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Re: Desktop Entry Standard replacement for Debian menu?



On Wed, Jan 23, 2002 at 09:32:02PM -0600, Chris Cheney wrote:
> I noticed there is a Desktop Entry Standard that is used in Gnome
> (2.0?) and KDE.  It looks like it could be very useful as a replacement
> for Debian's current menu system and is not distribution specific.

This is a good thing, however there is a technical flaw inherent in your
suggestion which must be resolved first.  Debian menu entries support a
needs field which can take several standard (and a few specialized) values
which .desktop files just don't provide.  The standard ones Debian uses
are:

	X11 - obvious
	text - runs fine in a *term
	vc - can't run from *term (fte, fonter, svgalib apps)
	wm - starts another window manager

Some window managers such as fvwm, afterstep, etc have their own custom
needs types used by their plugin modules.  These are not standard and
lintian does complain so, but unsupported needs types are simply ignored,
so it works out to be a good way to handle those things in a dynamic way.

The closest you get to this in a .desktop file is a toggle for running the
application in a *term or not.  Unless gnome-terminal has been updated to
properly support xterm's options without gnome-terminal.wrapper (a shell
script which does some argument translation for the x-terminal-emulator
alternative), the terminal arguments entry is totally bogus anyway.  I
don't use KDE, so I don't know if their terminal uses standard xterm args
or not.


If these issues can be addressed, I would wholeheartedly support unifying
the Debian, Gnome, and KDE menu systems since it would be better for
everyone in the end.  For the time being though, the .desktop format is
simply missing this important feature found in our current menu system.
The Debian menu system is a disorganized mess currently missing a great
many applications and including some which just aren't very useful to have
there.

Of course , there's also the issue of menu hints, but I think the trade
for a standard, unified, and supported menu format across everything is
probably worth more to us than having the menu system dynamically rewrite
the menu structure.  IIRC that feature is disabled by default anyway
because it is as likely to confuse as benefit a new user.

-- 
Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@bluecherry.net>                   Here we go again
 
* Caytln slaps Lisa
<Caytln> catfight :P
<LisaHere> Watch it girl, I like that.
<LisaHere> :)
<Caytln> figures :D

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