app id in desktop file

Sander Jansen s.jansen at
Tue May 10 10:51:37 PDT 2011

On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 5:31 PM, Ryan Lortie <desrt at> 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.

Keep in mind, that not all applications use dbus. Also applications
that do use dbus may acquire multiple names on the bus. I think GNOME3
currently uses the wmclass to associate an X-Window with a desktop
file. I'm not sure if I'm totally happy about that. I think they
should have introduced a new window manager hint for that. aka
_NET_WM_DESKTOP_FILE or something.

> 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.

Perhaps you can elaborate a litte bit here. Are you expecting users to
know and use the application-id? If you already want to introduce an
application-id then it definitely should be for developers-only.

> 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.

Taking my own application for example, it is mostly already synced up:

exe name: gogglesmm
icon name: gogglesmm.png
desktop name: gogglesmm.desktop
dbus name(s): org.fifthplanet.gogglesmm, org.mpris.gogglesmm
xdg base directory name (settings,cache etc): gogglesmm

A standard way of associating a desktop file with an x-window would be
nice, but other than that I don't see a big need for this.



More information about the xdg mailing list