The XDG Menu Standard Parsers in KDE and Gnome

The XDG Menu parser in KDE is, in at least one respect, much more forgiving, than the one in Gnome.

Given an example menu file:


..KDE will happily use it as a Directory file, i.e. a file which describes a submenu rather than an application, even though the file is incorrectly named, and even though the filenames inside <Directory> tags are supposed to be relative according to the standard.

Gnome 2.10 on the other hand, will freeze in a 99% CPU-consuming endless loop. 2.12 behaves better, but still won’t use the desktop file, instead showing the YYXXZZ, i.e. the name in the <Name> tag, as name of the menu.

If the desktop file is given as a Relative Path, and has a name that ends in .directory, and has a Type=Directory line, then it is used by Gnome.

KDE is, in this case, better at following Postel’s Law - “be liberal in what you accept and conservative in what you put out”.

My Job is varied. Today I was reading the source code of Gnome. Last week, I was reading the source code of KDE. Personally, I run neither, but just a plain Sawfish.

Written on January 7, 2006