app id in desktop file

Marty Jack martyj19 at
Fri May 6 15:50:52 PDT 2011

On 05/06/2011 06:31 PM, Ryan Lortie wrote:
> hi Sander,
> On Fri, 2011-05-06 at 16:58 -0500, Sander Jansen wrote:
>> Why? For what purpose?
> There are quite a lot of reasons that I can imagine why this might be
> useful.
> For example, desktop environments could use it to match between the DBus
> name acquired by the application (which would be the same as the
> application ID) in order to match it with the desktop file.
> My immediate reason for this, though, is that it was suggested to me by
> Michael Vogt when I asked him if we could have metadata in apt mapping
> between application IDs and package names (ie: so you can query the
> package manager by app id).  Having the key in the desktop file would be
> a good way to allow application authors to provide that information in a
> semi-normalised format for consumption by scripts.
> I think we have a lot of disjoint namespaces like wmclass, binary names,
> package names, D-Bus names, GSettings schema names, GApplication IDs and
> so on.  A lot of these are already the same (ie: equal to the D-Bus
> name).  It would really nice if we could get a strong story for mapping
> between these and the rest of them and this could provide that.
> Cheers
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As I see it the "application ID" examples you've talked of are non user visible implementation artifacts.  The closest thing to an application ID that the user is familiar with is the package name as seen in the package manager.  It does not help transparency to have a non user visible implementation artifact take on more significance than it has now.

Overriding and hiding in menus is done on the basis of "desktop-file-id", the part of the .desktop name before the dot.  If you were to start changing those on a whim, you would break all of the user-specific desktop files in people's .local/share/applications for no purpose.

A bad idea, particularly when your starting point is only that it "might be useful".

If you wanted to put it in the .desktop files that GNOME ships as an X-GNOME-key, I would have no objection whatever to that.  You are free to confuse your users as much as they will tolerate.

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