Default Program | File Association
tal00r at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Wed Jan 7 17:09:27 EET 2004
On Tue, Jan 06, 2004 at 09:08:57PM -0600, Tim Ringenbach wrote:
> Is anyone working on a (shared) default program or file association
> scheme? (And other related things things like default browers, default
> email composers, and stuff like whether to open a url in a new instance,
> new window, new tab, current browser, and how to do those things?)
This comes up from time-to-time. Perhaps we should add a new section to
the standards page: "Specifications we intend to write one day" with a
summary of each discussion?
I think that current status on this is:
- A shared database of which applications can handle which files is
useful. This should probably be done by having applications put links to
their .desktop files in the shared MIME database. Someone needs to work
on this (see the MIME tutorial for an example of how this might work).
- Shared *defaults* don't make a lot of sense. The default GNOME browser
isn't the same as the default KDE browser. However, if the database of
possibilities only has one possibility, you could set your application
to use that as the default (so clicking index.html will use Firebird, if
Firebird is the only browser installed).
- The handler for text/x-uri files can be used to launch a web browser
(it's probably a small program that examines the scheme part of the URI
and runs the appropriate program: browser, email, news, etc).
- The BROWSER environment variable could also be set (fixed) pointing at
this program, so that it works for existing applications too. The
program should ideally be desktop-neutral.
- The user's (chosen) preferred handler for a particular type should also
be shared, but that must wait for a shared configuration system. We
could, presumably, define the API for a library to access the config
system before the full system actually exists. I think we will want
to allow multiple back-ends (gconf, D-BUS, regular files+dnotify,
database, etc) anyway, and with the API set someone could start work on
the simplest one...
> Is anyone working on a solution to these problems?
I think the MIME actions work is stalled at the moment.
> If not, I might be tempted to get my hands dirty. Could anyone point me
> to the exact parts of Gnome, KDE, and other such systems, so that I
> might look at how they work?
Check the archives to this list. I think it's been discussed before.
Thomas Leonard http://rox.sourceforge.net
tal00r at ecs.soton.ac.uk tal197 at users.sourceforge.net
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