Is it to change the categories order in the Search and Launch activity?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Tue Sep 4 05:26:23 BST 2012

Franklin Weng posted on Tue, 04 Sep 2012 09:26:01 +0800 as excerpted:

> It may be ordered by alphabetical order, or say, in unicode?  For other
> languages like Chinese it seems to have an order too.

I'd guess the specific order would be that of whatever locale you're 
running.  Some problematic locales order things somewhat strangely, 
creating various problems in all sorts of stuff including buildscripts, 
etc, that have assumed POSIX normal (basically ascii) "sane" ordering.

> To find out the solution, I tried to edit the plasma init scripts to
> create an SaL activity and assigned the categories I wanted to show in
> EnabledEntries options, with the order I want.  However, when creating a
> user and a whole new kde plasma-desktop-appletsrc file, the
> EnabledEntries was written into it but the categories shown in the
> desktop were still the very default ones - bookmarks, contacts, and some
> other categories.  I just can't understand why.

I didn't understand all you wrote (plasma initscripts? you mean plasma's 
config files?  initscripts normally refers to something rather more low 
level than kde and plasma, system services such as fscking and mounting 
filesystems, etc, so I'm not sure...), but...

1) You may have been hit with the "user only" settings I mentioned, but 
it does sound like you tried to work around that...

2) There are two ways that normally work to setup system level defaults:

2a) The kde system level settings are normally found under /usr/share 
(but it's distribution specific, your distro may have them elsewhere), 
with the same layout as the ~/.kde/share/ dir.  So to setup a system kde 
config that's identical to a single user's config, in general, you simply 
copy/move the files to the corresponding location under /usr/share/ (and 
change the ownership and permissions appropriately, of course).  Do note, 
however, that depending on how your distro handles updates, they may 
overwrite any changed files without warning.

(On gentoo there's a CONFIG_PROTECT variable that can be set; anything 
listed there doesn't get replaced directly, but instead there's a number 
of config-updating applets that an admin can choose, that will diff the 
old and new configs, and let an admin keep or reject each update line by 
line if desired.  So on gentoo, an admin would simply ensure that /usr/
share is in CONFIG_PROTECT, and he'd then be prompted to run his config-
updater of choice if any of those files would have otherwise been 

2b) The traditional Unix "new user skeleton" location is /etc/skel/.  
Anything placed in there should be copied to any newly created user's 
homedir, so placing files in the appropriate /etc/skel/.kde/share/* 
location will normally cause that bit of configuration to "magically" be 
applied to any new users.


3) Apparently there's some sort of "new user defaults" mechanism in kde.  
I haven't figured out where the trigger for it is stored, thus allowing a 
user to keep the same settings once setup, but wherever it is, if this 
bit of user config isn't found, kde considers the user to be a new user 
and sets some things to default regardless of what the user config file 
says.  So the 2b method doesn't work for those things.  I've forgotten 
what it was tho I think it was plasma related, but another poster already 
ran into that.  I was hoping they'd find and post the trigger location, 
so I could tell others what specific file or file section needed to be in 
place to prevent plasma returning to defaults, but they didn't, and I've 
not looked into it further myself, either.

But the 2a method, making it a system global kde setting, should still 

> BTW, in the EnabledEntries option, some categories used desktop file
> like plasma-sal-office.desktop and some used a name I assigned in my XDG
> menus file like SoundVideo/ .  Why didn't it just honor the categories
> defined in the applications menu file like in
> /etc/xdg/menus and the customized menu files in the home directory, but
> used another desktop instead?  I can't find any document describing the
> behavior here...

That's xdg-standard ( standard) behavior.  The menu files 
are either kde specific or a different xdg standard, but *.desktop files 
are the standard way to ship application-specific menu entries.  If your 
distro layout is standard, you'll probably find many *.desktop files in 
/usr/share/applications, for instance.  X-based apps will normally drop 
their desktop files in here when they're installed, and remove them when 
they're uninstalled.  As I understand it, the /etc/xdg/menu files have 
some formatting information, etc, but the *.desktop files contain the 
actual application menu entries, and if there's a mismatch between the 
*.menu files and the *.desktop files, you get the problematic "menu 
leakage" that mentioned as one of the down sides, in my previous post.

That "leakage" can be fixed if you're willing to put in the time to 
figure out how it works and keep up with it, but it's a continual hassle 
since every new app with its own menu entry you install, there's a chance 
it doesn't match and will either get put in lost and found, or will 
recreate a category you thought you were rid of.

That's exactly why I eventually decided it wasn't worth the effort, and 
now keep an (almost, I think I've one or two customizations on individual 
entries, no category customization) standard menu.  But as I said, that 
was easier since I don't normally use the menu anyway, preferring my 
hotkey launcher scripts or typing the name directly in the run dialog (or 
konsole).  If I regularly used the applications menu, either in SaL or in 
kickoff (or lancelot or classic menu or...), I'd almost certainly still 
be a heavy menu customizer.

BTW, in kde at least, *.desktop files are also used for a number of other 
things.  See /usr/share/kde4/services, for example.

(Tangentially related but rather off topic:  Based on your mention of 
Chinese and your name, I can now guess that's what you're working with.  
But your English is good enough I didn't think of it, originally.

Meanwhile, one of my subscribed site feeds is to Language Log, which 
carries the blogs of several Linguists, including Victor Mair, an 
apparently world renowned Chinese specialist whose posts often deal with 
Chinese character history, etc, along with the more mundane but often 
quite funny translation errors on signs, etc.  But LL is also a great 
site to find commentary on the origin of English idioms like "toe the 
line" (which I was originally SURE was "tow the line"... until I clicked 
the link on the claim otherwise, and discovered Language Log!), and on 
"snowclones" (cliche of the "Eskimos have N words for snow" variety), 
etc, pretty much anything language related.

Recently, I was reading a LL entry on Chinese characters, and came across 
a comment made as an aside, that was an entirely new thought to me!  
Chinese uses word-characters and I guess doesn't define a specific 
alphabetical order; how are their dictionaries ordered?  The comment 
mentioned that the various dictionaries use various ordering by radical, 
but that there's several such organization schemes, not a single 
"alphabetical order" as in western languages.  (Of course pinyin is 
common enough now, in fact so common that people are forgetting how to 
write by hand, that it's often used for phone/computer dictionary 
ordering, based on another post.)  That's reasonable, but WOW, the whole 
idea of NOT having an alphabetical order!  THAT was new to me!

I guess that applies here, but had I not recently come across those LL 
entries, I'd have had little clue what you were talking about.  (I was 
familiar with a few locale-ordering-related build-failure bugs as 
occasionally reported for a couple of East European locales on gentoo 
bugzilla, gentoo being my distro of choice, but it simply hadn't occurred 
to me that some languages, particularly word-character-based, just don't 
/have/ an alphabetic order, until I read these entries.)

FWIW (and .net and .com) are easier to remember 

May you (and other readers) find the site as interesting and thought 
provoking as I have. =:^)

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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