Re: Lost Desktop Icons in F11 [Partially Solved]

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On Sat, 2009-08-15 at 10:31 +0100, Anne Wilson wrote:
> On Saturday 15 August 2009 05:23:59 Steven F. LeBrun wrote:
> > After obtaining a list of the hidden directories used by gnome, I was
> > able to rename existing directories, log out, log back in and see if the
> > desktop icons were displayed.  Through a series of trials and errors,
> > the problem was in my old ~/.local/share/applications directory.  My old
> > version contained 395 entries and the new one contained 2.
> >
> > What is not solved is exactly which of the 394 files is the problem.  
> > Almost all the files in the broken directory are desktop configuration
> > files along with a couple of list (text) files.   I did copy the wine
> > subdirectory from my broken applications directory to the working one
> > without a problem while resolving missing wine applications that were
> > installed.
> 
> General tip for handling this kind of thing -
> 
> 1) copy your existing ~/.local/share/applications directory to something like 
> ~/.local/share/applications_sav
> 
> 2) restore one directory from the broken directory
> 
> 3) if there are problems, you have identified the source.  Copy 
> ~/.local/share/applications_sav back to ~/.local/share/applications
> 
> 3_sub) create the directory that you wanted to copy back and restore essential 
> files from it, one at a time, until it breaks.  Now you have the real culprit, 
> and must recreate that one from scratch.
> 
> 4) repeat as necessary - don't forget to start from 1) so that you always have 
> the partially restored and still working version.
> 
> Slow, yes, but you will get back most of what you had.  Making a guess at your 
> applications most likely to have been in use when the problem occurred would 
> be a good starting place.  Identifying the problem(s) at the beginning of the 
> process is less nerve-wracking than getting a long way and still being unsure. 
> :-)

Alternatively, use a binary search (divide the candidates into two
disjoint subsets, test one, then the other, reject the good one,
subdivide the bad into two subsets and repeat recursively, see Search
Algorithms 101). Requires careful bookkeeping but is potentially a lot
faster.

Also useful for finding broken extensions in Firefox :-)

poc

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