So, after jumping from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04 I was surprised to find out that it appears there is no way to have .desktop be actual launcher anywhere else than the ~/Desktop, /usr/share/applications, or ~/.local/share/applications folders. I have a bunch of complicated launchers for beginners that run a series of steps and have had this in a separate subfolder (part of a git for easier syncing), so that all of them are easily found in one place. They are also organized in subfolder trees. Then, I simply add the main subfolder shortcut to the panel and users could start select apps/actions with effectively only a few clicks.
Now, it appears I can either only create clutter on the desktop (requiring all of the launchers to be toplevel) or bury such launchers in the main applications window.
Is there a way to add another path as an additional place where .desktop files can be activated as shortcuts and also recursively make the same permission apply to all its subfolders? Or, is there a secret way to enable such .desktop files to work in any folder on the system?
While installing all application shortcuts inside /usr/share/applications/ (for instance) works, it is in this case really messy. More so, creating symlinks from there to an arbitrary subfolder still does not work. Even creating a desktop symlink to a folder stored inside .local/share/applications/ folder does not work.
Why is it so hard to do something so simple: to have an application launcher shortcut in any other folder than the ~/Desktop or the aforesaid two system locations?