Convention Over Configuration: A Way Forward?

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at
Fri Jan 6 05:53:16 PST 2012

On Wednesday, 2012-01-04, Trans wrote:
> Probably the most useful thing to me about the XDG based directories
> are the HOME directories which offer a good solution to cleansing out
> home directories of the overwhelming quantity of .dot files.
> Unfortunately, adoption of the XDG HOME base directories seems to be
> rather marginal. Distro developers, desktop environments and a few
> other are clearly on board, but the rest of developers seem
> indifferent or uncertain at best, if they even know about XDG.
> I have thought about the idea that perhaps instead XDG should adopt a
> "convention over configuration" approach. For instance, make
> $XDG_CONFIG_HOME always and only `$HOME/.config`. That way developers
> can target that specific directory without worry about looking up the
> environment variable setting. Users can still customize the location
> by symbolic-link to `~/.config` from whatever directory they prefer.

How would that improve upon any of the holdback reasons you cited above?

Is there any public statement of developers in the groups "indifferent" or 
"uncertain" that they would support a fixed location but cannot be bothered to 
read a single environment variable?

How would the proposed inconfigurability make the location more widely known?

Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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