This chapter describes conventions that GConf clients should obey, though the library does not enforce them.
When choosing GConf keys, you should follow these conventions.
Schemas should go under the /schemas toplevel directory. Under /schemas, the normal GConf namespace should be mirrored. So, if you have a key /foo/bar/baz, the schema for that key should be at /schemas/foo/bar/baz. If you apply the same schema to multiple keys, then obviously the schema name will have to differ from the key names; but you should mirror as much of the key names as possible. For example, /foo/bar/baz and /foo/bar/boo might have the schema /schemas/foo/bar/baz_and_boo.
The GNOME libraries may store preferences for GNOME apps under the /apps/gnome-settings/appname directory. appname will be replaced with the name of your app, as passed in to gnome_init() (perhaps canonicalized to be a legal GConf key). You should not put your own settings in this directory, because you may get notifications when gnome-libs keys change and gnome-libs may get notifications when your keys change. This would be confusing.
Preferences for applications should go under an /apps/appname directory. Try to make appname match the one passed to gnome_init(), also used in the /apps/gnome-settings/appname directory. Vendors are encouraged to include their vendor name in appname, to avoid namespace clashes.
Preferences for the desktop environment should go under /desktop. None should be immediately under /desktop, however. GNOME-specific preferences should be under /desktop/gnome. Settings standardized among multiple desktops should go under /desktop/standard. Other specific desktops should select a directory to use (/desktop/kde, /desktop/xfce, etc.)
System-level preferences (such as the host name, though I'm sure that specific example will never be in GConf) should go under /system. None should be immediately under /system, however; select a descriptive subdirectory.
In general, keys under /system and /desktop are for use by multiple applications, and keys under /apps/appname are for use by a single application.
If you have a "weird" key that doesn't fit into any of the above categories, please mail me (<email@example.com>) and ask for a new directory to be invented. Alternatively, place your key under the /extra toplevel directory.
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