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Keywords in .desktop promises better App discovery in GS!

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_Keywords in .desktop Files

Gnome Shell search uses the Name field of desktop files to match search strings against; It also used the Description and Comment fields for this, but the results were sometimes problematic, and thus Gnome devs stopped doing this.

Instead, a Keywords field has been added to the desktop entry specification, and use that in addition to the Name field. The field is translatable, which means that other languages can have their own set of keywords, as necessary.

The paradox is that the majority of Gnome Apps don’t make use of this field (just some of them, documents, baoab etc) but Matthias Clasen add this as a **proposal** for a Gnome Goal. This is something that many users require (and IMO is a critical bug) and I guess it will be done in 3.8 as implementation is trivial. Besides i18n support was one of the main Goals of Gnome since the day one.

i18n Tip

The terms are frequently abbreviated to the numeronyms i18n (where 18 stands for the number of letters between the first i and last n in internationalization, a usage coined at DEC in the 1970s or 80s) and L10n respectively, due to the length of the words. The capital L in L10n helps to distinguish it from the lowercase i in i18n.
Source: Wikipedia


Matthias added today a keyword in Nautilus 3.8 Git (and Gnome Terminal) and .desktop file now looks like this:

[Desktop Entry]
_Comment=Access and organize files
Exec=nautilus %U

That means we now can discover Nautilus in Apps Overview by typing for example “explore”. I know it is not a big deal, but it is “big deal” :)

Opening USC by typing “justinbieber” how useful is this? I should had screen it with another language layout, but anyway I thought of it too late, so lets suppose it works :)

By the way another Major Bug here, GS hides the name of Applications (and description) and makes hard to understand what each App is. This bug is confirmed since the beginning but not solved :)

.desktop Files

At the moment Alacarte doesn’t support Keywords.

If for some reason you want to specify a Keyword for an App (similar to above Nautilus example) you will find the .desktop files of each app:





user session


Of course you can override the system-wide Desktop Entry Specification by copying (and modifying) the files from “/usr/share/applications” to “~/.local/share/applications”.

If you develop a Gnome App, just make use of this field :)

Read more [at] Desktop Entry Specification (Free Desktop) && Desktop File Keywords (Gnome Live!)

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