Specifying sensible device types to use an application on in the desktop file

Marco Martin notmart at gmail.com
Fri Oct 9 14:45:06 UTC 2020

On Fri, Oct 9, 2020 at 4:17 PM Matthias Klumpp <matthias at tenstral.net> wrote:
> Am Fr., 9. Okt. 2020 um 13:29 Uhr schrieb David Edmundson
> <davidedmundson at kde.org>:
> >
> > In terms of prior art within Plasma we have:
> > `X-KDE-FormFactor`
> >
> > Values are "desktop", "handset", "tablet", "mediacenter". Though arguably it's expandable freeform text.
> > Then this acts as a filter just like the OnlyShowIn key does.
> >
> > It shows there's clearly a valid use case.
> I should note that there is an ongoing effort to get this information
> into the AppStream XDG specification. We already have support for
> specifying which user input controls an app supports[1] and screen
> sizes are next. We initially had discussion about defining things like
> "handset" "tablet" "phablet" "watch" etc. but that was deemed far too
> inflexible and not future proof, in addition to not even single
> vendors having a clearly defined standard on what a specific form
> factor even means.
> So within AppStream, apps will highly likely in addition to defining
> their user input methods also be able to set preferred screen sizes
> with an upper and lower limit.
> Having this in the desktop-entry files as well is certainly an option
> too, but I do wonder, especially given that we can generate some
> desktop-entry files from metainfo files already, whether it would make
> sense to define this in AppStream and have desktop environments just
> read this information from the AppStream cache (counterargument to
> this of course being that DEs would then have to support two formats
> to launch some apps, which is a bit less elegant).
> Cheers,
>     Matthias
> [1]: https://www.freedesktop.org/software/appstream/docs/chap-Metadata.html#tag-requires-recommends-control
> --
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