[fhs-discuss] games/ as a separate directory

Richard Hartmann richih.mailinglist at gmail.com
Thu May 5 01:27:13 PDT 2011

Hi all,

there is an ongoing discussion on the cross-desktop game packaging
list [1] about the need/sense of having special directories for games.
Debian uses them, Fedora does not, not sure about the rest, yet.

At the moment, we have two questions:

1) How is this to be interpreted?

> The following directories, or symbolic links to directories, must be
> in /usr/ share, if the corresponding subsystem is installed:
> games     Static data files for /usr/games (optional)

Possible interpretations include

a) "/usr/games is optional when games are installed"
b) "/usr/games must be created if there are any games installed"
c) "/usr/games must be created _and used_ if there are any games installed"

In any case, the wording of this section should probably be improved.

2) Is this section going to change? Some people within Debian don't
see the use of maintaining this separation (any more). While this
rationale makes sense:

>     Rationale: /var/games has been given a hierarchy of its own,
> rather than leaving it merged in with the old /var/lib as in release 1.2. The
> separation allows local control of backup strategies,
> permissions, and disk usage, as well as allowing inter-host sharing and reducing clutter
> in /var/ lib. Additionally, /var/games is the path traditionally used
> by BSD.

and while the other separate directories like dict/, doc/, etc clearly
point to factoring out non-essential stuff into different directories,
the actual selection seems arbitrary, at best. There is a nls/ for
native language support. Something I never even heard of and which
returns _zero_ results when searching all Debian packages. But there
is no media/ for mplayer, ffmpeg, etc. There is no wallpapers/ even
though it's a very well established directory. There is no X/, there
is no graphics/ for The GIMP, digicam, etc. I could continue this list
with more or less arbitrary names, but I think I made my point.

Long story short, this might need some work. What are your thoughts on this?


[1] http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/games/2011-May/000369.html

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