RPMs and *.desktop files

Sean Middleditch elanthis at awesomeplay.com
Wed Mar 3 23:56:13 EET 2004

On Wed, 2004-03-03 at 16:38, James Richard Tyrer wrote:

> 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.

What has Red Hat broken in terms of ABI compatibility?  The only thing I
ever remember is the GCC 2.96 thing.

> 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.

Directory layouts shouldn't really matter, and the base dir spec is
supposed to address this.  I personally can't stand /usr *or* /opt; the
base dir spec would (theoretically) let me install things in /System or
$HOME/Gonzo/Eats/Babies or whatever.

> 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).

Also covered by the base dir spec.  Paths are given as a list, which can
be searched.

> 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.

Packages are great when sliced up.  At least in the Open Source world,
where many users need (for example) development files while many other
users don't.  The dicing up shouldn't really matter w/ RPM as it can be
file based, and the installer can work out the exact RPM dependencies on
its own (ideally, anyways - this has a bad habit of not working when the
upstream authors aren't careful about file naming/versioning; an issue
that needs fixing badly...).

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Sean Middleditch <elanthis at awesomeplay.com>
AwesomePlay Productions, Inc.

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