Proposal: Too similar application names

Vitezslav Humpa vhumpa at
Sat Jun 4 10:07:49 UTC 2011

Thanks everybody for the input!

> Yeah, changing how the various desktop's launchers work is an upstream
> decision (in fact, changing what things are named in desktop files
> probably
> is as well.)

> > Sorry but I have to disagree here, cryptic executable names don't
> > belong in the UI at all.

You're right, the workings of application launchers is completely
upstream, while what's in the desktop file is largely downstream and I
believe that what specific name is stated in the desktop file is one of
the things that are within the reach of Fedora, better said - of
maintainers of the packages that contain the various desktop files.

> Since we (fedora) have limited resources they could better be used on
> other things than changing all the menu names every time theres an
> upstream change which does follow the fedora way.

I agree that making a general change would require a tremendous amount
of re-factoring work spread around a huge number of packages that we
could direct in more pressing matters.

> I think showing the executable name for every application is vital.
> Whether its directly in menu, popup or alternating pink flashing
> lights .. :-)

That all said, question remains on what to actually do on this. In a
long term I'd suggest trying advocate that there is a appropriate
solution based in the upstream, might it be pop-ups (sounds reasonable
to do for all the desktop environments) or something based on how KDE
does it. Although having upstream to do something is, like I said -
long term. Thus let's decide on what to do about this now.

I'd say that a number of cases this relates to is limited to a fairly
small number. I am counting:
- Software Update/Software Updates
- System Monitor
- Terminal
- system-config-(e.g. date) vs. gnome control panel applets
 (and likely a few more).

As a compromise between getting rid of the problem (user annoyance...)
completely and the amount of work that would have to be done, I suggest
that we simply target these applications and modify the desktop files
so that they become distinguishable. That means in the menus and on the
first sight, whatever *.desktop field is responsible for that in particular
environments. Should we manage to push having a popup in Upstream, that
would be great later on.

Now, should we agree on this quickfix now, how to do that? Am I right
that this would mean asking the maintainers of these cca 10 packages to
change the *.desktop files in the packaging process? Do the *.desktop
files come from upstream or are they made or at least modified already
by Fedora? I suppose it would be better if they already get modified,
as then the single extra edit would be less painful for maintainers.
Still - sounds relatively painless.

We can also consider making a simple (e.g. targeting just default live
installs) release criterion that would "force" such, though I'd think
having it done on "voluntary" basis is more appropriate.

This is my thinking on how to deal with it right now technically, the
question on HOW exactly rename the app names is another matter.

What do you guys think?

Vita Humpa
Fedora QA

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