desktop neutral xsettings manager?

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at
Thu Apr 24 01:29:39 PDT 2008

On Wed, 23 Apr 2008 11:03:54 -0400 Rodney Dawes wrote:

> Sure we can. The only issue is that we need a cross-desktop
> configuration solution also. Otherwise, you're going to need to
> have the cross-desktop xsettings daemon read config values from
> various places, and magically try to merge them into one value.

I feel like this is a little backwards.  No one is going to expect all
the various WMs, DEs, and toolkits out there to adopt the same
configuration storage system.  Well, at least, I wouldn't.

From that point of view, a cross-desktop xsettings daemon just doesn't
make sense.  The point of the xsettings daemon is so that a user can
run his or her preferred desktop environment -- which has its own
xsettings daemon and its own way of storing the values that are
published by the xsettings daemon -- and all applications that support
xsettings can determine what font, icon theme, color scheme,
double-click threshold, etc. to use regardless of what DE/WM/toolkit
they were designed for.

The xsettings daemon is about publishing settings, not about storing
them.  The desktop is free to store them however it chooses, and I'm not
sure that a push for a generic cross-desktop settings storage/retrieval
mechanism is necessary, or particularly likely to succeed.

The downside of the lack of a unified config storage system is that
when someone switches between GNOME and Xfce (for example), they'll
have to configure all these things twice.  But how much of an issue is
this?  How many people switch back and forth between desktop
environments?  I mean real average-Joe people here: not GUI developers
or hobbyists who play with these things as a matter of course.  I just
don't see desktop-related configuration storage as much of an issue.
As long as applications have a simple way of determining the important
stuff regardless of what desktop environment is running, isn't that
enough?  Xsettings fills that need nicely, IMO.


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