Menu-spec update (Was: [Patch] Update 'How to' to clarify computation of datadir)

Francois Gouget fgouget at
Wed Mar 22 12:25:40 EET 2006

cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis) wrote:
> Is it really that difficult for an ISV to look at XDG_*_DIRS, check which 
> ones are writeable and pop up a question asking which one to stuff their 
> files in (or if you want a new dir)? That would still give the same 
> defaults if the environment variables aren't set.

Looking at XDG_*_DIRS and checking which directories are writable is 
easy enough and essentially what Jeremy proposed. But that's not what 
the specification says an ISV should do. The new specification 
essentially says that ISVs should ignore $XDG_*_DIRS and always assume 
datadir=/usr/share and sysconfdir=/etc/xdg.

I will note that it does have a provision for the case where /usr/share 
is not writable and suggests to write to /usr/local/share in that case. 
But I cannot see when one would be able to the latter without being able 
to write to the former since both are usually owned by root.

As for asking the user where to write desktop files there are three 
problems that make it impractical:
  * it supposes interaction with a user which makes automated RPM 
installations impossible (to cite just one example).
  * users don't know nor care where desktop files should go.
  * asking this sort of thing to the user is very user unfriendly.

> Also I'm  not sure about the default use of /usr/share for ISV stuff, LSB 
> puts third-party things under /opt, do we really want to conflict with 
> this?

We want ISVs to put their menus somewhere where they will be found by 
the desktop environment. So locations like /opt/isv_package/share don't 

Francois Gouget
fgouget at

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