Application launch files

John Woodhouse a_johnlonger at
Sat Apr 30 10:38:52 BST 2011

Thanks Duncan. I hope at some point a dev adds one of 3.x's nice feature where 
these were available for editing directly via a right click.

I mostly use that to run something or the other as su but would also like to 
modify icons at times. For instance I currently have 2 dolphin icons on quick 
launch. One launches as su the other as per normal. Icons are identical.  I 
usually add an editor running as su as well. I prefer a version of Kate that 
remembers all of the files it's worked on for that.

;-) Seems quick launch is a panel now - but a panel for what.

As to security if some one can get in and make changes little matters really if 
it's a desktop file or something else. The important aspect is no back doors. 
All systems are weak in some respect. I often wonder how long it will be before 
some on pretends to be a java update on windoze. That sort of thing could be 
applied to any system.

On html by the way I accidentally mailed with rich text enabled. This is not 
html and as far as I'm aware not open to the same amount of abuse. ;-) Could 
even look at it as an improvement over straight text really. Yahoo have even 
added it to it's groups recently. They are a very spam conscious outfit. Spam 
increases the amount of traffic they have to handle.


*.desktop files are normally simply plain-text files in the *.ini format 
MS Windows 3 made famous, sections denoted by 

[titles in brackets]
key="value pairs"

# blank lines ignored but normally separating sections, etc.

# The traditional *ix extension: comments starting with a hash

In the context of *.desktop files, each key=value line describes a 
particular bit of information about the service in question, its type 
(executable, service, etc), title in various languages, short and long 
descriptions, representative icon, whether it should be displayed in all 
*.desktop spec compatible environments or only one (kde only, for 
instance), etc.

Do note that because a *.desktop file can describe something to be 
executed with an icon and description that can be crafted to deceive the 
unwary user, there are potential security implications with allowing them 
to be placed just anywhere by anything, and executed without restriction.  
As a result, more modern *.desktop spec compatible environments often 
place some restriction on the execution of *.desktop files located in 
standard places such as the desktop directory, especially if they're user-

The cooperative specification is managed by, which has the 
various versions available for viewing.

There are also tools available for verifying the format, etc. warning 
about missing quotes, semicolons, missing lines that should be found in a 
*.desktop file of a particular type, etc, and for managing installation of 
such files.  These tools are shipped in a package called 
"desktop-file-utils" or similar ("desktop-file-utils" is the name on 
Gentoo, which I use).

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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