RPMs and *.desktop files

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Wed Mar 3 23:38:58 EET 2004

Sean Middleditch wrote:
> On Wed, 2004-03-03 at 14:15, Rob Kaper wrote:
>> platforms supported by the desktops to have the same filesystem
>> layout, binary compatibility, equal library versions.. any work in
>> that area would be platform-specific, and as such inappropriate - at
>> least for XDG/fd.o.
> <idealism>
> Library versions are supposed to be set upstream.  If a distribution is 
> explicitly breaking library versioning, they are flaming idiots, since 
> they are intentionally breaking compatibility, and bugs need to be filed
>  against their broken distribution.  (And for those upstream authors
> that don't version things right, the same goes for them.)
> File system hierarchy is the exact thing the spec (base dir spec) is 
> supposed to fix.  So hopefully the specs *do* get around that issue, 
> otherwise we have a problem somewhere.  ~,^
> </idealism>

This is not just idealism, it is the way it has to be if Linux is going to 
be successful on the desktop.

Unfortunately, (at least some of) the major distros *are* broken and they 
have no intention of fixing them.  RedHat is probably the worst but there 
are problems with Mandrake and to (IIUC a lesser) extent with SuSE.

I think that they are "flaming idiots" but they appear to think otherwise 
-- that making their users dependent on them for RPMs is a good idea.  This 
is the same fragmentation that dragged down UNIX.  Somebody has to 
establish a standard for RPM based distros.

The LSB and the directory spec that goes with it are a large crock.  They 
do not accomplish what needs to be done which is to specify a standard file 
tree for desktop installations.

This should be totally standardized except for the option of using either: 
/usr/ or /usr/local/ as the root of various subtrees.

It also needs to deal with issues of multiple directories with the same 
function.  Should software be required to find all of them? should they all 
be linked together (currently the only solution for 'share')? or should 
they be required to all be in the same tree (only one of each)?  If one 
tree, then it should be: "/etc/share/" or something new.  Otherwise we 
still have the problem of: "/usr/" vs "/usr/local/", or we could use that 
if all software looked in both of them, but I find it confusing.  Linking 
isn't a panacea either.  I did that with the 'man' directories and now KDE 
thinks I have several copies of everything (I need to fix my man path).

IMHO, such a standard should be based on what you could get if you 
installed the packages from source.  You could use the options in a 
standard GNU configure script (the options would be part of the standard) 
but you should not slice and dice a package like RedHat does.


More information about the xdg mailing list