On 15.09.2016 09:21, Shawn Sörbom wrote:
> I have run into a few projects lately that don't include .desktop files but
> should. my usual approach to handle this is to write a patch with quilt that
> writes a .desktop file to the project's root directory, then add a
> corresponding line to the debian/[package].install file. I know this approach
> works, but is it the "right" way? Does it matter?
There's also the command desktop-file-install (in the optional package
desktop-file-utils) which validates and installs the desktop file. I'd
use that command at least once for the validation.
For installation in Debian it is unnecessary (Debian policy 9.6 tells us
that for installing it is not necessary because of dpkg triggers.
Further I found that at least in Gnome manually copying (no dpkg) to
/usr/share/applications has an immediate effect).
Still upstream might be interested in that (not sure).
A quick look to sources.debian.net shows a clear preference for simply
installing desktop files:
.desktop in debian/*install: 95 pages of results 
desktop-file-install in debain/rules: 2 results