XDG-defaults differing views from different desktops (WAS: Re: XDG Menus GNOME vs. KDE)

cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis) cobaco at skolelinux.no
Wed Jun 1 20:14:52 EEST 2005

On Wednesday 01 June 2005 06:46, James Richard Tyrer wrote:
> It was brought to my attention (more than once) by a user that KDE and
> GNOME each install their own version of:
> 	/etc/xdg/menus/applications.menu
> {path varies from system to system}
> Clearly this doesn't work if you have both GNOME and KDE installed on
> the same system.  Obviously, what you want is for the GNOME file and the
> KDE file to coexist and be used by their respective desktops.

this is actually just one example of a broader problem that we will run into 
more and more in the future (so solving it at the level of the menus spec 
is definately not the way to go):
- XDG standarizes stuff
- KDE, Gnome, XFCE, ... all come with their own view on good defaults  for 
the standarized stuff
- KDE, Gnome, XFCE now potentially conflict as they all put those defaults 
in the same standard place.

This is a packaging/distro issue however, there's no reason why the 
standarized stuff off each desktop's packages should be placed in /etc/xdg, 
it's perfectly possible to install each desktops view on defaults in a 

That's off course only have the solution, next you need a standard way of 
managing the contents of the XDG_*_DIR environment variables. For Debian 
there exists desktop-profiles (See [1]) which does just that, I'm not aware 
of what (if anything) other distro's have for that.

> IIUC, this could be addressed by installing GNOME and KDE with different
> installation prefixes.  However, since some distros (e.g. FC) install
> them both with a prefix of "/usr", this isn't *the* solution.

a distro doing that has broken packaging, if 2 packages provide different 
versions of the same file they should conflict

> The spec says that the file is to be installed:
> 	$XDG_CONFIG_DIRS/menus/applications.menu
> This seems to be less than satisfactory in this case.  I don't even seem
> to have that environment variable set on my system so both KDE and GNOME
> must have a default.
see the base-directory specification (default equals /etc/xdg if absent)

<snip menu-specific solution>

[1] http://developer.skolelinux.no/~cobaco/desktop-profiles/
cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis):
    Coördinator Belgisch Skolelinux team
    Coördinator Nederlandse Skolelinux vertaling
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/xdg/attachments/20050601/24a9dece/attachment.pgp 

More information about the xdg mailing list