Gordon McMillan writes:
From the 10**3 foot view, yes, they have the concept. From any closer it falls apart miserably.
So they have the concept, just no implementation. ;) Sounds like leaving it up to the application to interpret their requirements is the right thing. Or the right thing is to provide a function to ask where configuration information should be stored for the user/application; this would be $HOME under Unix and <whatever> on Windows. The only other reason I can think of that $HOME is needed is for navigation purposes (as in a filesystem browser), and for that the application needs to deal with the lack of the concept in the operating system as appropriate.
(An cmd.exe "cd" w/o arg acts like "pwd". I notice that the bash shell requires you to set $HOME, and won't make any guesses.)
This very definately sounds like overloading $HOME is the wrong thing.