app id in desktop file

Ryan Lortie desrt at
Sun May 8 15:40:00 PDT 2011

hi Dylan,

Thanks for your remarks.

On Sat, 2011-05-07 at 07:13 -0700, Dylan McCall wrote:
>  We're basing some very important, system-wide (sometimes even global)
> things on simple names that are not being qualified in any way.

This is a pretty important point and not really a strictly philosophical
debate either.  We have some situations like epiphany where multiple
packages have the same name and we need to do some tricks (like renaming
to epiphany-browser) to dodge issues.

> I totally agree with you about the bother associated with switching.
> Maybe encourage an X-oldId key as a transition for existing desktop
> files over the next year?

This is an interesting proposal to deal with the problems associated
with switching without causing too many problems.

When it comes right down to it, the desktop file name that a package
selects is strictly their own choice.  They can elect to take the
namespaced approach or they can stay with the other way.  In case they
elect to rename, we could provide an 'AlsoKnownAs' type of key to help
the transition and deal with the cases that Marty raises.  The burden
here is on implementations, of course and I don't know that we could
expect really rapid implementation or anything like that.

Strictly speaking, I'd be happy with just having the unique ID as a key
in the file.  This might be a more pragmatic approach and one that gives
people more freedom to pick the path they prefer.  Nothing would stop
people from renaming their files as well, so they could do that too and
gain both advantages.  I'd probably do that for my own packages.

I will write a patch to the spec to add the ApplicationID= key and also
a recommendation that maintainers should consider renaming their desktop
files to be properly namespaced.  We can discuss 'AlsoKnownAs' at this
point if it is considered sufficiently helpful.


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