freedesktop thumbnail spec: modification proposal, central development

Christian Neumair cneumair at
Fri Aug 7 03:24:13 PDT 2009

Dear xdg list,

I originally wrote this email to Jens Finke and Olivier Sessink (CC),
since both of them wrote the thumbnail spec. However,
none of them replied so I'm sending it here.

The current thumbnail spec [1] is problematic because it proposed to put
all thumbnails of a certain category (for instance "normal") into one
single directory. However, from a performance point of view it makes
sense to group the thumbnails via parent URI as proposed under [2] in
2007 - so that client applications can tell the OS to pre-load all the
files for a certain directory as it is opened.

Together with that migration, it makes IMO sense to put the thumbnails
into ~/.cache/thumbnails in accordance with the XDG base directory
specification [3], and maybe add a per-directory cache files for storing
the last cached icon size, which would allow file managers and other
users that have a flexible icon layout to calculate their layout BEFORE
having loaded all thumbnails.

Do you plan any such modifications? The fact that the spec is not hosted
on seems to be a bit unexpected, too. Is there any
particular reason for that?

best regards,
 Christian Neumair


Christian Neumair <cneumair at>

More information about the xdg mailing list