ah, desktop icons

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at cornell.edu
Fri Feb 17 16:40:33 CET 2006

Hash: SHA1

Olivier Fourdan wrote:
> Biju Chacko wrote:
>> OTOH, this makes some sense for *launchers* -- ie .desktop files. You 
>> could create a special case for .desktop files, I suppose.
> Yes, my point was about launchers (ie "apps started from the desktop" in 
> my original post)
> Of course, I agree it makes little sense when dealing with files.

The principle of least surprise says it should launch from where it started.

That point seems to indicate that stuff should launch with a $PWD of
$HOME, since xfdesktop was started in $HOME, and should inherit
xfdesktop's $PWD.  I assume thunar-vfs is mucking with things to set the
CWD to the directory the file is located in.

On the other hand, if I launch the gimp by double-clicking on a .png
file on my desktop, I would expect CWD to be ~/Desktop so that the file
save dialog would start from the desktop folder.  Actually, if I lauched
the gimp via a .desktop file on the desktop, I'd expect this to occur as

I like both of these scenarios: I usually want my terminals to open in
$HOME, but I'd want a GUI app to start with the save dialog on the desktop.

Unfortunately, there's very little way to resolve this.  If I
special-case .desktop files, then you get really confusing behavior:
running the gimp from a shortcut on the desktop sets $PWD to $HOME, but
running the gimp by double clicking an image file sets $PWD to
$HOME/Desktop.  That's just inconsistent and confusing.

So, I can only conclude that I should do nothing.  Really, the concept
of $PWD inheritance by child processes means nothing to users who
actually use the desktop as "their computer".  Users who want their
terminal to start in $HOME instead of $HOME/Desktop can create a desktop
file with "Terminal --default-working-directory=$HOME" on the Exec= line.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.2 (GNU/Linux)


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