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Re: adding desktop files to misc packages

Am Samstag, den 14.07.2007, 12:44 -0400 schrieb Joey Hess:
> Charles Plessy wrote:

> > The FreeDesktop menu system has a mechanism to make entries invisible
> > with given desktop managers. What we miss in Debian is a policy, or just
> > statemenst from relevant teams, which guides maintainers when they have
> > to deal with .desktop files.
> Yes, that's why I started this thread.
> Until there is one, I don't see any reason why I should accept patches
> adding menu files to my packages.

The .desktop format is not only about the menu item itself. It also
contains the application <-> MIME/file type association information. The
update-desktop-database then parses all .desktop files and creates this
database (/usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache). AFAIK KDE 3 uses this
system, his own system and the old system via /usr/lib/mime (metamail,
right?). But GNOME AFAIK only uses the current shared MIME info

> > In the absence of any policy from the GNOME, KDE or XFCE teams, my
> > personal standpoint is that entries are welcome, so I do add .desktop
> > files. Acutally, I even create them when I prepare a new package which
> > lacks them. I also support the idea to chose a format from which .menu
> > and .desktop files would be generated. It is definitely not fun to
> > maintian two similar files in parallel.
> Generating both menu and .desktop files from a third format would be
> pointless. Either format can be generated from the other format.

No. The Debian menu entries do not contain the information about which
MIME/file types can be handled nor in which menus the entry should
occur. The Debian menu items also do not contain the information, how to
handle the arguments when calling the program from e.g. nautilus to open
a special file. And I don't want to start to tell about the "action"
section possibilities ;) However, the formats only share some basic
information, but the .desktop format contains much more information,
than the Debian menu item files. You may be able to create a Debian menu
file from the .desktop file. But the other way would be very useless.

> menu
> already generates .desktop files from menu files, and I don't believe it
> would be too hard to make menu _read_ .desktop files directly and use it
> as a source for the other files it generates.

This may be possible. Maybe the Debian menu file format should follow
the freedesktop.org specification too and contain something like:


to show, that the item should only appear in the Debian menu. Then put
these files into e.g. /usr/share/applications/debian and drop the old
menu format in /usr/share/menu. This is just one possible solutions to
the situation (not an recommendation).

Regards, Daniel

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