Version: 3.1.0
wxStandardPaths Class Reference

#include <wx/stdpaths.h>

Detailed Description

wxStandardPaths returns the standard locations in the file system and should be used by applications to find their data files in a portable way.

Note that you must not create objects of class wxStandardPaths directly, but use the global standard paths object returned by wxStandardPaths::Get() (which can be of a type derived from wxStandardPaths and not of exactly this type) and call the methods you need on it. The object returned by Get() may be customized by overriding wxAppTraits::GetStandardPaths() methods.

In the description of the methods below, the example return values are given for the Unix, Windows and Mac OS X systems, however please note that these are just the examples and the actual values may differ. For example, under Windows: the system administrator may change the standard directories locations, e.g. the Windows directory may be named "W:\Win2003" instead of the default "C:\Windows".

Notice that in the examples below the string appinfo may be either just the application name (as returned by wxApp::GetAppName()) or a combination of the vendor name (wxApp::GetVendorName()) and the application name, with a path separator between them. By default, only the application name is used, use UseAppInfo() to change this.

The other placeholders should be self-explanatory: the string username should be replaced with the value the name of the currently logged in user. and prefix is only used under Unix and is /usr/local by default but may be changed using wxStandardPaths::SetInstallPrefix().

The directories returned by the methods of this class may or may not exist. If they don't exist, it's up to the caller to create them, wxStandardPaths doesn't do it.

Finally note that these functions only work with standardly packaged applications. I.e. under Unix you should follow the standard installation conventions and under Mac you should create your application bundle according to the Apple guidelines. Again, this class doesn't help you to do it.

This class is MT-safe: its methods may be called concurrently from different threads without additional locking.

Library:  wxBase
Category:  File Handling
See also
wxFileConfig

Public Types

enum  ResourceCat {
  ResourceCat_None,
  ResourceCat_Messages
}
 Possible values for category parameter of GetLocalizedResourcesDir(). More...
 

Public Member Functions

void DontIgnoreAppSubDir ()
 MSW-specific function undoing the effect of IgnoreAppSubDir() calls. More...
 
virtual wxString GetAppDocumentsDir () const
 Return the directory for the document files used by this application. More...
 
virtual wxString GetConfigDir () const
 Return the directory containing the system config files. More...
 
virtual wxString GetDataDir () const
 Return the location of the applications global, i.e. not user-specific, data files. More...
 
virtual wxString GetDocumentsDir () const
 Return the directory containing the current user's documents. More...
 
virtual wxString GetExecutablePath () const
 Return the directory and the filename for the current executable. More...
 
wxString GetInstallPrefix () const
 Return the program installation prefix, e.g. /usr, /opt or /home/zeitlin. More...
 
virtual wxString GetLocalDataDir () const
 Return the location for application data files which are host-specific and can't, or shouldn't, be shared with the other machines. More...
 
virtual wxString GetLocalizedResourcesDir (const wxString &lang, ResourceCat category=ResourceCat_None) const
 Return the localized resources directory containing the resource files of the specified category for the given language. More...
 
virtual wxString GetPluginsDir () const
 Return the directory where the loadable modules (plugins) live. More...
 
virtual wxString GetResourcesDir () const
 Return the directory where the application resource files are located. More...
 
virtual wxString GetTempDir () const
 Return the directory for storing temporary files. More...
 
virtual wxString GetUserConfigDir () const
 Return the directory for the user config files: More...
 
virtual wxString GetUserDataDir () const
 Return the directory for the user-dependent application data files: More...
 
virtual wxString GetUserLocalDataDir () const
 Return the directory for user data files which shouldn't be shared with the other machines. More...
 
void IgnoreAppSubDir (const wxString &subdirPattern)
 MSW-specific function to customize application directory detection. More...
 
void IgnoreAppBuildSubDirs ()
 MSW-specific function to ignore all common build directories. More...
 
void SetInstallPrefix (const wxString &prefix)
 Lets wxStandardPaths know about the real program installation prefix on a Unix system. More...
 
void UseAppInfo (int info)
 Controls what application information is used when constructing paths that should be unique to this program, such as the application data directory, the plugins directory on Unix, etc. More...
 

Static Public Member Functions

static wxStandardPathsGet ()
 Returns reference to the unique global standard paths object. More...
 
static wxString MSWGetShellDir (int csidl)
 Returns location of Windows shell special folder. More...
 

Protected Member Functions

 wxStandardPaths ()
 Protected default constructor. More...
 

Member Enumeration Documentation

Possible values for category parameter of GetLocalizedResourcesDir().

Enumerator
ResourceCat_None 

No special category, this is the default.

ResourceCat_Messages 

Message catalog resources category.

Constructor & Destructor Documentation

wxStandardPaths::wxStandardPaths ( )
protected

Protected default constructor.

This constructor is protected in order to prevent creation of objects of this class as Get() should be used instead to access the unique global wxStandardPaths object of the correct type.

Member Function Documentation

void wxStandardPaths::DontIgnoreAppSubDir ( )

MSW-specific function undoing the effect of IgnoreAppSubDir() calls.

After a call to this function the program directory will be exactly the directory containing the main application binary, i.e. it undoes the effect of any previous IgnoreAppSubDir() calls including the ones done indirectly by IgnoreAppBuildSubDirs() called from the class constructor.

Since
2.9.1
static wxStandardPaths& wxStandardPaths::Get ( )
static

Returns reference to the unique global standard paths object.

virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetAppDocumentsDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory for the document files used by this application.

If the application-specific directory doesn't exist, this function returns GetDocumentsDir().

Example return values:

  • Unix: ~/appinfo
  • Windows: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\appinfo"
  • Mac: ~/Documents/appinfo
Since
2.9.0
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetConfigDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory containing the system config files.

Example return values:

  • Unix: /etc
  • Windows: "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data"
  • Mac: /Library/Preferences
See also
wxFileConfig
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetDataDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the location of the applications global, i.e. not user-specific, data files.

Example return values:

  • Unix: prefix/share/appinfo
  • Windows: the directory where the executable file is located
  • Mac: appinfo.app/Contents/SharedSupport bundle subdirectory

Under Unix (only) it is possible to override the default value returned from this function by setting the value of WX_APPNAME_DATA_DIR environment variable to the directory to use (where APPNAME is the upper-cased value of wxApp::GetAppName()). This is useful in order to be able to run applications using this function without installing them as you can simply set this environment variable to the source directory location to allow the application to find its files there.

See also
GetLocalDataDir()
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetDocumentsDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory containing the current user's documents.

Example return values:

  • Unix: ~ (the home directory)
  • Windows: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents"
  • Mac: ~/Documents
Since
2.7.0
See also
GetAppDocumentsDir()
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetExecutablePath ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory and the filename for the current executable.

Example return values:

  • Unix: /usr/local/bin/exename
  • Windows: "C:\Programs\AppFolder\exename.exe"
  • Mac: /Applications/exename.app/Contents/MacOS/exename
wxString wxStandardPaths::GetInstallPrefix ( ) const

Return the program installation prefix, e.g. /usr, /opt or /home/zeitlin.

If the prefix had been previously by SetInstallPrefix(), returns that value, otherwise tries to determine it automatically (Linux only right now) and finally returns the default /usr/local value if it failed.

Note
This function is only available under Unix platforms (but not limited to wxGTK mentioned below).
Availability:  only available for the wxGTK port.
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetLocalDataDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the location for application data files which are host-specific and can't, or shouldn't, be shared with the other machines.

This is the same as GetDataDir() except under Unix where it returns /etc/appinfo.

virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetLocalizedResourcesDir ( const wxString lang,
ResourceCat  category = ResourceCat_None 
) const
virtual

Return the localized resources directory containing the resource files of the specified category for the given language.

In general this is just the same as lang subdirectory of GetResourcesDir() (or lang.lproj under Mac OS X) but is something quite different for message catalog category under Unix where it returns the standard prefix/share/locale/lang/LC_MESSAGES directory.

Since
2.7.0
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetPluginsDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory where the loadable modules (plugins) live.

Example return values:

  • Unix: prefix/lib/appinfo
  • Windows: the directory of the executable file
  • Mac: appinfo.app/Contents/PlugIns bundle subdirectory
See also
wxDynamicLibrary
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetResourcesDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory where the application resource files are located.

The resources are the auxiliary data files needed for the application to run and include, for example, image and sound files it might use.

This function is the same as GetDataDir() for all platforms except Mac OS X. Example return values:

  • Unix: prefix/share/appinfo
  • Windows: the directory where the executable file is located
  • Mac: appinfo.app/Contents/Resources bundle subdirectory
Since
2.7.0
See also
GetLocalizedResourcesDir()
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetTempDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory for storing temporary files.

To create unique temporary files, it is best to use wxFileName::CreateTempFileName for correct behaviour when multiple processes are attempting to create temporary files.

Since
2.7.2
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetUserConfigDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory for the user config files:

  • Unix: ~ (the home directory)
  • Windows: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data"
  • Mac: ~/Library/Preferences

Only use this method if you have a single configuration file to put in this directory, otherwise GetUserDataDir() is more appropriate as the latter adds appinfo to the path, unlike this function.

virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetUserDataDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory for the user-dependent application data files:

  • Unix: ~/.appinfo
  • Windows: "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\appinfo"
  • Mac: "~/Library/Application Support/appinfo"
virtual wxString wxStandardPaths::GetUserLocalDataDir ( ) const
virtual

Return the directory for user data files which shouldn't be shared with the other machines.

This is the same as GetUserDataDir() for all platforms except Windows where it returns "C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\appinfo"

void wxStandardPaths::IgnoreAppBuildSubDirs ( )

MSW-specific function to ignore all common build directories.

This function calls IgnoreAppSubDir() with all common values for build directory, e.g. "debug" and "release".

It is called by the class constructor and so the build directories are always ignored by default. You may use DontIgnoreAppSubDir() to avoid ignoring them if this is inappropriate for your application.

Since
2.9.1
void wxStandardPaths::IgnoreAppSubDir ( const wxString subdirPattern)

MSW-specific function to customize application directory detection.

This class supposes that data, plugins &c files are located under the program directory which is the directory containing the application binary itself. But sometimes this binary may be in a subdirectory of the main program directory, e.g. this happens in at least the following common cases:

  • The program is in "bin" subdirectory of the installation directory.
  • The program is in "debug" subdirectory of the directory containing sources and data files during development

By calling this function you instruct the class to remove the last component of the path if it matches its argument. Notice that it may be called more than once, e.g. you can call both IgnoreAppSubDir("bin") and IgnoreAppSubDir("debug") to take care of both production and development cases above but that each call will only remove the last path component. Finally note that the argument can contain wild cards so you can also call IgnoreAppSubDir("vc*msw*") to ignore all build directories at once when using wxWidgets-inspired output directories names.

Since
2.9.1
See also
IgnoreAppBuildSubDirs()
Parameters
subdirPatternThe subdirectory containing the application binary which should be ignored when determining the top application directory. The pattern is case-insensitive and may contain wild card characters '?' and '*'.
static wxString wxStandardPaths::MSWGetShellDir ( int  csidl)
static

Returns location of Windows shell special folder.

This function is, by definition, MSW-specific. It can be used to access pre-defined shell directories not covered by the existing methods of this class, e.g.:

#ifdef __WXMSW__
// get the location of files waiting to be burned on a CD
wxString cdburnArea =
wxStandardPaths::MSWGetShellDir(CSIDL_CDBURN_AREA);
#endif // __WXMSW__
Parameters
csidl
Since
2.9.1
void wxStandardPaths::SetInstallPrefix ( const wxString prefix)

Lets wxStandardPaths know about the real program installation prefix on a Unix system.

By default, the value returned by GetInstallPrefix() is used.

Although under Linux systems the program prefix may usually be determined automatically, portable programs should call this function. Usually the prefix is set during program configuration if using GNU autotools and so it is enough to pass its value defined in config.h to this function.

Note
This function is only available under Unix platforms (but not limited to wxGTK mentioned below).
Availability:  only available for the wxGTK port.
void wxStandardPaths::UseAppInfo ( int  info)

Controls what application information is used when constructing paths that should be unique to this program, such as the application data directory, the plugins directory on Unix, etc.

Valid values for info are:

  • AppInfo_None: don't use neither application nor vendor name in the paths.
  • AppInfo_AppName: use the application name in the paths.
  • AppInfo_VendorName: use the vendor name in the paths, usually used combined with AppInfo_AppName, i.e. as
    AppInfo_AppName |
    AppInfo_VendorName

By default, only the application name is used.

Since
2.9.0