[lsb-discuss] Packaging

Christopher Yeoh cyeoh at samba.org
Mon Oct 30 16:20:38 PST 2006

At 2006/10/27 15:43+0100  Chris Lee writes:
> Mike Sweet wrote:
> > 2. Where do we put user installs?
> > 
> > Mike Sweet: A subdirectory off the user's home directory, e.g. 
> > "~/.apps" or "~/.root".
> > 
> If this is defined can "~/.etc"  or "~/config" for all user
> configuration files also be defined.
> My users can never understand why they have so many files when they
> switch on show hidden files (ok, I should stop them, but sometimes they
> can fix things without me if I do not).
> They run into this because as it stands all software just uses the root
> of their home to dump stuff, sometimes even not hidden.
> If there was a location defined I think even the distros and projects
> would start to use it.
> Some sort of definition would make the users life far easier, and limit
> the amount applications can spread over a users home directory.

This comes up on the FHS list about everytime we update the
specification. There are quite a few people who want this sort of
thing, and in the previous version of the FHS, text was added such
that if there is more than one config files from an application they
should be put in an application specific subdirectory, rather than
littering the users home directory. This was defacto practice anyway,
but we had seen some divergence - probably from developers who didn't
know better.

However, I think that mandating the moving all the config files into
~/.etc is beyond what standards groups like the LSB and FHS should be
doing. This needs to be established as good current practice by the
application developers first. We could help this along by writing up a
short document specifying what we think would be best practice and
distributing it to the application developers - and try to get them to
change. This is what was discussed on the FHS list, though I don't
think anyone has actually done it yet. Contributions welcome :-)

I think this sort of technique - eg documenting proposed future
practice - may be the best compromise between wanting to encourage
change and being conservative about what we put into standards.

cyeoh at au.ibm.com
IBM OzLabs Linux Development Group, ADL
Canberra, Australia

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