Menu spec update (summary; closure?)

Lennon Cook maguswizardo at
Fri Mar 24 08:39:24 EET 2006

On 3/24/06, Waldo Bastian <bastian at> wrote:
> Just like #3,  the application could install all its files within its own
> prefix.
I tend to think that this is the best idea. If the user has specified
a directory where a particular app should install, it should /not/
install any files outside of that directory unless it is specificly
told to. Ensuring that its files are able to be located by the system
should be a sysadmin concern, rather than a third-party one. To my
mind, an installer should completely ignore XDG_*_DIRS, but should not
have things hard-coded to be under /usr - that is, the spec should not
say 'put this somewhere in /usr', incase the rest of hte package is
being installed under /opt/Foo .

>The tool could probably symlink the files
> into /usr/share/applications with the option to use other locations at the
> discretion of the distributor.
Leave decisions like this to the user/sysadmin/distro. What happens
if, for whatever reason, the sysadmin doesn't want a particular app's
files to be in the various paths? The installer has no way of knowing
this. The policy of how to include a particular file in XDG_*_DIRS
directly affects this, and so should be an admin concern.

The XDG_*_DIRS_INSTALL idea is also decent (and, eg, the autotools
already support similar things by different names), but I think it
incredibly important that the defaults if these are not set should
never be hard-coded to anywhere that is potentially outside of the
install prefix. The more a spec interferes with admin decisions, the
less chance there is of it being seriously adopted.

I have a major problem with Jeremy White's point 3 - "the assertion
that ISVs should not be writing any files to /usr" - in that the
sysadmin might tell it to do /precisely that/ . Also, on a particular
system, it may be preferable to write to /usr than to /usr/local. A
spec overriding the sysadmins choice in this would be

Lennon Victor Cook
"He who receives an idea from me receives without lessening, as he who
lights his candle at mine receives light without darkening" - Thomas

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