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Re: Defaults

From: Stefan Urbanek
Subject: Re: Defaults
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 22:47:30 -0400

On Mon, 2004-10-11 at 08:56 -0700, Alex Perez wrote:
> Stefan Urbanek wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > As I am moving from one computer to another I am experiencing some
> > inconveniences. Is there any reason why is GNUstep defaults database
> > hidden file? This prevents normal user with default file-manager
> > settings to move his defaults, as they are not visible.
> > 
> > Another thing is: it would be better to store defaults in one file per
> > domain - this will allow to copy defaults from one machine to other,
> > which is not quite possible now (it is not very easy and not doable by
> > standard user).
> Others have previously suggested one file per application, which is what 
> is done under OS X, AFAICT.
> > 
> > Also i would suggest to use Preferences, Settings or Configuration
> > directory name instead of 'Defaults', but that is not so important.
> Well, under OS X, Apple's decided to put the "global" per-user plist in 
> ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist, the GNUstep equivalent 
> is almost always ~/Library/Preferences . I think the "Defaults" name is 
> a poor naming choice because it is almost universally accepted what 
> "Preferences" means within the context of computer programs, but almost 
> no-one outside of a few next, apple, and GNUstep-heads know what our 
> definition of "defaults" is.

I agree. "defaults" is word with different meaning for non-openstep
flavoured systems users. Preferences is more suitable as it describes
what the file contains. Moreover I think that "defaults " is a leftover
from times where one was using --switches for applications. It is no
more only for --switches.

> I propose that ~/GNUstep/Defaults be moved to 
> ~/GNUstep/Library/Preferences. Stefan, based on what you've said, I 
> think you'd think this was a good idea, but I don't know how other 
> GNUstep core developers feel (besides the below-mentioned Alexander M.)

I agree.

> > What do you say?
> I think this is a good idea, and I've suggested it in #GNUstep before 
> and Alexander Malmberg immediately opposed the idea. I think his 
> reasoning was a technical one that said, essentially, "Preferences is 
> the wrong term" which, like so many of Alexm's arguments, while it may 
> be technically correct, completely ignores the fact that more people 
> know what "Preferences" means than the crappily-named "Defaults".

There are two languages and allways be two languages: developer's
language and user's language. As any other language those two can have
same words with different meanings or same things with different names.
Preferences is definitely better word from user's language than

Stefan Urbanek

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