Launcher items removed when .desktop file disappears for running sessions

Bug #1061715 reported by dobey on 2012-10-04
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

In Ubuntu Quantal 12.10, it seems that unity now monitors the .desktop files in the launcher, and when they are removed from disk, immediately removes them from the setting for the favorites list. This is very bad behavior, and can result in items disappearing when they should not, such as during a distribution upgrade. For example, the ubuntuone-installer.desktop file was moved to a different source/binary package, and ubuntuone-installer itself is no more, so during upgrade the currently logged in user will have the Ubuntu One launcher removed from their launcher side panel.

This is also very annoying for users who pin things to the launcher, and perhaps through debugging an issue, will have the icon removed if they remove and re-install the package as an attempt to fix a problem. The user will then have to find the thing they pinned to the launcher, pin it again, and re-arrange to the previous setting.

The application should not be removed from the favorites setting automatically, but rather perhaps simply hidden from view on the launcher itself, so that when the application is re-installed, it shows up in the correct place again.

Bilal Akhtar (bilalakhtar) wrote :

I can confirm that deleting or renaming a desktop file permanently removes it from the launcher. Marking needs-design so that a decision about what should happen can be taken.

tags: added: needs-design
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Changed in unity:
status: New → Incomplete
Bilal Akhtar (bilalakhtar) wrote :

I had originally only checked by changing the file name of the desktop file back to what it was originally, and noticed that it didn't bring it back. But after a reboot, the desktop file is back.

So the launcher icon for the file doesn't get removed permanently upon rename/deletion, but only for that particular session. Unity checks if it exists on every login, and if the desktop file becomes available again, it displays it.

Not sure what the correct fix should be (track if the file gets re-added? Or permanently remove it?) Leaving that to the design team, even though this issue falls right on the dividing line between a technical and design bug.

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