Roaming user fixes

Helge Deller deller at
Sat Jun 21 22:28:30 BST 2003

A few people have asked me, what those "roaming user fixes" are all about.
Please let me try to explain the current problem.

All KDE applications use the functions readEntry()/writeEntry() to store values into
configuration files under ~/.kde/share/config. 
Mostly this is no problem, but as soon as hardcoded paths are stored, the application
is bound to the given path and you might run into problems later.

Let's take as example the addressbook configuration file (~/.kde/share/config/kabcrc):


This means, that as long as my home directory is /home/deller, I'll have no problems at all.
But as soon as e.g. the system administrator changes (and copies) my home directory to e.g. /mnt/homes/deller,
this path is wrong and I won't be able to access my addressbook any longer without reconfiguration
of kaddressbook and all other apps which use similiar absolute paths in their configuration files.
Esp. on workstations attached to big networks and with user home directories on NFS such situations might 
happen more often and the solution is pretty simple:


In this case, calling readPathEntry() instead of readEntry() will automatically expand $HOME to the 
full home directory path, and writePathEntry(/home/deller/.kde/share/apps/kabc/std.vcf) will store the string
$HOME instead of "/home/deller" in the config file.
This forth-and-back conversion happens absolutely transparent to the application and no other changes
other than changing the necessary readEntry()/writeEntry() calls to the corresponding readPathEntry()/writePathEntry()
calls are needed. The applications themself will use and see at runtime the current home directory only.
writePathEntry() and readPathEntry() will change strings which contain the user's current home directory only. 
Other values are not changed and the functions will behave exactly as readEntry()/writeEntry() in this case.

One nice benefit of this change is of course, that you now will be able to copy your current & favorite KDE 
configuration (icons, default paths, font-configuration,...) directly to your best friend by just directly copying the 
.kde subdirectory :-)

Best regards,
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