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Re: Debian XDG basedir compliance

On Fri, Oct 11, 2013 at 09:04:57PM +0200, Olе Streicher wrote:
> Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> writes:
> > Having Debian versions of the programs differ in this from everyone
> > else would create a lot of confusion, and needlessly cause everyone
> > more support burden than is needed.
> Isn't that the same case with the FHS?

FHS compliance is required for Debian to be able to integrate upstream
projects into a working operating system at all. XDG is mainly about
making user's home directories cleaner: a worthy goal, and one I agree
with, but not necessary for Debian to do.

FHS also built on long-standing Unix tradition, and most programs
already support it, either out of the box or by suitable configuration
at build time. XDG is gaining traction only slowly, and mainly in
software written using GUI toolkits.

> To bring an example here from my ongoing packaging projects: IRAF [1]
> uses /iraf/ as the root path for its directory structure as standard,
> and they are probably not going to change this. So, with Debian
> deviating from everyone else here would probably also create a lot of
> confusion; however I will ofcourse obey the policy here.

There are exceptions to upstream being FHS compliant. They're fairly

> > Please do contribute to any upstream projects that interest you to add
> > support for XDG, but don't try to make it mandatory in Debian.
> I don't mean it as a strong requirement (yet); but couldn't this be
> included in the policy as recommendation and/or goal?

I would object to that. It is not Debian's job to make these changes,
or to make sure software we package follows the XDG: it doesn't
provide great benefit, but does (at this point in time) require too
much effort.

I'm all for the XDG directory specification. I'm all for helping
upstreams support it. I do not want Debian package maintainers to
spend time doing it as part of their Debian duties. We have much
more important problems to solve.

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