Re: Icons of program

robert havoc pennington wrote:
> (Note to no one in particular: some people seem to be missing that there
> are already foo.desktop and .directory files which keep icon information,
> among other things. See share/apps and libgnome/gnome-dentry.[hc].)
> What about this idea: it would keep everything nice and simple if these
> files and regular files simply weren't allowed to exist in the same
> directory. That is, the .desktop files are "shortcuts," and are in their
> own directory tree.  Naive users should never even see the real file
> system. If they create new files, Gnome will invisibly put the data
> somewhere like ~/.gnome-stuff, and create a new .desktop entry.  By
> default, it shouldn't even be possible to view the real Unix file system
> from gmc, only the tree of .desktop entries.

How about this idea.  Just as rpm uses a data base to maintain a record
of where files were installed, gnome could build a set of databases (one
in each individual user's home directory and a system wide database)
which would contain information about which application created the
file, what type of data it contains (jpeg, text, html, etc.) and what
icon should be used to view it.  When a gnome compliant application
creates a new file, it registers this information with the database.  

You do have to patch cp, mv and rm, but only with a one line gnome
system call which updates the database.  You could even design a daemon
which runs every night trying to maintain the integrity of the database.

Installing a new piece of software means telling the database what icons
it wants to use for itself and the files it creates.  (These could be
overridden by the user.)  It would register a set of icons for different
bit depths either during installation or the first time it is started. 
This way, you can avoid having thousands of different .info files
scattered around like dead leaves waiting for a fire.

In fact, when a gnome application starts to open a file, it could query
the database and ask, "What do you know about this file?"  "That's a
binary file from octave containing a set of matricies in floating point
"Yuck! I was expecting a text file.  Hey, doofus, I can't read this,
give me another file."  

Or better yet, you could filter the files visible in the file selection
dialog box so that you would never be given such a file. (Making certain
that you cculd turn off such filtering at will.)

Fred Bacon

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