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

Guido Günther agx at sigxcpu.org
Fri Oct 9 15:55:12 UTC 2020

On Fri, Oct 09, 2020 at 05:08:10PM +0200, piegames wrote:
> So the main motivation for this is to *hide elements* from the menu? As
> in, if I unplug the keyboard I cannot find some apps in the launcher
> any more? That sounds arbitrary and frustrating IMO. But I don't really
> understand the point of this feature. What will it bring to the users?

Not necessarily hiding permanently but rather sorting or showing with
proper priority (e.g. on search).

E.g There's no point in having kicad, gimp, libreoffice, inkscape,
freecad, gnumeric, ... in a prominent place on a phone when no large
screen is attached. It's busywork for the user to have them sort that out
by arranging apps manually when the shell can sort applications properly
into a 'fits the current device mode' and 'all apps' tabs.

> To compare: the "OnlyShowIn" has the use case because you might have
> DE-specific applications where each DE provides its own. You won't
> really need GNOME help when under KDE etc. Applying that use case to
> your proposal would mean that there are multiple applications that do
> the same thing, but optimized for different devices/inputs. At that
> point it makes more sense to me to simply support as much as possible
> within a single application (Gnome apps are doing an increasingly good
> job at this thanks to libhandy, for example).

We started libhandy to make it easier to have apps adapt to
different form factors but that isn't useful for all applications -
e.g. ones that need a complex user interface like kicad.

 -- Guido

> Regards,
> piegames
> On Fri, 2020-10-09 at 12:28 +0100, David Edmundson wrote:
> > 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. 
> > 
> > David
> > 
> > 
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