Proposal: Inharitance for Desktop Entry Spec

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at
Thu Apr 17 11:16:05 PDT 2008

Dan Winship wrote:
> Vincent Untz wrote:
>> Yeah, I've been hit by this in the past too. I believe it was already
>> (at least partly) discussed, when talking about the autostart
>> specification. Can't find the thread, though.
> See the autostart-related threads in
> and
> In particular, this message, where Waldo points out how allowing one
> .desktop file to inherit from another can cause problems:
> (I came out of that thread convinced that .desktop file inheritance was
> a bad idea.)

I don't really agree.  Waldo's main concern seems to be able the case 
where two or more keys are related -- change one, and others need to 
change to keep things working.

Two solutions I can think of:

1.  Implement a per-key lockdown (like the [$i] method KDE has).  For 
.desktop files that require this kind of special handling, lock those keys.

2.  Restrict the set of keys that are allowed to be overriden in a 
.desktop file that uses inheritance.  The average user will never want 
to override anything other than Name, Comment, Icon, and Hidden (and 
*maybe* Terminal, and Categories depending on the menu editor 
implementation) anyway.

I think #2 is much simpler and saner, and covers the vast majority of 
use cases.


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