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bug#583: Use XDG basedir spec for configuration files?

From: Štěpán Němec
Subject: bug#583: Use XDG basedir spec for configuration files?
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2019 10:42:26 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Wed, 28 Aug 2019 23:22:35 -0700
Paul Eggert wrote:

> If ELPA packages are just local copies from a server somewhere, it
> seems the most plausible place for them is the XDG cache
> (XDG_CACHE_HOME, which is ~/.cache by default) rather than either in
> "data" or "configuration"; only the list of downloaded packages should
> be placed in XDG_CONFIG_HOME. Presumably the ELPA package manager
> could arrange for this.

XDG_CACHE_HOME is for "non-essential data files" (quoting the spec).
Some people put it on tmpfs, so it is deleted on system restart.

> Not being an expert in these matters, I looked at another popular
> packaging scheme: Flatpak. It appears to put everything under
> ~/.local/share, i.e., under XDG_DATA_HOME. This includes
> configuration. See
> <https://github.com/flatpak/flatpak/wiki/Filesystem>.

Some programs (notably Python[1]) use ~/.local/lib/, which makes sense,
but is not part of the XDG spec.

> It's quite a mess, huh?

It is.

[1] https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0370/


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