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[Fwd: RE: XDG Base Directory Specification updated (v0.3)]

-----Forwarded Message-----

From: Eugenia Loli-Queru <eloli hotmail com>
To: Mike Hearn <mike theoretic com>
Subject: RE: XDG Base Directory Specification updated (v0.3)
Date: 11 Mar 2003 13:25:07 -0800

I am not part of the XDG mailing list (but I read the archives from time to
time), so I thought to email you directly:

>I second that: ~/.installed-software is also not internationalizable.
>OK, so opt is rather opaque, but then why are users looking at that
>anyway? At least it's language neutral.

On BeOS (multi-user version - don't ask for more please, it never shipped
;-), there is a /home/<user name>/config/settings/
In the config dir you will find configuration stuff for this user only, like
fonts, Tracker addons (similar to nautilus' scripts), even drivers for this
user only (!), startup items, plugins for apps and on ../config/settings/
you will find the settings for the applications installed that the user has
launched as some point in time.

I think that this paradigm is very clean (all sorted in sub-directories
under the config dir) and it works very nicely under BeOS, and I see no
reason why it wouldn't work well for Unix too... IF you find this email
helpful, you can forward it to the list.

Best Regards,

----- End Forwarded Message -----

Well I thought I'd forward this along, so thanks Eugenia.

This is kind of offtopic, as it doesn't really relate much to the actual
spec in question, but is kind of a generic desktop issue anyway so it
makes sense to talk about it here.

I'm not really sure we should be throwing config files, drivers, scripts
etc in the users face in this way - does the user really care how apps
store their config files?

It'd be nice to have them all stored under ~/.etc or ~/.config though.
That'd imply:

a) The home directory is kept nice and clean, the user only sees what
they put there (which makes sense to me, magically appearing and
disappearing behind-the-scenes stuff can't be good ui).

b) We can, at some point in the utopian future we're all building where
VFS systems are at peace with one another, build a VFS plugin that
provides ~/System/Configuration ~/System/Plugins or whatever, in the
users native language, in a way that makes sense to show to the user. 

Clearly showing users the GConf XML files for instance isn't very
helpful, but maybe showing them "Foo App" as "Personal Preferences
File", that can be clicked and pops up an editor or something, that
might well be useful.

So for instance if you had an extra driver or browser plugin etc you
could just drop them in, and then whatever work needs doing behind the
scenes just gets done (dynamic loading etc).

Really the home organisation stuff sounds more like an issue for the FHS
group, or rather the FHS group that will hopefully exist when somebody
kicks that spec up the backside and makes it worth of the S in its name.

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