[RFC] "Documents Folder" icon in "system:/"

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Fri Aug 12 07:26:24 BST 2005

Aaron J. Seigo wrote:
> On Wednesday 10 August 2005 07:59, James Richard Tyrer wrote:
>> Aaron J. Seigo wrote: Which of these do you not understand?
> wow. imagine if i had said that to you, james. how would you have 
> responded? what would you think of me, and what would you then go and
>  tell others about me?

Well If you had asked me that (even if you had clearly indicated that
you were being sarcastic), I probably would have simply answered your
question.  And, if I had told others about you and didn't say that you
were being sarcastic, I would have been making a mistake.

> now to answer the question, what i don't understand is how you keep 
> missing that what i am saying is:
> $HOME is not the equivalent of "\user name".

I believe that what I said was:

2.    "/<user_name>" is equivalent to: "\user name"

But that was said only in the limited context of comparing a Windows path
with a Linux path item by item.

I did NOT say that HOME was the equivalent to "\user name"

> UNIX is not Windows, and we tend to do a few things a little bit 
> differently. $HOME _is_ "My Documents". is that clear enough for you?
Actually, it isn't.

HOME is an environment variable that is set, by default, to


Windows and UNIX both have, by default a directory that is the "user
name" for the account.
>> Perhaps there is a language barrier here. :-D
> no, just a lack of respect.
Sorry, that is an old USA joke, a-boot their being a language barrier
with Canada. :-)
>> It has nothing to do with the user interacting with it.  The 
>> application is installed with a prefix of: $HOME/cxoffice.  So that
>>  is where the directory is -- just the same as if you had built the
>>  app from source with that prefix.
> this is not the common case. this is, actually, uncommon. most $HOMEs
>  out there don't have binaries installed to them.

I would not presume to assume that some correct way of doing something
was not relevant because it was not common.  I would not even presume to
assume that it wasn't common.

> so instead of enforcing a $HOME/files on _everyone_,

There are two separate and distinct questions here which you have merged.

1.	If a user chooses to set their Documents directory to something
	other than $HOME, everything should respect this choice and work

2.	It is my, and others, proposal that Documents == $HOME should
	not be the default.

Now even if #2 were adopted, I would still want it to be configurable.
It appears to me that it is others that want to enforce the default that
Documents == $HOME on everyone by assuming that this default will always
be used.

There is also the usability question of whether the best name for the
Documents directory is "Documents".  And, this does matter when it comes
to choosing an icon.

> why not provide for a $HOME/bin when and if you install programs in 
> your home directory.

Well I have one and suggest that we should assume that everyone might
have one -- for personal scripts if nothing else.

However when installing an app from source "$HOME/bin" is only the:
"bindir".  What about the other directories?  But, we should not make
assumptions about how users will want to do thing.

> that way we're effecting fewer people ...
We have to make defaults and those should be our best judgment for what
will work for newbies, but we should not assume that anyone will do
things our way.

> and providing a more sensible default: your home is where you keep 
> your data.

The real problem here is that you assume that what you say is correct.
You offer no logical argument, your offer no analogies, you offer no
citations.  You just say AJS says this, therefore it is true.

And, now we have sophistry.  I presume that you mean my home where I
live.  Yes, I keep my data in my home, but I find it more convenient
to keep it in locations which are a subset of my home.  I keep my CDs in 
a CD rack, I keep my bills in a filing cabinet, etc.  I most certainly 
do not keep them with the water heater or the furnace (if I had one).
>>> we fixed kmail in 3.4. that took a lot of effort and discussion, 
>>> but it got done. so it can happen.
>> I'm not sure that that was correct or necessary.  Mozilla stuff 
>> hides the Mail directory, but there are times when the user might 
>> want to find it -- for backup for example.
> yes, and i've covered this issue more than once. when you do backups,
>  backup your $HOME. if you wish to do fine grained backup, you'll 
> want a tool for this. we currently lack that tool. and because of 
> that people have challenges with backing up all sorts of information.
>  this is not unique to Mail, nor should people need to know that Mail
>  is their email.

I use the support lists as input to know what users are doing.  Yes, at
least one of them asked where to find his Mail so he could back it up.

> in fact not all people do and have in the past deleted all their
> email because they didn't know what it was. amazing yet true.

It is less likely that they would do that if it was in a directory in
$HOME named Mail than if it was where Mozilla hides it.  Thanks, you
make my point.


Full time developer sponsored by Social Security.

:-D ;-)

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