Rapha and Sven: Thanks for bringing the xdg-list to my attention; let's move 
further follow-up discussion there.

Rapha: Thanks for your comments - I've already considered some of those issues 
a bit, but you're right, they need to be addressed in the proposal.  I'll 
work on it.

> The point I was trying to make is that thumbnails are _not_
> automatically regeneratable, at least not by the applications reading
> them. There are a couple of file formats that only certain
> applications understand (such as for example the GIMP XCF format).
> A file-manager doesn't know how to create a thumbnail for these file
> formats. It still can use the thumbnail that the application which
> created the file (GIMP in this expample) wrote to the .thumbnails
> directory. That's the whole point of the Thumbnail Managing
> Standard. If the .thumbnails directory is being deleted (or lost in a
> disk crash), vital information is lost which cannot easily be
> regenerated. I'd call that a disaster and thus vote for explicitely
> not tagging the .thumbnails directory as a cache directory. It simply
> isn't one.

Point conceded - I hadn't considered the case of one application making use of 
thumbnails that only other applications can generate.  Thanks.

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