.gaim Revisited

Ethan Blanton elb at psg.com
Wed Mar 21 17:09:54 EDT 2007

Sean Egan spake unto us the following wisdom:
> On 3/21/07, Ethan Blanton <elb at psg.com> wrote:
> > First of all, I don't buy this "home directories are too cluttered"
> > bit, and second of all, this thing isn't reducing the clutter *at
> > all*, it's creating _more_ clutter, and spreading it around all over
> > the friggin' place.  Right now, if I want to kill off everything
> > Gaim-related, I remove ~/.gaim.  Under this plan, not only do I have
> > to find eleventy base directories in which to search for Gaim crap, I
> > have to figure out what it's called *inside* those directories.
> It seems to me the same argument could be made about the UNIX
> filesystem in general. If you want to remove a piece of software, you
> have to remove stuff from etc, bin, lib, share, var, etc. This spec
> seems to me merely to map this hierarchy to $HOME.

Agreed.  In retrospect, the NeXT plan for applications has a whole lot
going for it.

> If this spec gets adapted broadly, people won't be confused by the
> distribution of all the files. They'll expect it.

No, they'll just be differently confused.  I see no argument here that
causes me to do anything but continue to believe that this spec is
terrible and confusing.

> If you don't like the behavior, you get to override it by exporting
> all the environment variables to $HOME. The configurability allows for
> a lot of benefit, I think. If you want all your configuration on your
> USB stick, but don't want to fill it up with non-critical cache
> files... trivial.

I don't at *all* call that "a lot of benefit".  I can see the argument
for re-homing caches, specifically -- but then again, we already have
$TMPDIR, which _nobody uses_ (including most applications).  Most
people don't even know about $EDITOR, causing distributions like
debian to do stupid crap like default-editor or whatever.

> I agree that $HOME being cluttered is a non-problem, but I think this
> spec is more about keeping various files an application writes more
> obviously organized than it is about solving a "clutter" problem.

Organized into ~/.appname seems awfully well-organized to me.  :-P


The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws [that have no remedy
for evils].  They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes.
		-- Cesare Beccaria, "On Crimes and Punishments", 1764
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