Re: RFC: Common desktop-wide paths

On Sat, 2 Oct 2004, Marc O'Morain wrote:

> Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2004 02:28:20 +0100 (IST)
> From: Marc O'Morain <lists marcomorain com>
> To: desktop-devel-list gnome org
> Subject: RFC: Common desktop-wide paths
> Hi there,
> This topic has been covered before, but no conclusion was made.

> The original proposal was to define a set of folders for storing files
> created by the average desktop PC user. In my case these folders are
> {Documents, Downloads, Photos, Music, Video}. I believe that this common
> folderset would help the end-user to store and mange files more easily,
> and would promote continuity across the desktop.

> A typical use-case is my parents. On their Windows desktop PC, all my
> mother's letters are stored in "My Documents". All my father's digital
> photos are stored in "My Documents/My Pictures/YYYY-MM-DD/". When I
> returned home recently, and saw how well they had managed to files things,
> I noted a few things:

"My Documents/My Pictures/"

having dwelled on the issue that some users dont want their $HOME
cluttered I would be inclined to revise the proposal to be


I have my doubts that this is the best answer for me personally but I
believe that the desktop would quickly get too cluttered if the standard
folders were not subdirectories of Documents.

I want to reiterate how much I loathe the prefixing of everything with
"My"?  (sticking "My" in front only makes type ahead find less usable
...[longer rant about the importance of good naming deleted]...)

> My Mother writes letters in Word. She clicks file>save, types a filename
> and clicks save. The default save location in Word is My Documents. All
> her documents are stored in the correct place. On my family's last PC,
> which ran Microsoft Works, most documents got saved to C:/Program
> Files/Microsoft Works/, amongst all the application's files and

Microsoft Works - ha, oxymoron of the day.
Couldn't resist, now what was I saying?

> The original proposal suggested creating the folderset in $HOME:
> $HOME/Documents
> $HOME/Downloads
> $HOME/Photos
> $HOME/Music
> $HOME/Video

I'm pretty sure I didn't suggest Photos, I'm almost certain I suggested
something more generic.  I just checked and it seems I suggested Images as
the generic but may as well use Pictures, it is proably more straight
forward (and for windows users it will be easier to realise that it is the
same as "My Pictures" only without the annoying prefix).

> I propose that these folders should be created on the desktop, with an
> applicable emblem on each folder (A music note for the Music folder, a
> camera for the Photos folder). Having the folders on the desktop would fit
> nicely in the spatial model of

I dont think having them on the desktop addresses the issue of clutter in
$HOME because some people are determined to use $HOME as their desktop,
(Mark Finlay strongly promoted that idea, in some ways it simplified
things) hence my suggestion of having subdirectories of Documents instead.

> I propose that the location of these folders be user configurable, and be
> stored as Gconf keys for retrievel by any interested application. In this
> way applications can all store files in the correct place.

The need for the system to properly localisable will probably mean that
you will get most of the configurability you want for free (at least
through gconf).


Alan Horkan
Inkscape, Draw Freely
Free SVG Clip Art

P.S. Are you Irish too or do you just have an Irish sounding name?

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