Desktop Entry Standard: Path key

David Faure faure at
Fri Nov 13 15:05:02 PST 2009

On Tuesday 01 July 2008, David Faure wrote:
> On Monday 30 June 2008, Brian J. Tarricone wrote:
> > Haha, I'd call that "good design," not a hack: isn't the best way to
> > extend a format to find a way to do so while remaining compatible with
> > it?
> Yes, exactly. And this syntax allows for more modifiers to be added in the
>  future. KDE support [$i] for "immutable" (i.e. cannot be overridden by a
>  local file), and [$d] for "deleted" (when a local file wants to mark a key
>  from a global file as being deleted, not just set to empty) Those can be
>  combined like [$ei], [$di] etc.
> [$e] also supports shell commands, like Host[$e]=$(hostname)
> I'm not asking for all those features to be in the spec (although I
>  wouldn't mind that either :), I'm just showing why this solution is nice:
>  it's extendable for other things in the future, by providing a location
>  where to put key-specific (or group-specific, using [group][$i]) flags.
> The issue of backwards compatibility remains, though, current non-kde
>  implementations cannot handle Path[$e]=$HOME/Documents. However KDE 3
>  already generated such files, so the simplest course of action would be to
>  just add support for it in the spec, and see interoperability increase
>  over time, while other implementations start supporting this.

Is this something we can hope to see in the desktop entry standard and in 
other implementations of it?

David Faure, faure at,
Sponsored by Nokia to work on KDE, incl. Konqueror (

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