Current desktop detection / app access - take 2.

Michael Meeks michael at
Wed May 26 13:09:58 EEST 2004

Hi Havoc,

	So - I was on holiday and missed the nice flamage - particularly the
bits by real ISVs saying "we want this cheesy API" ;->

On Tue, 2004-05-18 at 10:35 -0400, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> A nicer solution might be an XSETTING for the current theme name, for
> example, or the "metathemes" idea (in GNOME "theme" means "metatheme" so
> this gets confusing).

	Well theme is rather different from toolkit; so ...

> Or more long-term, a nice spec for cross-toolkit themes.

	I'm well up for mandating that all installed themes _must_ have an
equivalent Gnome & KDE version of the same name and synchronise
beautifully - indeed, I'm convinced this is the right way to go long
term; - problem is, we can't mandate anything like that.

> The problem is that the hack actively prevents us from moving toward the
> standardized platform, because it gives app authors this
> write-my-app-five-times-over semi-working approach to solving the same
> problem. We should be living with the pain until we solve it sanely.

	I really don't see where the 5 times comes in. I'm guess it can be
simplified to 2 questions:

	* is there a good way for an ISV to detect what toolkit to use
	  for integrated theming ?
		+ yes it sucks that we have to do this at all, but life
		  does suck often :-)

	* is some sophisticated shared mime-foo ever going to do much
	  better than: exec ("desktop-launch") ?
		+ this argument _looks_ like it hinges on some obscure
		  preference for linking vs. a MIME library to do the
		  exec for you, rather than letting the helper do that.

	My feeling is that deliberately increasing ISV (and user) pain for a
long period, while hoping that this will focus people's minds on a more
complicated solution that is a few percent more powerful than a very
simple, quick solution - is not _really_ a useful use of life. There are
plenty of more interesting, complicated / nasty problems that we can
address surely ?

	Anyhow - how would one go about uploading such a draft spec. ? Also, I
notice several modern specs are in some funky/verbose XML stuff, which
looks complicated & time-consuming (to me), are there templates / is
there help for getting that going ? and/or is plain text ok for
something this simple ?



 michael at  <><, Pseudo Engineer, itinerant idiot

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