Re: Structure in $HOME

> If each application keeps its own data in its own directory it is harder
> to integrate applications with each other. Sharing becomes dependent
> on what applications are installed, and each application will continue to
> rule their own little world. I would like a directory structure that eases
> sharing of resources, and sharing is improved if we think in terms of data
> rather than applications.

Items that should be shared should end up in desktop shared settings, or
possibly system. This structure already basically exists in the form of
GConf (and actually, you'll notice the structure I mentioned is very
similar to how GConf currently structures things).

> I think that "ordinary users" will not back up files by copying
> them directly. They would rather user tools for this. What is important is
> to make a directory structure that makes sense for developers. Then it
> will be easier to write backup tools if the directory structure is
> arranged in a way that files with different properties are separated in
> different directory branches.
> Finally, while I also think that preferences and application data should
> be hidden, at least at the top level, I think that discussion is not
> really important at this point. Instead we should find a directory

No, that's the only discussion which is important at this point. The
human factors questions need to come first, not last, to have any chance
of having positive effect.

> structure that makes sense. What we should try to do is to identify what
> different kinds of preferences that exist, what kinds of temporary,
> "discardable" data that exist, and what kinds of resources (like
> bookmarks, contact lists) that exist, and build a structure that makes
> sense for that.

I think this is based on a misconception... User's do not function best
with a black box that has simple GUI interfaces to everything. This is a
minimally useful interface. User's function best with an interface that
helps them develop a Conceptual Model of the object they are trying to
manipulate. This is much better served by an accessible filesystem than
by a slew of specialized interfaces.


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