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Bug#168347: [desktop] Seeking Summit to Discuss X Display and Session Management

[Please mind the To/CC lines in your replies; debian-x sees mail sent to
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Except for -devel, of course.]

[Everyone except Osamu Aoki may want to read the bottom of this mail
first.  Alternatively, see <http://bugs.debian.org/168347>.]

On Fri, Nov 08, 2002 at 11:43:03AM -0800, Osamu Aoki wrote:
> File:  /etc/X11/Xsession.d/50xfree86-common_determine-startup
> Issues:
>  1) Full path was not given for REALSTARTUP (Just to be safe side)

I don't understand what you mean by this.

REALSTARTUP, in the stock version of the script, can only be either
$STARTUP or $ALTSTARTUP; both are defined as full paths in

Of course, people can edit the conffiles to change (break) this.

>  2) If x-session-manager is installed on the system, it gets quite
>     intrusive to make one of the x-window-manager as the system default
>     (I like blackbox but want to have some accounts with KDE or GNOME.)

I don't know what's intrusive about changing three lines in a conffile.

The default system policy should reflect the needs of most of the users
on the system.  (Or the needs of the "most important" users if you have
a caste system on a multiuser machine.)

If nobody on the system even needs GNOME or KDE, why have them

>  3) If alternative system is broken (as I did recently),

If the alternative system is broken, fix it (if you messed it up) or
file a bug (if a Debian package messed it up).

The alternatives system is an important system resource; it is provided
by an Essential package (dpkg) and it needs to be operational, just as
we'd expect dpkg, sh, or the dynamic loader to be operational.

>     fall-back scenario is weak.  (Let's fall-back to twm or xterm to
>     make people aware there is life beyond GNOME and KDE. Both xterm
>     and twm are in your associated packages).

1) That's exactly what happens if these packages are installed, and if
the alternatives system isn't "broken".
2) twm and xterm should not enjoy a privileged status.
3) One of the motivations behind "x-session-manager" is to illustrate
the converse point: there is life beyond twm and xterm.

>  4) Hello, Branden.  I am brave enough to write a section for quick 
>     start-up guide for X in my "Debian Reference".  Windows manager
>     set-up was one of the challenging one and I want my life to be easy
>     :-)  (I still have to add/correct few things in there.  This is
>     solicitation of constructive flame.) Latest CVS build are:
>       http://qref.sf.net/Debian/reference/ch-tune.en.html#s-x

I don't have time to review this at the moment, but I'll see if I can
check it out at some point in the near future.

> Please consider replacing 50xfree86-common_determine-startup with
> something like attached file and update /etc/X11/Xsession.options
> accordingly as attached file.  (Oops, I do not have manual page)

Until you can address the points above, I won't be.

However, since you're not the only person who is apparently aggravated
out of his mind with the current approach (Eduard Bloch seldom misses an
opportunity to be abusive to me regarding my conffiles), perhaps the
best thing to do is to arrange a summit among all the package
maintainers of desktop evironments and display managers in Debian (maybe
a few window manager maintainers, too).

Just as you are irritated that 50xfree86-common_determine-startup
doesn't work the way you want it to by default, I am annoyed that at
least some of the other display managers (gdm, kdm, wdm) do not use
/etc/X11/Xsession by default, which leads to an inconsistent user

So, shall we all get together on IRC sometime and hash this out, so that
we can have something that everyone is happier with for the sarge
release?  Once we have hammered something out, we can make it Policy.
To that end, I've CCed a couple of mailing lists and a few package
maintainers.  Oh yeah, the Debian Desktop Project probably wants to be
involved as well.  :)  If I have overlooked anyone, please convey my
invitation to this (currently unscheduled) summit.

G. Branden Robinson                |    To Republicans, limited government
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    means not assisting people they
branden@debian.org                 |    would sooner see shoveled into mass
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    graves.          -- Kenneth R. Kahn

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