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bug#39646: GNOME desktop experience regressions

From: Andy Wingo
Subject: bug#39646: GNOME desktop experience regressions
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2020 17:21:20 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)

Hello all,

In January I upgraded my machine after a long time not doing so.  Mostly
things went fine, which is great!  Some things didn't, though, so I
started looking.

One is that if I Alt-F2 and then run "~/Documents", I expect Nautilus to
open the folder.  Instead Baobab does.  This is because GNOME has
multiple applications are registered for the directory mime type, but
doesn't express a preference between them: it leaves this to the

That is the reason for the gnome-default-applications package, which
used to be installed as part of (service gnome-desktop-service-type).
However that is no longer the case; since
a8cda7f57992e9ce9ae4a694eba54e3eab42c39b, the "gnome" meta-package,
which is installed by the GNOME desktop, no longer includes this

That led me to look and I think there are a number of other regressions:

  * pinentry-gnome3 is no longer included; this breaks use of GPG and

  * font-cantarell and font-dejavu are no longer included; probably not
    a good idea?

  * xdg-user-dirs is no longer included, which means that fresh installs
    likely no longer create the ~/Documents directories as they should;
    see c20cd0d24d9b5e8a47b864db9799e0992ffd44b9

  * I suspect that the removal of gnome-themes-standard and
    hicolor-icon-theme may also pose some problems but am not sure.

  * Likewise Guix users of the GNOME desktop service will probably want
    pulseaudio and zenity.

Now, I understand wanting the "GNOME" package to reflect exactly what
upstream says is part of GNOME.  Great.  But the desktop is a separate
thing.  Perhaps what we did before was an error in conflating the gnome
meta-package with the desktop; should we define a different metapackage
or package list for the GNOME desktop service?



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