Freedesktop "Recent File Storage Specification" broken by concept - what's the correct way to fix it?

Emmanuele Bassi ebassi at
Thu Sep 3 14:11:26 UTC 2020


On Thu, 3 Sep 2020 at 14:47, Stefan Blachmann <sblachmann at> wrote:

> Hi!
> All DMs and OSes (Windows, MacOS) provide a menu for recently used files.
> The freedesktop "Recent File Storage Specification" was probably
> intended as an unified means to provide freedesktop software users
> with access to recently used files via a start menu.
> The specification is here:

I'd like to point out that GTK (and GNOME) do not use this specification at
all, which was actually replaced by this one:

Which, to be honest, has its own issues, like the use of XBEL instead of a
decent serialisation format that specifies sorting; or the ability to merge
multiple file sources, to deal with sandboxed applications; the fact that
there's no well defined mechanism for sorting, filtering, and expiration of

Nevertheless, the desktop-boomark specification is an improvement on the
old recent-files specification, and GNOME has been using it for nearly 15
years. It's also not really a "proprietary" solution, considering that it's
listed on the freedesktop website; it was just never promoted as the actual
specification, and left as a "draft" because of the general state of
disrepair of the fd.o infrastructure.


[@] ebassi []
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