Batis - XDG-based packaging for Linux desktop apps

Jasper St. Pierre jstpierre at
Fri Nov 20 12:09:11 PST 2015

I'm worried. We have xdg-app, we have batis, and I learned that the
KDE people are working on their own thing as well.

The goal of all of these projects is to unify and stop fragmentation,
but yet we can't agree on one.

I know that this isn't going to be solved, because it's difficult to
agree on anything, but this sort of fragmentation can be super

Could whoever is working on these systems try to collaborate and agree
on some common goals? The code between these systems might be
different, but I think more interoperability and collaboration would
be appreciated.

On Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 11:30 AM, Thomas Kluyver <thomas at> wrote:
> Nearly a year ago, I posted to this list about the need for a better way
> to distribute and install desktop applications [1]. There was some
> interesting discussion, and people pointed out some existing
> alternatives. But I remained convinced that something else was needed.
> I've been thinking about the problem and tinkering for a while, and the
> result is Batis:
> Batis allows developers to package their applications for users on any
> distro to conveniently install.
> Example applications:
> Key features:
> - Users get Batis packages directly from application developers, rather
> than going through a middleman like Linux distribution repositories. I
> expect this to be controversial, but I think it's key for getting users
> up to date software.
> - Batis uses XDG specs for desktop entries, mimetype definitions and
> icon themes, so that apps can integrate with desktop environments.
> - Graceful fallback: Batis packages are tarballs, including an
> which users without Batis can run. A developer could use
> Batis to generate tarballs even if they didn't want to mention Batis to
> their users.
> - Keeps it simple: Batis packages are based on prosaic things like tar
> and json - no fancy filesystem features or container technologies. It
> should be easy for a developer to to understand what Batis does, as well
> as how to use it.
> Batis is ready for you to try out, but it's not battle tested yet.
> Please don't judge it too harshly by the rough edges of 0.1! Bugs can be
> filed here:
> Thanks,
> Thomas
> [1]
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