Since I am using Debian Testing (Jessie), things might change without any further notice from Changelog entries. I’m pretty used to that, but given the weirdness of the current problem with KDE and xterm, I’ll put it here in order to find it again.
I’m still using xterm and KDE, I’ve looked at many alternatives, but their addon and scripts philosophy is not really satisfying so let’s stick with the current tools.
Right on, when opening a terminal, I would expect to start directly on ~ which I am using as root directory for all my coding/docs/pics stuff, and navigation is pretty easy. During one of the recent upgrades, the default path changed again from ~ to ~/Documents (which is considered to be the default docs directory in KDE).
One might say – hack your .bashrc to always invoke “cd” automagically changing to home directory. Yes, true. I could also keep my sessions restored after booting and then invoke “xterm&” in an existing shell then. But in general, I’m interested in the original problem and how to resolve it. Using workarounds or different tools doesn’t really help the issue, nor others seeking for advice here.
Within the KDE system settings, the user details contain various settings such as the default docs directory path – which is directly used when opening an application and where to start from.
By changing the docs path to just “/home/michi”, and clicking away the annoying “move the docs here, or just skip it” popup, it finally looks like this:
Applying the changes, and voilà – the desktop default path natively works again. Though, this could be a KDE bug too – but since I found many years old threads about that issue on the web, I would consider that a design behaviour by KDE itsself.