[Fwd: Location of autostart files]
Emilio Pozuelo Monfort
pochu at ubuntu.com
Tue Jun 23 03:01:20 PDT 2009
I believe this is the right place for this proposal, so I'm
forwarding it here.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Location of autostart files
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 19:51:27 +0200
From: Josselin Mouette <joss at debian.org>
To: GNOME Desktop Devel <desktop-devel-list at gnome.org>
autostart files shipped by GNOME programs used to reside
in /usr/share/gnome/autostart. Now, I’m finding more and more of them
in /etc/xdg/autostart. This is a problem for a few reasons.
* Following FHS: these files are not really configuration files,
and as such they don’t have anything to do in /etc.
* System administration: desktop files contain their own
translations, and as such they change at each release, even
minor. This is a problem depending on how the administrator and
the packaging system treat configuration files.
* Changes in these files (removals or renames) have to be tracked
manually by us packagers, which is quite boring.
I’m trying to understand the reasons for this move; so far I could find
a valid one and a dubious one.
* Standardization to a non-GNOME-specific directory. As the
autostart specification only talks about /etc/xdg/autostart and
doesn’t allow e.g. /usr/share/autostart, there isn’t much choice
currently. But it looks to me that the specification is wrong;
why using XDG_CONFIG_DIRS while “standard” desktop files go in
* Letting the administrator configure site-wide whether the
program should be autostarted or not. I don’t think this reason
justifies the move; they can already be overriden, just like
they can be in a per-user fashion. Furthermore, the GConf
autostart conditions look like a more elegant way to configure
them to me.
Currently, there’s the easy solution, at the distribution level, to
manually relocate .desktop files to /usr/share/gnome, but this doesn’t
make much sense in the long term, and sometimes it requires patching
since the path to the .desktop is hardcoded in the binary.
We should instead reach a point where all these points can be satisfied.
The solutions I can think of include:
* Standardizing to a new directory, like /usr/share/xdg/autostart,
that can be overriden site-wide by /etc/xdg/autostart.
* Finding a way to split out translations from these files. There
are technical challenges, but it also looks like a good thing to
do. This leaves them in /etc, but it is much less problematic.
.''`. Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `' “I recommend you to learn English in hope that you in
`- future understand things” -- Jörg Schilling
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