Dolphin starts programs with a wrong current directory

James Tyrer jrtyrer at
Sun Dec 13 09:33:59 GMT 2009

Nikos Chantziaras wrote:
> On 12/12/2009 11:02 AM, James Tyrer wrote:
>> Nikos Chantziaras wrote:
>>> [...] $PWD is not the Documents directory.  The Documents directory is
>>> the... Documents directory.  The $PWD is the $PWD.
>>> Now the above sounded pretty dump, but really obvious things tend to do
>>> that.  So why does Dolphin think that ~/Documents is the $PWD?  Those
>>> two are *not* the same thing.  And after the lengthy explanations given
>>> in this thread, this approach even contradicts previous statements about
>>> how things are supposed to work on Unix systems.
>>> Bottom line, if an app wants access to the ~/Documents directory, it
>>> should *say so*.  From how I see it, relying that $PWD is ~/Documents is
>>> a broken design too for the reasons you wrote previously :)  Sorry, you
>>> can't have it both ways.
>> (bottom line)^2 is that this (KDE) is a GUI.  A GUI does not work the
>> same as the underlying OS.  MS-Windows is the same.  It looks for user
>> files in MyDocuments.  I don't have MS-Windows so I don't know if it
>> uses MyDocuments for the "cd" or not.
> Windows and Gnome work the way one would think.  Current directory is 
> whatever you're looking at at any given time.
> Being a GUI doesn't mean you should not be able to launch programs that 
> expect their files to be in the same directory, *regardless* of whether 
> such programs should be considered broken or not.
>> And, as I said, if an executable needs access to data, it should keep
>> it/look for it in the proper place and not rely on it being (improperly)
>> stored in the /bin directory with the executable.  On *NIX, it is not
>> proper to store data in a /bin directory as was common practice with
>> PC-DOS.  You don't seem to be getting that.
> No, I am getting that.  What I don't get is why Dolphin can't do what 
> other GUIs do and tries to do it's own thing "because it's a GUI," 
> totally ignoring expected behavior.  What I also don't get is why 
> Dolphin should expect the world to write application the way it thinks 
> is best instead of simply allowing already existing applications to 
> continue working as they always have (and still do in pretty much 
> everything except Dolphin.)
> Also, GUIs are there to make the CLI less relevant.  If a GUI can't 
> replace the CLI even for the simple task for launching a program in it's 
> current directory, then something's wrong.
> And I yet have to hear a reason of why Dolphin can't do what I described 
> :P  Why exactly would it be wrong?  Because it would allow "broken" 
> programs to keep working like they always did?  IMO that's not up to 
> Dolphin to decide.  Dolphin should be able to be used with non-KDE apps 
> too.  And what would it break?  Gnome and Windows users seem to do just 
> fine.  (Unless there *is* a setting somewhere to configure that, of 
> course.  But I didn't find any.)
KDE is perfectly capable of doing what you want.  It is just that it 
isn't the default.  The normal way to launch a program with the GUI is 
not to go the the /bin directory and click on the executable.  As I 
said, this isn't really the correct way to do it, but it does still work 
for binary files.  What you need to do is to make a *.desktop file, then 
it will do whatever you tell it to do in the *.desktop file.

James Tyrer

Linux (mostly) From Scratch
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