[K12OSN] Introduction and questions

Les Mikesell les at futuresource.com
Sun Dec 4 06:54:56 UTC 2005

On Sun, 2005-12-04 at 00:42, Mike Ely wrote:

> > Storing user preferences in his own $HOME has been the unix way
> > of doing things from the beginning of time.  I can't imagine
> > why you would want user-specific data anywhere else.
> > 
> I wouldn't.  On the other hand, what happens in the case of 
> Firefox(/mozilla/netscape/camino/etc) is that it touches a file called 
> "lock" in the active profile when it's loaded, and doesn't remove the 
> lockfile until the profile is unloaded - i.e.: the user quits firefox. 
> This to my mind is a bit more than is needed. 

This may be related to the trick firefox plays if you try to start
another instance of the program in the same X session. It instead
tells the running copy to pop open a new window.

> Point is, I totally agree with storing configuration in $HOME, but state 
> info (including lockfiles) can and really ought to not prevent secondary 
> instances under the same credentials.

The usual trick for instances that shouldn't use your real files (like
test instances or pretending you have users that don't exist) is to
export HOME pointing to some other writable space in the shell that
starts the program.  That is, use the mechanism to do what you want
instead of fighting with it.

  Les Mikesell
    les at futuresource.com

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