getting rid of vendor prefixes for desktop files

Michael Schwendt mschwendt at
Wed May 21 07:31:41 UTC 2008

On Tue, 20 May 2008 13:18:43 -0400, Matthias Clasen wrote:

> I'd like to discuss the idea of getting rid of vendor prefixes for
> desktop files in Fedora. Right now, we install desktop files with a
> mixture of vendor prefixes: gnome-, fedora-, redhat-, nothing. 
> These prefixes really add no value, and cause actual breakage, since
> Fedora is (afaik) the only distro adding vendor prefixes, so we are the
> ones that get bitten by upstream changes that don't take vendor prefixes
> into account. 
> The recent breakage that made me write this mail is that the new
> gnome-session in rawhide has a list of mandatory session components
> stored in gconf, and one of these components was 'nautilus', so it went
> looking for nautilus.desktop - which doesn't exist, since we ship
> gnome-nautilus.desktop.
> Another problem caused by these prefixes is that overlaying a self-built
> gnome, e.g. a jhbuild tree on top of a fedora installation gives you
> everything doubled in the menus. Once with a vendor prefix, and once
> without, instead of the indended effect of the self built tree hiding
> the installed desktop files.
> Thus, I'd like to propose that we change the packaging guidelines to
> stop recommending the addition of a vendor prefix, and remove existing
> vendor prefixes in F10. This will cause a mild one-time pain for
> existing users with customized menus. We can probably discuss ways to
> avoid that.
> Comments ?

What have you planned to avoid messing up user's panel and menu?

For example, emacs-22.2-4.fc9 suddenly decided to ship emacs.desktop
instead of the earlier gnu-emacs.desktop. This invalidated the GConf
setting for my customised panel where I had dragged'n'dropped the
emacs menu entry:

panel/objects/object_3/%gconf.xml:                <stringvalue>/usr/share/applications/gnu-emacs.desktop</stringvalue>

Instead of the application icon it shows a blank area now.

It's not the first time this has happend with a package. And it really
asks for a stable vendor prefix (even if empty). Else this is much too
fragile during upgrades and updates if packagers and upstream can
change the vendor prefix whenever they like.

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