Formal complaint concerning the use of the name "System Settings" by GNOME

Ambroz Bizjak ambrop7 at
Mon Jul 25 14:01:38 BST 2011

Hi Mark,

Yes, you are right about the X- part. However, I now think that the
Freedesktop specification could be extended in a more generic way. I
suggest updating the spec such that any (!) non-(-X) key of form (for


is to be interpreted as <Key>=Value, in the environment called <DE>,
possibly overriding the generic definition of this key. Such an
extension would allow any attribute to have DE-specific values, not
just the name. For example, GenericName, and even Exec (for
DE-specific su maybe?).

A desktop file would then look like:

Name=System Settings
Specific-KDE-Name=KDE System Settings


On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM, Mark <markg85 at> wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 1:56 PM, Ambroz Bizjak <ambrop7 at> wrote:
>> Hi Mark,
>> have you seen my proposed improvement on your suggestion?
>> I suggest that you consider it, because it would avoid having to
>> update the Freedesktop specification and any DE that doesn't name its
>> programs differently in other DEs (e.g. Xfce).
>> (sorry if you get this message twice, I only sent it to the mailing list once)
>> On Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 1:32 PM, Mark <markg85 at> wrote:
>>> 2011/7/24 Ben Cooksley <bcooksley at>:
>>>> Dropping GNOME out of this, as it seems quite clear they aren't
>>>> interested in co-operating at all. Which is fairly typical for them,
>>>> they're insular and only care for themselves.
>>>> In any case, we need a short term solution to this. Basically, we are
>>>> going to have to provide a different name under GNOME, because
>>>> otherwise  GNOME users will complain to distros, who will patch GNOME
>>>> to ignore System Settings (I refuse to acknowledge their app).
>>>> A long term solution, sharing settings isn't even counted, as they are
>>>> bound to screw us over yet again in some way. They are not to be
>>>> trusted.
>>>> Adding the panels apps need to them isn't exactly workable either due
>>>> to the number of applicable panels and apps.
>>>> As was proposed earlier, System Settings would call itself "System
>>>> Settings" under KDE, but would prefix "KDE" to the name under all
>>>> other environments. ie. KDE System Settings under xfce.
>>>> I have recieved objections that this collides with the "branding
>>>> policy" however. Given such an objection, what do those of you who
>>>> object propose?
>>>> A solution must be reached, otherwise it is the users of our
>>>> applications who will ultimately suffer - and we will probably get
>>>> blamed for it.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Ben Cooksley
>>>> System Settings Maintainer
>>> Hi Ben,
>>> Could you read and comment on my proposal:
>>> I would like to implement this in the spec, KDE en Gnome, but i need
>>> some pointers on where i should make such edits and to get it
>>> approved.
>>> I think that is the most sane solution that doesn't require multiple
>>> desktop files.
>>> If you agree on this, what do i need to do next?
>>> Just some guesses..
>>> - Propose the updated standard in the freedesktop mailing list (which one?)
>>> - Make patched for KDE (which component? where? file?)
>>> - Make patches for gnome (which component? where? file?)
>>> Note: anyone is fine, not just Ben. Aiming at him since he started this mailing.
>>> Regards,
>>> Mark
> Hi,
> Sorry, i haven't seen the last one (just missed it since it is there).
> Your idea is "slightly" wrong (sorry for nitpicking ;))
> It should be
> X-KDE-Name
> X-Gnome-Name
> That is allowed by the spec.
> Your idea is nice and would fix it but i still think this should be
> added to the official spec. Your suggestion is more like an unofficial
> addition to the spec that any DE should follow anyway.
> As for patches. I'm perfectly fine with making the patches for KDE,
> Gnome, XFCE and whatever.. That can't be that much of a task anyway.
> Kind regards,
> Mark

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