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Re: new package format

Le Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 03:32:43PM +0300, Eugene Gorodinsky a écrit :
> Currently debian policy is to have a .desktop file for each GUI
> program. What would be better, IMHO, is having some sort of
> abstraction, so that the package manager itself would create a
> .desktop file entry, given an icon and some information about the
> package.

Hi Eugene,

Debian policy is to have a Debian menu entry for each GUI program.  This is not
to be confused with the FreeDesktop menu that is used by GNOME, KDE, Xfce, …

The Debian menu is sometimes made available inside the FreeDesktop menu as a
‘Debian’ category, and therefore each GUI program that has a Debian menu entry
also has a .desktop file on systems that can make use of it. But this one is
autogenerated and is not in the source package.

Many packages do however distribute a .desktop file that contain a fully
FreeDesktop-compliant menu entry, but this is up to the maintainer to write
such a file or install the one provided upstream.

There is an ongoing slow-pace discussion about factorising the information
between the two menu systems, and possibly use the same file format
(FreeDesktop), while preserving the essence of each menus. The Debian menu is
in particular needed in desktop environments – often lightweight – that are not
compliant to the FreeDesktop standards.


Menu entries usually do not indicate the path to the program or the icon, and
finding them is delegated to the menu system itself, be it in Debian or
FreeDesktop standard. I think that what you propose is more their task than the
one of the packaging system.

Have a nice day,

Charles Plessy
Tsurumi, Kanagawa, Japan

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