Packages with menu file but no .desktop file

Emmet Hikory emmet.hikory at
Thu Sep 20 09:43:22 BST 2007

Eric Schwartz wrote:
> The other day, a co-worker complained that when he installed tuxkart, he
> got a menu entry, but when he installed atanks, he didn't.  A bit of
> research showed the reason was that atanks had a menu file, but not a
> .desktop file, and ubuntu doesn't include the menu package by default.
> So, okay, no big deal; most packages have both menu and desktop files,
> but a surprisingly large number don't.
> A quick script later, I have a list of packages that have menu files,
> but not desktop files.  There's 2909 of them total; 403 in main, 109 in
> multiverse, and 2397 in universe.  I've attached the broken-out files.

    Some of the prior effort to address this issue (which is indeed
too large for a mass-bug-filing, unless you include patches for
everything) is documented on the wiki[1], including a script to
generate a similar list, a script to auto-generate .desktop files from
menu files (badly), and a list of packages for which humans have
previously determined that a .desktop file is inappropriate despite
the presence of a menu file.

    In general, it is much preferable to get the .desktop files
upstream, as the standard mechanisms by which they are included at the
distribution level are not well compatible with the current
translation mechanisms, and may be jarring in some locales.  There is
an outstanding spec [2] to help with this, but this requires
significant changes to rosetta, and is not likely to be implemented

    Anyone who would like to help is welcome: if there is no current
.desktop file in the package, and one can be found upstream, in other
distribution, or created, and the program benefits from a menu entry
(GUI interface, performs acceptably when launched without command-line
options (or a standard default set), etc.), please submit relative
patches (translated as widely as possible) to the bugtracker (although
bugs without .desktop files provide little value).  To reduce the
impact on translation efforts, and reduce the likelihood of duplicate
work, please also submit upstream patches (which are often welcome).



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