Re: [dev] Re: XDG directories

From: Dieter Plaetinck <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2010 15:45:21 +0200

On Fri, 11 Jun 2010 09:29:41 -0400
Kris Maglione <> wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 03:17:18PM +0200, David Engster wrote:
> >David Engster writes:
> >> I'm trying to understand which problem exactly is solved by this. I
> >> tried to read the "XDG Base Directory Specification" [1] but I
> >> admit I didn't get past "Basics". How is fiddling with
> >> XDG_CACHE_HOME better than a dotfile or dot-directory in your
> >> $HOME?
> >
> >OK, I've tried the next section.
> >
> >Can someone explain to me what XDG_DATA_HOME really is for? I know
> >what the spec says ("directory relative to which user specific data
> >files should be stored"), but then it doesn't make sense to me that
> >its default is '~/.local/share'. Since XDG_DATA_DIRS default is
> >'/usr/share:/usr/local/share', and data in XDG_DATA_HOME overrides
> >those, it seems they want to mimic the share hierarchy locally? They
> >somehow want to separate configuration from user data, but then they
> >mix user data with application data? I don't get it.
> Like I said, the spec is verging on batty as is. I still haven't
> figured that out myself, and that's after searching the
> directories on my computer and seeing what other apps've done.
> My best guess on the matter is that .config should be more for
> user-editable things, and .local/share for — other local crap, I
> guess. Current apps don't really seem to discriminate.

yes, both the app data and user data (can) end(s) up in $XDG_DATA_HOME

to make matters worse, many apps automatically write stuff into
$XDG_CONFIG_HOME (mostly state information like window size, last
opened files, ..), often even in the same file where the user edits his
settings. very irritating when you put that file under version control.

I've proposed them already quite a few times to at least add a
recommendation to the spec to put automatically generated data (like
application state) in a separate file, but they wouldn't listen...

personally I don't mind the mixed nature of data in $XDG_DATA_HOME and
as long as apps don't automatically update manually written files, it's
all good for me.

Received on Fri Jun 11 2010 - 13:45:21 UTC

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