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Re: gnome, kde, xfce use non-policy main menu

Charles Plessy <plessy@debian.org> writes:

> If the Debian menu system replaces the .menu format by the .desktop
> format for its files, I volunteer to work hard on helping the
> transition.
> Using natively the .desktop format would suppress the need for
> maintaining two files in parallel in many cases.
> Let's use standards when possible.

My recommendation would be to start by writing the standard that you
believe Debian should follow for those files.  Just referencing the XDG
standard isn't sufficient for reasons pointed out in other threads, but
certainly XDG is a place to start.  I expect such a standard would point
to XDG and then add additional specific interpretation and guidelines,
mention any additional keys that Debian wants to support that aren't in
the standard, and provide more specific instructions on how to use the
category system produced upstream.

Such a document could be developed in a way similar to how the proposed
new copyright document is being developed, and then someone could
implement Lintian checks based on it and the existing .desktop file checks
and use those to get an idea of how much archive work is required to adopt
the new standard.

I think that writing a policy is the first necessary step and is the main
thing required to move this conversation beyond a constantly recurring
debian-devel thread and towards something that we can implement.  Just
saying "we should use .desktop files" is not sufficient; the standard
isn't clear, Debian isn't following the standard currently, and there's no
migration strategy.  Closing those gaps is hard and necessary work, and
until someone has a chance to do that work, this will stay stuck at the
recurring conversation stage.

Personally, I think that in the abstract moving Debian from a home-grown
and locally-specified menu format towards a standard that we can share
with other distributions and with upstream is a good idea, but there's a
huge gap between current reality and that possible ideal world.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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