Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Dan Armak <danarmak@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev] Session/.desktop WM compatibility, DM unification
Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 22:04:24
1 Hi all,
3 Many WMs and DEs don't play nice with one another and don't always follow
4 rules. There's a bunch of open bugs (detailed below) and I'm
5 sure I've missed some more.
7 Also, different DMs (kdm, xdm, gdm, ...) have a lot of unique or, conversely,
8 duplicated or forked scripts which aren't DM-specific and so should only
9 exist once.
11 I want to work on this, but cooperation between and changes to many WMs are
12 required, so I'd like to hear from other people who are interested. These
13 bugs all tend to get stuck, so I'm posting this to the list.
15 Currently a user cannot easily switch WMs or DMs (or use several
16 interchangeably) without doing a lot of manual work to carry along settings
17 that can and should be neutral.
19 (When I say WMs, I sometimes mean entire DEs like KDE/gnome - basically
20 whatever gets a session entry in a DM. Gnome can switch its actual WM easily
21 enough; that's not my point.)
23 ===== Bugs overview (probably missed some): =====
25 #89870: long story, summary: .desktop files are installed in different places.
26 KDE only reads the KDE ones, Gnome only the Gnome ones (and both use a small
27 common set).
29 So each DE doesn't benefit from the other's apps (.desktop files aren't just
30 for menus but also for e.g. services/actions on mimetypes/etc). 'Lightweight'
31 WMs with a menu are forced to choose one of the above to display. (And if you
32 merge both, the result is currently very ugly.)
34 #53517: xdm, kdm, gdm (don't know about entrance and such) each have their own
35 set of a lot of configfiles: Xaccess, Xreset, Xservers, Xsession, Xsetup,
36 Xstartup, Xwilling... Obviously bad.
38 Today some files are shared / not duplicated (gdm <-> xdm, kdm <-> xdm), but
39 the work is not complete. It seems gdm only has its own Xsession now, and if
40 people confirm this I can work on getting rid of all of kdm's separate files
41 as well. BUT I still need cooperation here because there might be some
42 features in kdm's files which would need to be merged into the common (xdm?)
43 ones.
45 #26326: unifying scripts that run on X sessions startup/shutdown. A lot of
46 non-WM-specific stuff, e.g. starting ssh/gpg agents, lives (often duplicated)
47 in DM-specific or WM-specific scripts.
49 #14872: unifying DM session scripts, handling of ~/.xsession, etc. The bug is
50 closed but I think some things mentioned there haven't been fixed.
52 Some other bugs which are assigned to specific teams like KDE would be fixed
53 or helped along by a generic solution to the bugs above.
55 =============
57 P.S. in some of the cases above, e.g. #89870, some people have said that KDE
58 is the real problem because it installs several fdo-like trees (eg
59 of .desktop files or of icons), no two of which can coexist, and all of which
60 are outside the main tree in /usr. This may be true in some cases, but if the
61 latest version of KDE somehow magically appeared in /usr, non-KDE users
62 wouldn't be happy either (#89870 again). That's exactly why I want to hear
63 others' opinions and what people would like to see.
65 --
66 Dan Armak
67 Gentoo Linux developer (KDE)
68 Public GPG key:
69 Fingerprint: DD70 DBF9 E3D4 6CB9 2FDD 0069 508D 9143 8D5F 8951