$HOME as desktop

I really hesitate to jump in here, but I think it's
worth stating clearly why $HOME as desktop isn't an 

 - Upgrades: user upgrades to Red Hat 14.7. Suddenly,
   they have 531 files on their desktop, many of
   which don't fit on the screen. Unless they think
   to "clean up", some of these files may be lost
   forever because they are way off the screen.

   I think it's unreasonable to expect users to 
   spend a day cleaning their home directory just
   because they switched to a new version of GNOME.

 - We don't control the other software the user
   runs, we don't control what software they run
   in the past; you may claim that everybody
   should change, but that isn't realistic; looking
   in my home directory.

    dcc - xchat is broken
    evolution - evolution is broken
    nsmail - Netscape 4 was broken several years ago
    GNUstep - wmaker was broken when I tried to
              reproduce a bug yesterday
    Mail - various traditionally unixy things are broken
    News - Gnus is broken
    Desktop - KDE is broken

   You get the picture. If we made $HOME the desktop   
   we force the user to choose between having useless
   cruft on their desktop and not using other software.

 - Quality user experience depends on consistency;
   not just within GNOME, but for all apps. How 
   are Mozilla, and OpenOffice.org, and the 
   Java file selector, and ... going to get the
   behavior right if GNOME uses ~ and KDE uses Desktop/ ?
Perhaps using $HOME is logically right, but practically
speaking I can't see how it is even a possibility at
all. We need to use ~/Desktop, and we need to spend our
ingenuity in making that seem as consistent and robust
as possible.


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