well-known user folders, a proposal

Benedikt Meurer benny at xfce.org
Thu Feb 22 10:46:21 PST 2007

Alexander Larsson wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-02-22 at 15:02 +0100, Benedikt Meurer wrote:
>> 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.
> Yes, filenames have to be converted to utf8 to be displayed. But many
> people still use non-utf8 filenames, so apps/libs have code to convert
> from the specified filename encoding (for instance G_FILENAME_ENCODING
> in gtk+) to utf8. If we create utf8 filenames in a system using some
> other filename encoding these will not display correctly (said
> conversion will fail). How is this good?

IIRC, g_filename_display_name() will accept UTF-8 even with non unicode
filename encoding, so that should definitely work.

>>> 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.
> gnome already have a way to set a custom icon for a file, I don't want
> to add some special configuration where you can set a custom icon for
> only some subset of files. If we really wanted we could come up with
> default icon names for the standardized directories as part of the icon
> naming spec and recommend desktops to use that. But I really don't think
> this is all that important to standardize. A million other things than
> the icon will look different between these apps anyway, and its unlikely
> that apps like Acrobat will be looking for some special icon to use
> anyway (whereas the filenames will "just work" for all apps).

But the point is that the million other things do not matter here.
Folders should be represented with the same names and icons in all
applications. For "regular" folders that will work (if the apps use the
same icon theme, otherwise it doesn't matter anyway). But the special
folders will have different icons and require different configuration
tools to adjust them.

Putting this into the icon naming spec sounds like a good idea, but it's
nevertheless relevant for this spec (point to icon naming spec and
suggest to use the appropriate icons).


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