Recommendation for $HOME

John Meacham john at
Sat Dec 23 03:39:17 EET 2006

On Tue, Dec 19, 2006 at 10:28:22AM +0000, Jon Dowland wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 07, 2006 at 03:17:19PM -0800, John Meacham
> wrote:
> > I always liked (and use) the standard unix hierarchy. I
> > have
> > $HOME/etc
> > $HOME/tmp
> > $HOME/var
> > $HOME/bin
> > $HOME/lib
> > and it works great. I am not sure why this didn't become a
> > standard thing to do. the current dotfile situation is
> > horrible.
> I agree utterly. I think the suggestion that
> $HOME/{var,etc,...} is too confusing for beginners is
> laughable. Are beginners not going to notice things outside
> of /home ? Instead, the defaults for XDG_DATA_HOME etc.
> force a user to carry around two different naming
> conventions in their head. Consistency and precident are
> *good* things.

Indeed. I am not sure where the "the home directory should be empty or
it will confuse beginners" idea came from, but it seriously needs to be
rethought. There is a difference between a friendly veneer and
obfuscation. We already have ~/Desktop as a veneer, hiding things that
you need to get at or just might be interested in is just obfuscation.
dotfiles in the home directory have become a dumping ground for all
sorts of stuff that makes it quite hard to find what you want, beginner
or otherwise.

Is '.foo' a configuration file for foo or a cache of some sort that will
be autoregenerated? ~/var/foo and ~/etc/foo make such distinctions


John Meacham - ⑆⑆john⑈

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