Proposal: preferred-theme-spec - a spec for getting and setting default icon/cursor/sound themes

PCMan at
Mon Mar 26 09:21:16 PDT 2012

1. Xsettings is a way to expose the settings to applications. It does not
define how you store the settings.

2. Xsettings, is actually used by gtk+ only. Though there is a KDE port,
it's not part of KDE. In LXDE we support Xsettings simply because we're
using gtk+. If we don't support it, our applications will clashes with
gnome ones. Gnome programs load gnome-settings-daemon, which in turns
expose gnome settings in its xsettings daemon and affect all gtk+ programs.
So, I'm forced to use xsettings. Otherwise loading gnome programs will
break my desktop settings. We don't like it at all.

3. Every desktop of course has its own way to handle settings, but it's
nice to have a common way to specify icon themes and cursors. There are
many small programs which are not bound to a specific DE. They absolutely
need this. Please, not everyone is using gnome.

The purpose of is to provide cross-desktop solutions rather
than asking everyone to follow the design of the largest and most famous DE.
For someone who only use a WM like openbox or fluxbox, this spec is very
useful. Desktop independent applications can use simple ways to determine
current icon theme and sound theme without relying on DE-specific ways.
This saves all simple applications developed with pure Qt4 only. Qt4
provides no DE integration and you have to specify icon theme name yourself
in the program.

I'm with the proposed spec.

On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 10:37 PM, Jerome Leclanche <adys.wh at>wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 3:34 PM, Frederic Crozat <fred at> wrote:
>> 2012/3/26 Jerome Leclanche <adys.wh at>:
>> > I don't believe xsettings fits the needs brought forward by this spec:
>> >  - Human readable/editable
>> >  - Ease of use and implementation
>> >  - Usable by all DEs with simple fallbacks
>> >  - Multiple-level configuration (with XDG_DATA_DIRS)
>> >
>> > Additionally, please correct me if I'm mistaken, xsettings is barely in
>> use
>> > by all DEs. It would be hard to convince DEs to use it for this, I
>> think. Am
>> > I incorrect?
>> It is used by GNOME and AFAIK LXDE, XFCE and I even wrote an
>> implementation for KDE (not merged) years ago.
>> --
>> Frederic Crozat
>> _______________________________________________
>> xdg mailing list
>> xdg at
> Forgive me, I've never worked with xsettings before. Is it feasible to
> store theme settings in xsettings (I see it already stores cursor theme)
> all the while enabling fallbacks and theme-specific settings?
> J. Leclanche
> _______________________________________________
> xdg mailing list
> xdg at
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