Re: Structure in $HOME

Hi Claes,

I agree with you, but perhaps from a slightly different angle: I think
its very important that we establish a set of folders that are human
intelligible. Currently the folders for this sort of data in .kde and
.gnome are nominally "hidden", so people haven't worried much about
their usability. However, there are a lot of reasons "ordinary" people
would want to (and often do end up) interacting with these "hidden"
folders. Everything from backing up preferences, to installing new fonts
or themes requires manipulating hidden folders.

I'd like to see there be practically no hidden files/folders. The few
exceptions might be truly internal technical items such as
.ICEauthority, particular when the items do not persist (so they're less
likely to need fixing). Instead, items that have been traditionally
hidden should be rooted under a single folder in the home folder.

So just to provide a little illustration (this is off the top of my
head, and it sucks), imagine we call the folder "Data" (terrible name, I
know :-):

- Data
  |- Fonts
  |- Themes
  |- Icon Sets
  |- Application Data
  |   |- KWord
  |   \- Evolution
  |- Gnome
  |   |- Panel
  |   \- GConfd
  |- KDE
  |   |- Konqueror
  |   \- Kicker
  |- Installed Applications
  |   |- foo.desktop
  |   |- gnome-panel.desktop
  |   \- kdevelop.desktop
  \- System
      \- Proxy

Fleshing out one of the Application nodes further:

- Evolution
   |- Calendar
   |- Mail
   |   |- imap
   |   \- pop3   
   |- Preferences
   |   \- %gconf.xml
   |- filters.xml
   \- vfolders.xml

Some folders inside each application could be standardized. For example
it might be standard to have a "Preferences" folder in every application
dir. Certainly desktops would internally standardize on certain things,
like GNOME might require every app to have a particular structure for
GConf. However, most of the files and folders would be at the
applications discretion (though its highly encouraged that they try to
use human readable file names and maintain a nice structure).

An important point here is that in the case of application data,
information is rooted not by the type of data but by the application. So
its not Preferences/Evolution and Share/Evolution, but
Evolution/Preferences and Evolution/Share. I realize this is less
convenient for, e.g. gconf, but this is pretty important to making the
folder human browse-able (and also makes thing like backing or deleting
a specific application's data *much* easier).


On Sun, 2003-01-12 at 06:12, Claes Holmerson wrote:
> (I post this also on kde-devel)
> Hi,
> I posted a mail to (titled "Structure in $HOME") with
> a wish that KDE and Gnome would agree on a common directory structure
> for preferences and data in $HOME. You find it on this link, together
> with my arguments.
> I understand that this is a big change, but I also think it would be
> very valuable. I also hope that if Gnome and KDE agreed on something,
> other applications would follow (if the spec was good enough).
> Note that I do not suggest that KDE and Gnome would have to share
> actual preferences and data (even if that would be good), only that
> there should be separation between different kinds of data, in
> the same manner as there is a separation between /etc and /var and so on.
> This would give several benefits that I have described above.
> Even if this looks as large task, in the longer term, like two major
> versions away, it might be possible? It would be nice to hear
> opinions on this.
> Thanks, Claes
> _______________________________________________
> desktop-devel-list mailing list
> desktop-devel-list gnome org

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