[Portland] xdg-email and web mail
claesatwork at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 13:51:15 PST 2007
As far as I know, there is currently no support on any desktop for
using webmail as default email composer (using a web browser).
Personally that is what I prefer.
With xdg-utils, it is now easier to add. Basically, you just have to
call xdg-open with the correct url. The url has to be formatted as
defined by the webmail provider. Some common url formats are described
So the first thing that is needed is a program that can take and
tranform arguments about recipient etc to a provider-url. Attached is
a script that illustrates how this could work. The script transforms a
mailto-url to a provider-url (Yahoo mail, Gmail and Hotmail supported)
according to a format string, and then calls xdg-open with this url.
However, now to the questions:
This is strictly not the task for xdg-email, since it has to be
applied after xdg-email, in a desktop-specific way. After all, it is
the desktop that knows what the user's preferred email client is.
What support can xdg-utils provide to help with this, and is it even
the right place? It would be nice if there was a uniform way for
webmail providers to tell their customers, "if you use Linux, do like
this to make yahoo/hot/gmail to your default email program"
Basically I envision that they tell their customers to copy&paste a
string into a configuration dialog. In Gnome it would be
gnome-default-applications-properties, "Mail Reader, Custom Command",
and in KDE the equivalent. The string would be a call to a xdg-util
supplied utility that takes a provider-format and a mailto-url as
In my script the provider format strings are hardcoded inside the
script. I have not figured out how to supply such a string as argument
to the script instead, and expand the shell variables inside after the
variables have had their values assigned. That is neccessary to make
it adaptable to any webmail provider.
Also KDE and Gnome uses different arguments when calling a script like
this, which prevents one command string from working in both, although
two instructions are better than none :-)
C l a e s H o l m e r s o n
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