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Re: Rename desktop-base ?

Hi all,

I renamed the subject to clean out the reference. I have no idea why
kfreebsd was mentioned in the original email.

If the debian desktop packages are going to reorganized for Lenny, then
it would suit to make a list of the debian-desktop package goals first.
So far there is a general wish for splitting the packages by purpose. I
agree with this and think it would make maintaining the packages
simpler. However it will be very important to limit the dependencies to
prevent complex dependency chains from happening. Here are some ideas on
the packages that could be used. This is derived from emails on the list
and anything that comes to mind at 3am EDT. :-)

desktop-base -
This package is responsible for providing base infrastructure and
configuration mechanisms used by the debian-desktop package suite. To
that effect I feel that we should define and maintain the file system
structure for any shared elements in this package. In effect this makes
desktop-base the central package for directing and defining desktop
package policy and conformance. All debian desktop packages should
depend on this package in order to help maintain consistency.

desktop-artwork -
This would clearly be a package that provides desktop artwork for themes
and other forms of visual improvements. This isn't just for the eye
candy people. This is equally important for visually impaired users or
users that need other forms of custom visual requirements. Initially I
am considering themes and artwork for the visually impaired but it might
be feasible to support screen readers and other accessibility features.
However that might be better suited for a package like
desktop-accessibility or similar.

desktop-scripts -
This would provide a collection of scripts the user may optionally use
for situations like auto mounting local drives and partitions. It might
also be good to include default scripts for creating basic backups and
other useful tasks that people need. Each script would need to be
disabled by default and enabled using debconf to support preseeding.

I think adding the prefix debian- to these package name is a good idea.
Although the debian- prefix may seem unnecessary it makes creating
things like ubuntu-desktop-base and distroX-desktop-base [1] much
simpler. Not that I want this to happen, but it can't be prevented. So
why not prepare for it now? Ideally the desktop-base package
specification could be used to apply default branding and configuration
for a derivative distribution using the alternative distroX-desktop-base
package. This brings to mind the possibility of using alternatives for
this sort of thing as well, but that seems overreaching at this stage.
This idea could definitely use Conflicts: to prevent multiple copies of
the desktop-base to be installed. Imagine being able to change the
branding using a simple:
	apt-get install distroX-desktop-base distroX-desktop-art

So if you agree with me assume that those package names get the prefix.
This is point well worth discussion beyond just the desktop-base package

I don't think a desktop-configuration package is needed since we can
apply the configuration to the appropriate desktop related package. This
is the approach I have in mind for desktop-scripts above. Additionally
trying to place all the configuration in a single package can create
config file issues if not handled carefully.

I don't think splitting desktop-art into GNOME, KDE, XFCE versions is
necessary or even a good idea. It will make it more difficult to
synchronize the art and c\would require duplicate copies of the art
used. Then again I might have missed something on this point.

Now the big bugaboo... Localization.

The current packages don't support localization and don't really need
them now. However if we start setting up common scripts and provide
desktop interfaces to them with something like say zenity or kdialog
then it stands to reason that we will also need these to be localized in
the future. It also makes sense to provide a localization solution for
the distroX issue mentioned above. I dunno, maybe this is also a bit
overreaching at this stage as well.

Ok, that's enough from this lurker. :-)


Matthew P McGuire

PS: Sorry for the top posting, I needed to organize my thoughts fully.

[1] - Oh No! He's been using Brand X!!! - The Joker - Batman 1989

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