well-known user folders, a proposal

Benedikt Meurer benny at xfce.org
Thu Feb 22 06:02:37 PST 2007

Alexander Larsson wrote:
>>> I'd like some feedback from the various desktop projects. Do you think
>>> this is an important area to standardize? Does my approach make sense?
>>> Is my code full of holes?
>> I think it's necessary to standardize on this and on first sight your
>> proposed solution makes sense. However, to avoid trouble, I'd strongly
>> suggest to allow only UTF-8 filename encoding. I'd also suggest to use
>> PICTURES instead of PHOTOS.
> I dunno. People still use non-utf8 filenames. I agree that by default it
> has to be utf8, and all translations and default config files should be
> in utf8. But I see no harm in allowing you to specify some other
> encoding, then we'd just convert to that before creating the directory.

Applications will need to convert the file name to unicode first anyway
(applies to both QT and GTK based desktops). Non-unicode filenames can
cause trouble if the users environment is messed up and you're unable to
display the filename properly (of course that's the users fault, but
nevertheless stupid if it can be avoided). Forcing UTF-8 filenames here
is the best option, IMHO.

>> On thing left however: How does an application determine the icon that
>> should be used to represent the special user folder?
> I'm not sure we should standardize this. People might not handle it in
> the same way. For instance, in Gnome it might be handled by adding an
> emblem instead of using a particular icon. Desktops not using emblems
> couldn't do that. Can't we leave this to implementations? (As in, it
> doesn't really affect interoperability much.)

It should be standardized, otherwise applications will display the user
folders differently even within the same desktop session (i.e. Acrobat
running in KDE or a KDE application running in Xfce/Gnome). Let the user
decide whether to use special icons or just emblems (emblems can be
handled via the emblem spec, so we're just talking about icons here).
Maybe allow the user to specify DESKTOP_ICON, DOWNLOAD_ICON, etc. in the
user dir conf. If empty or not present in the current icon theme, the
default folder icon will be used.


More information about the xdg mailing list