[Fedora-packaging] some comments on the desktop files section and proposed amendmends

Matthias Clasen mclasen at redhat.com
Thu Feb 8 04:11:11 UTC 2007

Tom 'spot' Callaway wrote:
> Take a deep breath. Use your brain. Use your best judgement. :)
Sure, I do that. And _I_ understand that the packaging guidelines are 
just guidelines.
But a considerable number of reviewers will take a sentence that says  
"any package
that installs a GUI application needs to install a  desktop file" 
literally and block the
review on the "violation". I  wished the  guidelines were less apodictic 
when there is
real room for judgement.

>> IMO this whole sentence should be nuked and replaced by something like:
>> If a package contains an application that users would expect to find in 
>> the panel menus, it needs to include a properly
>> installed .desktop file.
> Ah yes. The psychic ability to read the user's mind. IMHO, it is far
> simpler, and more broadly correct as we have it. It also involves less
> assumptions on the part of the packager as to what the user
> wants/needs/expects.
This is not about reading the users mind, this is about clarifying the 
purpose of the
desktop file (making the application appear in the menu).
>> 2) While I can see where this is coming from, and may even sympathize 
>> with a "correct usage" of Name and GenericName,
>> simply decreeing that it has to be so is not going to make it happen.
>> Packagers really cannot do anything to enforce
>> "correct usage", because doing so would require them to speak all the 
>> 40+ languages in which these locale strings are
>> typically translated.
> Hmm. While translations are certainly a concern, are the desktop files
> really static and eternally unchanging documents? 
Desktop files can be changed, but since this involves translations, 
these changes
need to happen upstream. There is not much point in adding further 
frustration to
reviews by adding "must " items to the checklist over which the packager 
doesn't have any control.

Also,  the  approach of --copy-generic-name-to-name was not just picked 
to annoy
you, but to implement a certain user experience. If we just declare 
copying generic
names illegal without implementing an alternative way to get the desired 
experience, we will be thrown back to the days of menus full of 
program names.
>> Finally, I think it would be beneficial to mention nimetypes and 
>> update-desktop-database in this section.
> Seems reasonable, do you have a draft for specific changes?
"If a desktop file contains a Mimetype field, you must call 
in %post and %postun. See [...] for details."

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