Fwd: Convention Over Configuration: A Way Forward?

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Mon Jan 9 00:38:26 PST 2012

On Sunday, 2012-01-08, you wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM, Kevin Krammer <kevin.krammer at gmx.at> wrote:
> > 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?
> Yea, the simple fact that they don't do it.

I am afraid I don't get that. What does "it" refer to?
Making a public statement? I am not sure not making a public statement in 
favor of something can be counted as an implicit public statement in favor of 

> It might seem trivial, but
> to programmers every additional adjunct is another maintenance issue.
> With XDG base directory standard it means eiterh rolling my own code
> or having dependency on an external library.

Hmm. I haven't done any application with just low level APIs but reading an 
environment variable and a string comparison seems indeed rather trivial to 
me. Though I can only speak for languages I've used so far, e.g.C/C++, Java, 
Python. Might be more complicated elsewhere.

> By using a fixed path,
> the code need not have to worry about any of that. Thus making it much
> easier to implement and support.

Ok, based on the assumption that reading an environment variable could be 
difficult the question is why don't these application developer just hardcode 

That would always keep $HOME clean of "hidden" config files and additional go 
along XDG using applications in a majority of setup without any drawback.

> > How would the proposed inconfigurability make the location more widely
> > known?
> By gaining acceptance into FHS proper. FHS would have no problem
> accepting fixed locations. Indeed, at this time the standard
> explicitly designates the use of home dot files.

Interesting thought.

> And I disagree with the term "inconfigurability". It's would still be
> configurable, but via the file system itself, not the environment
> variables.

True, though I find symlinks to be more tedious to switch and temporarily 

Anyway, I guess my main puzzlement is still whether developers currently not 
hardcoding $HOME/.config are not doing it because there could be systems where 
XDG_CONFIG_HOME points to something else.

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