Dashes and underscores in desktop file IDs

rhkramer at gmail.com rhkramer at gmail.com
Wed Oct 11 12:38:54 UTC 2017

On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 07:28:08 AM Simon McVittie wrote:
> If there is consensus that the recommendation should be dashes and not
> underscores, I'd be willing to go with that instead, but I think we
> should pick one.

I'd like to cast a vote in favor of dashes instead of underscores, primarily 
because (at least on US keyboards), typing an underscore requires pressing 
<shift> while typing a dash does not.

I do agree that a standard would be nice--in lots of situations (not just app 
names, but also filenames for example), either might be used, and if I need to 
glance at a filename, store it in short term wetwork memory, I always have 
trouble distinguishing and remembering whether what I saw was a dash or an 
underbar.  It requires an extra level of concentration which I would prefer to 

(I suppose I will eventually train myself to look more carefully at things 
like filenames with underbars or dashes rather than have to go back and look a 
2nd time.)

> Unfortunately it looks as though the AppStream spec currently allows
> dashes but not underscores, which (if enforced) conflicts fairly badly
> with Flatpak renaming AppStream XML that doesn't match the Flatpak app
> IDs (underscores but not dashes). Would the maintainers of AppStream
> be willing/able to relax the spec for <id> to allow underscores?
> If not, then I think the AppStream spec should explain what you should
> do if your desktop file ID contains an underscore (presumably replacing
> it with a dash).

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