structure of desktop file directories

Ryan Lortie desrt at
Fri Oct 4 08:20:27 PDT 2013


On Fri, Oct 4, 2013, at 6:53, Simon McVittie wrote:
> * unlike the MIME database, there is no expectation that an application
>   package that installs a .desktop file runs any particular utility
>   to update caches, because we never had a cache for this before

fwiw, I actually plan to modify update-desktop-database to generate the
cache, so applications that are already using that during install will
automatically regenerate the cache.

I considered another point, also: the cache files (the new index, plus
the mimeinfo cache) are really a different kind of data from the
mimeapps.list (which is configuration).

If the update-desktop-database tool updates both of the cache files and
ensures that the timestamps are sane at the point that it does so, then
there is no problem leaving those files where they are.

mimeapps.list is a different story, though, since this gets written to
(at least in ~/.local/share) whenever the user changes their
associations (or even runs an app, since GIO maintains a MRU list here),
and we don't want to have to regenerate the cache in that case.

It's not exactly clear to me why mimeapps.list is in the applications/
directory at all.  This is configuration data and maybe the real
solution here is to consider moving it to ~/.config.  The only weird
part about this is that there seems to be some layering system whereby
the mimeapps.list files from each of the XDG directories are merged (but
I notice that I don't have this file in my system directories, so I'm
not sure what the point is)...

I think we should definitely put an agenda point for the next
freedesktop Summit to get this mess sorted out.  Until then (unless we
can find an agreement on the list for substantial changes), I think I
want to put my original plans on hold, because they may end up being


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