[Python-Dev] Python and the Linux Standard Base (LSB)

glyph at divmod.com glyph at divmod.com
Thu Nov 30 04:32:35 CET 2006

On 12:34 am, greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz wrote:

>The whole concept of "hidden" files seems ill-
>considered to me, anyway. It's too easy to forget
>that they're there. Putting infrequently-referenced
>stuff in a non-hidden location such as ~/local
>seems just as good and less magical to me.

Something like "~/.local" is an implementation detail, not something that should be exposed to non-savvy users.  It's easy enough for an expert to "show" it if they want to - "ln -s .local local" - but impossible for someone more naive to hide if they don't understand what it is or what it's for.  (And if they try, by clicking a checkbox in Nautilus or somesuch, *all* their installed software breaks.)  This approach doesn't really work unless you have good support from the OS, so it can warn you you're about to do something crazy.

UI designers tend to get adamant about this sort of thing, but I'll admit they go both ways, some saying that everything should be exposed to the user, some saying that all details should be hidden by default.  Still, in the more recent UNIX desktops, the "let's hide the things that the user shouldn't see and just work really hard to make them work right all the time" camp seems to be winning.
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