Can Name=GenericName go away now, please?

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Mon Sep 17 16:11:55 UTC 2007

First of all, sorry for this message not being properly threaded, but followups 
are currently broken in the GMane web interface. :-(

Rex Dieter wrote:
> In particular, can we/fedora consider using better menu names now, so users
> know which apps are really behind some generic (and mysterious?) items in
> menus(1).


(In fact, I would have fixed XChat already if it hadn't been vetoed by the 
primary maintainer.)

Jesse Keating wrote:
> Is a tooltip popup with what the application name actually is not
> enough?

First of all, KDE doesn't show that tooltip. We're in a pretty unfortunate 
state where GNOME ignores GenericName and KDE ignores Comment. Still, IMHO the 
best (and most logical) workaround for this problem is to have GenericName == 
Comment as seen in several .desktop files already, or to have them contain the 
same information phrased differently (e.g. GenericName=E-Mail Client, 
Comment=Send and receive e-mail). That way, GNOME users will get the task the 
apps are solving as a tooltip, KDE users can choose to have it listed in the 
menu (KDE allows displaying only Name, only GenericName or both).

Or of course we can fix the desktop environments to show all 3 items. :-)

Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> Even if we chose to retain the current behaviour as default it has no
> business being implemented through a gross f.d.o. spec violation.

+1 to that too.

Rex Dieter wrote:
> Matthias Clasen wrote:
> > How do Fedoras various spins change the circumstances that lead to the
> > decision ?
> Say Fedora Spin X decided to start naming all their "default" apps
> similarly.  More specifically, wow would you react if the KDE spin started
> calling kmail "Email client" or kword "Word Processor" in the menus too? 
> Wouldn't you agree this is a bad path to follow and/or a bad precedent to
> set?

Once again I fully agree with Rex. In fact, that would lead to exactly this 
situation you (Matthias Clasen) describe:
> No, thats just broken. If you change the combo, you suddenly get five
> "Email Client" entries in the menu.
only you don't even get the option to fix it.

Abusing Name that way only works if there's one default, but Fedora has 
outgrown this now that we have multiple spins and that the alternative 
applications formerly in Extras have been merged into the core distribution.

Matthias Clasen wrote:
> Combining name and genericname programmatically just doesn't work from an
> i18n perspective.

The format can be internationalized, for example some languages can use "Name 
GenericName", others "Name - GenericName" (which is what KDE is currently 
using, unless it's already locale-dependent), others "Name (GenericName)".

Colin Walters wrote:
> Owen's suggested solution was:
> "OK, back to the present: My advise for the X-Chat is to make it match how we
> do a lot of other .desktop files now: do "X-Chat IRC Client" like
> "Firefox Web Browser" and so forth."

But we can have this without abusing the spec this way by just programmatically 
displaying "Name GenericName".

        Kevin Kofler

More information about the fedora-devel-list mailing list