Re: RFC: Common desktop-wide paths

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

> Date: Sat, 2 Oct 2004 12:32:07 +0100 (IST)
> From: Marc O'Morain <lists marcomorain com>
> To: desktop-devel-list gnome org
> Subject: Re: RFC: Common desktop-wide paths
> Hi Samuel,
> > Am I the only one who does not like the idea?
> You do seem to be in the minority from the number of replies so far.
> However, the default folders system is not meant to be for everyone.

Well said.

> I accept your point about further catagorising documents. In my personal
> experience, the only documents that I deal with at home are letters. On my
> laptop I have a subfolder Letters in Documents, and Letters contains
> further subfolders, for each recipitant.

> On Windows there is a My eBooks photo in My Documents (I think perhaps
> Adobe creates this?). Perhaps a 'Books' folder could be added to the list
> of major folders. This leads me to another idea which I will discuss
> later.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is (ir)responsible for it.

We were able to discourage applcations from polluting the main menu,
hopefully we will be able to discourage groups from adding overly specific
folder types.

> desktop. Now that I use Firefox, I have really fallen in love with the
> default downloads folder. When I download a file, it is automatically
> stored in the Downloads folder, and when the download is complete I open
> the Downloads folder and either view the file and delete it, or store it
> in a more suitable place. I try to keep my Downloads folder empty.

The auto download feature in Firefox is too simplistic for my needs, I
prefer to create a directory structure based on the location and save would be saved

as it is the easiest way to capture the metadata about where I downloaded
the files from, but that is a whole other story.

> > So I guess what I am trying to say is that we need a nice and easy way
> > to make this more flexible, otherwise it is much too general.
> My idea was to have it as basic and as general as possible, but based upon
> a set of GConf keys and a GUI to configure them. In this way the default
> behaviour should work out of the box for the majority of users.

I hope some developers can clarify but I'm pretty sure we can use gconf to
hold something equivalent to a $default-documetns-folder variable and set
depending on the users language that will point to

(foo bar because I dont know the term for Documents in other languages)

so rather than hardcode the folder and use symlinks I'm pretty sure the
correct approach is the hardcode a system/gconf variable and have it point
to the relevant folder.

> Also, I had the idea overnight of not creating the folders by default, and
> leaving it to the application at install-time. Here is a typical example:

this could be very annoying

> By default there is no music folder. The user installs Rhythmbox. Rhymbox
> checks to see is the Music folder specified in GConf exists. It does not
> exist, so Rhythmbox creates it. The user then installs Sound Juicer. Sound
> Juicer checks to see if the Music folder exists. It does, so Sound Juicer
> does nothing. This would mean than people who do not have music players
> installed do not hav a Music folder.

this is better than prompting me with stupid questions but if the user
doesn't want a Music folder they will be forced to have one but ignore it.
I can live with that but I'm sure some users will complain bitterly, but
I would think that if users are allowed to specify $music-folder we
would have most of our bases covered.  if they never want a $music-folder
they could set $music-folder=$HOME or $music-folder=$documents-folder.


Alan Horkan
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