Re: Translations of folder names - two proposals

On Sad, 2004-12-11 at 19:36, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> I would in fact say that a $DESKTOP guaranteed to be set up by the login
> scripts is relatively better than gconf or the symlink thing because at
> least there's no symlink to keep in sync and you don't have to monitor
> the gconf key dynamically; it's relatively more robust and KISS if we
> just say the login scripts must init $DESKTOP.

I agree entirely. $DESKTOP gives us 99% of the advantages for almost no
pain. A gconf key would give us mobility.

> That said, we *do* have an assortment of bugs and problems related to
> $HOME. Among those are:
>  - whether to use $HOME env variable or just query the GECOS, there has
>    always been a big complicated mess with this especially in the su 
>    case (there's a bugzilla from back in the day I know with discussion)

Unix convention is that $HOME is where the user wants programs to put
but it's never been a clear convention and isn't formalised AFAIK in any
standard or other document. Thats something $DESKTOP can avoid thanks to

>  - hardcoding $HOME in config settings such that changing $HOME breaks
>    (i.e. we put a filename "/home/hp/foo" in gconf then move /home/hp)

All paths tend to need to be lazy resolved simply because you are
discussion relative position to a movable object. It's the same reason
you can't usefully give a grid reference to explain whether something is
in the left or right side of your car.

> $HOME/Desktop does still inherit the $HOME problems, but it does not add
> a $DESKTOP problem. For example, say we add a gconf feature as we've
> discussed to solve the second problem above:
>  gconf_client_set_filename() where /home/hp is substituted with ~
>  gconf_client_get_filename() where the ~ is changed to /home/hp

Does gconf not support recursive late resolution of keys containing
other gconf keys ? Perhaps that is a - long term - solution to such

> While I'm sure we can solve this somehow, the point is that it's one
> more small example of how you get creeping complexity by making the
> special folders configurable. This makes a lot of work and a lot of
> things that can break. It's not free by any means.

In which case $DESKTOP sounds a far better choice for gnome 2.x


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