[Pkg-electronics-devel] RFS: UPDATE: gwave 20090213-2

Peter Clifton pcjc2 at cam.ac.uk
Tue Nov 17 18:35:47 UTC 2009

On Tue, 2009-11-17 at 18:13 +0200, أحمد المحمودي wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 01:43:49PM +0000, Peter Clifton wrote:
> > On Tue, 2009-11-17 at 10:17 +0200, أحمد المحمودي wrote:
> > >     + Add Education;Science to categories.
> > > 
> >             ^___ Can we be consistent here (with other electronics
> > related apps), and keep it to:
> > 
> > Categories=Engineering;Electronics;
> I got a lintian issue, that's why I added those categories (the same is 
> done to pcb btw)

I should elaborate..

It took us a long while to settle on the categories we chose
"Engineering;Electronics;", they _are_ non-standard, but the categories
you have added (Education and Science) are completely inappropriate for
these serious engineering applications.


"When using categories it is recommended to include one of the following
categories: AudioVideo, Development, Education, Game, Graphics, Network,
Office, Settings, System, Utility."

(NOTE the "recommended")

I "think" I've seen it defined in some other place in stronger terms
than that, it is clear (to those in specialist fields) that the XDG
folks who defined the original list of categories were rather
short-sighted / unimaginative regarding the tasks a computer can be used

It would seem they couldn't see further than their own use-cases
(probably software development / desktop usage), and ignored the serious
(commercial / engineering) tasks that people besides computer
programmers and "desktop" users would need. Fair enough.. perhaps only
specialists in those fields would have the required knowledge to
classify such applications - but that is why they should have consulted
more widely when defining the spec.

In spite several attempts by myself, and others - the XDG haven't even
entered any discussion about the addition of further categories. I and
others would have liked to get further categories standardised - but we
never got replies to our requests for discussion.

By re-adding the broken categories at the request of a lintian warning,
we detract from the professionalism of the Debian + FOSS solution to
these problems. Believe me - people do notice, and have commented about
why their engineering apps end up lost under the "Education" category.

I can teach people about writing software.. does that mean all the
"Development" IDEs etc.. should be listed as "Education" software too?
It might be educational to browse the web.. perhaps firefox belongs in

Clearly the Education software is for CBT or other software designed to
teach specific things. Perhaps software intended to be used as part of a
school curriculum, yet serving no other more specific purpose it could
be categorised under. I think gcomrpris is an excellent example.

Let me re-itterate... Lintian should not drive us to make bad (software)
engineering decisions. 

As a PCB upstream developer, I would very much appreciate if Debian
could package PCB without adding the additional categories to
our .desktop file. When installed in conjunction with the
extra-xdg-menus package. (Or "electronics-menu" on ANY OTHER distro *),
it "just works".

*) Don't get me started about that.

I appreciate that we really need to get a new issue of the XDG spec
issued with some more categories, but the several attempts I know have
failed. I'm not going to spend my free time fighting for this, given
there is already a workable solution... ignore the warnings, and if
questioned - point out that it is just that.. a _warning_, and that we
have a solution (extra-xdg-menus) which render the warning non-critical.

With a revised XDG spec, we could get official blessing for the
categories, extra-xdg-menus (or electronics-menu) could go away, and
lintian updated to accept the new official categories.

In the mean time, we need to be pragmatic in producing the best
usability experience for people. I _don't_ want my menus cluttered with
"Education" entries, nor do our other technical users.

Rant over. (Sorry, I don't mean to offend - just I'm somewhat tired, and
this topic rather irritates me, since I thought at we had resolved the
issue a long while back).

Best wishes,

Peter C.

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