Menu spec update (summary; closure?)

Waldo Bastian bastian at
Thu Mar 23 19:14:19 EET 2006

On Thursday 23 March 2006 06:33, Jeremy White wrote:
> Okay, so this is my summary of this thread.
> The problem is that there is no specified place to write system
> wide data files (like menu files).  Reference this page in the
> basedir-spec:
> Reading is clear; writing user specific files is clear;
> writing system wide files is not mentioned.
> AFAIR, there are three competing proposals to address this:
>   1.  My proposal to specify that the first writable
>       directory in XDG_*_DIRS be used.
>   2.  Waldo asserts that the spec was always intended to be hard coded
>       to either /usr/local or /usr.  This is now committed.
>   3.  The assertion that ISVs should not be
>       writing any files to the /usr portion of
>       the file system.
>       This would require the menu spec be updated to
>       specify some way of allowing XDG_DATA_DIRS
>       to be expanded dynamically; probably requires
>       a new config file, which in turn, probably requires
>       all compliant environments to watch it for changes.
>       The FHS is usually invoked to argue for this.

4. Introduce XDG_DATA_INSTALL to indicate where data files should be installed

5. Mandate a lsb-install like tool (desktop-file-install ?) to 
register .desktop files with the menu system without the need to specify 
where they should be installed to (and leaving the actual location where they 
end up implementation specific) 

> I don't know how to resolve this or bring it to closure.
> I think idea #3 is a neat idea (I'm a big fan
> of having all files isolated into their own
> /opt/<blech> directory), but I just don't see a practical
> road from here to there.  And even if #3 is championed,
> a short term resolution is needed while we're waiting
> for it to be adopted.

Aaron proposed #3 some time ago. See also

Linux Client Architect - Channel Platform Solutions Group - Intel Corporation
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