storage location for common user directories

Alexander Larsson alexl at
Thu Mar 9 12:03:52 EET 2006

On Wed, 2006-03-08 at 15:27 +0000, Jamie McCracken wrote:
> Benjamin Meyer wrote:
> > I am curious if anyone has through about making a storage location standard 
> > for user directories.  More generic then Trash there are a handfull of 
> > directories that would be usefull to know such as: Desktop, Documents, 
> > Applications, Music, Movies, and Pictures.
> > 
> IIRC, this was discussed a year ago or so on the gnome-dev lists. Other 
> folders were specified too like Downloads and Templates.
> The conclusion was we would not hardcode the paths of the directories 
> because of language translations, whether to have them in $Home or 
> $Desktop, making them configurable so Documents could point to a shared 
> folder on a server etc

To say that this was the conclusion is quite wrong. The conclusion was
that the translation of the filenames is a serious problem with various
possible solutions that all have their own issues and we were unable to
reach a consensus on what method was best.

> I believe the best solution was to have environment variables to get the 
> paths for each respective folder so anybody could configure how they like.

Environment variables are a very bad solution to this. First of all
there is no way to change an environment variable throughout the desktop
after it is started, and secondly it requires something to set the env
vars on login, and that has to read its configuration from somewhere.
So, if you don't standardize that then the desktops will all use
different folders anyway! Plus, running apps outside a desktop will mean
the env vars are not set.

 Alexander Larsson                                            Red Hat, Inc 
                   alexl at    alla at 
He's a war-weary vegetarian grifter who dotes on his loving old ma. She's a 
disco-crazy hypochondriac vampire descended from a line of powerful witches. 
They fight crime! 

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