOT show up in the menu, they are just keywords, they
don't refer to particular menu folders.  A folder has to be set up to
query for those categories that are defined in the .desktop file, otherwise
the .desktop file will end up in some catch all menu folder like
Applications.  I suppose you are using categories for which standard SuSE
menus don't query, which is quite OK.  Standard distribution menus are not
likely to have folders defined for everything.  They can, but most likely
they won't.  That's why you should include all relevant categories so that
for example if the menus query for a more general one but not for a specific
one, then your application shows up in the correct place.

The point of this is that to change where say 'Math' application show up, all
you have to do is change the vfolder info file and perhaps add a folder and
query for 'Math', or perhaps you don't like mathematics and then you query
for 'NOT Math' everywhere.  You don't touch the .desktop file (which makes
sense since as say a distributor you don't know what applications the user
will install but they should show up in the proper place in the menu).  Also
this means that you have the same .desktop file for redhat, for suse and for

If you are using some categories for which the standard SuSE menu is querying
(I would suppose they query for things like 'Office' somewhere) and it is
still ending up in the catch all folder, then something is wrong with the
vfolder implementation in SuSE.

> I'm a little surprised by this. I thought one of the goals of these 
> standards was to help making Linux distros and desktop environments more 
> compatible with each other.

If you ignore the overgrown generality of the specs and use /usr for your app
and binaries and /usr/share/applications for the .desktop files, then things
should just work on all distributions that use the vfolder system.  Yes, one
of the main points of the vfolder proposal was to make it easy for installers
to work no matter how menus are organized on whichever particular
distribution.  Feel free to ignore people that tell you otherwise.  It's
quite obvious that standartization is done for the purpose of being standard
and same, if making things standard doesn't help cross distro / cross desktop
integration, then we're just jerking off.


George <jirka at 5z.com>
   Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans...
                       -- John Lennon

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