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Application Icons in the Package Selector

February 4th, 2009 by

Desktop files contain a lot of information about KDE/Gnome/X11 applications (e.g. names, icons).

Displaying this data in the package selector allows to provide a more detailed package description. The user can easily see which applications are included in an installed package.

Running these applications via mouse click is technically possible, but unfortunately security concerns don’t allow it. Please let me know if you have an idea how to solve this issue.

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9 Responses to “Application Icons in the Package Selector”

  1. tom

    Can we get rid of this
    “the level of support is unspecified”
    line in each package?

    • Thomas Goettlicher

      As far as I know this text makes sense on SLES/SLED. Perhaps we can hide it on openSUSE.

  2. Benjamin Weber

    Where are you getting the application information from? Afaik rpm-md doesn’t contain it. Or is this only for installed packages?

    It would be nice to automatically obtain the icons for applications on software portal too.

    • Thomas Goettlicher

      Thanks for you comment. The package selector searches in the package’s file list for .desktop files and retrieves the Name and Icon attributes. That’s the reason why it only works for installed packages.

  3. TheBlackCat

    What if you had yast create a special, low permission user specifically for this purpose, and run the applications as that user?

    • Thomas Goettlicher

      I guess some users might be confused when they use an application and save data but can’t find it again afterwards. Think of someone who starts a word processor from the package selector and writes his doctor theses, saves the document and closes the application. If he starts searches for the document he cannot find it because it belongs a different user.

  4. Thomas Goettlicher

    I want to explain some technical details:

    The package selector uses .desktop files for this feature. It searches the file list for .desktop files and extracts the Name and Icon attributes. It translates the name to the user’s language and searches for the appropriate icons.

    The .desktop file contains an Exec attribute as well. Therefore the package selector knows the binary to run. I think it would be nice to start the application when the user clicks the icon. Technically it is possible to find out whom the display belongs and to run the application via sudo. Unfortunately security concerns forbid such ugly and insecure constructions.

  5. ms

    RPM defines an “Icon:” tag, it was used to store either a XPM or GIF. Might be an idea to revive it… One could even cache them along the repometadata.

  6. andrew

    This is an excellent idea from a users perspective and gives another level of polish to YAST installer. Keep up the good work.