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Subject: Re: [boost] [filesystem] home_directory_path
From: Stewart, Robert (Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-10-20 07:40:34

Chad Nelson wrote:
> "Stewart, Robert" <Robert.Stewart_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> > Christian Holmquist wrote:
> >>
> > Given that My Documents is nothing more than a common
> > directory into or under which to deposit all user-produced
> > content, it's only special in that Microsoft thought Windows
> > users were too silly to decide for themselves where and how
> > to organize their files. [...]
> Having seen how many (non-technical) people just dump all their
> files on their computer's desktop, I'm afraid I have to side
> with Microsoft on that one. :-)

I know, there are a great many such people. Yes, I think Microsoft was right to do that for their general population, but Filesystem cannot choose similarly for all clients.

> > Given that there is no specific My Documents equivalent on
> > POSIX systems and no specific home directory on Windows,
> > perhaps the better approach is to have calls for those throw
> > an exception unless the application first defines their
> > location. [...]
> You said yourself, above, that My Documents on Windows is
> intended to be the repository of user-generated content. (As
> opposed to the "USERPROFILE" directory, which is presumably for
> program-generated files such as configuration files.) On *NIX
> systems, the user's home directory, or more often a
> user-selected subdirectory of it, serves the same purpose. So
> as Bjørn Roald said in another reply, why not just return the
> user's home directory for the document path?

Anything close to an equivalent on POSIX systems is likely to be a user-selected subdirectory of the user's home directory, so choosing the home directory is wrong. Indeed, the home directory should have little but subdirectories and "dot files," just as a Windows system's C:\ should have little more than subdirectories, choosing the home directory as the default location to dump documents is wrongheaded.

Rob Stewart robert.stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer, Core Software using std::disclaimer;
Susquehanna International Group, LLP

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