[PATCH] Add long comments to shared-mime-info XML file
Andrew J. Montalenti
ajm at pixelmonkey.org
Thu Sep 8 06:48:57 EEST 2005
On Wed, 2005-09-07 at 17:50 +0200, Christian Neumair wrote:
> @@ -461,7 +489,8 @@ command to generate the output files.
> <mime-type type="application/x-asp">
> <sub-class-of type="text/plain"/>
> - <_comment>active server page</_comment>
> + <_comment>ASP</_comment>
> + <_long-comment>Active Server Pagee</_long-comment>
> <glob pattern="*.asp"/>
Seems to me that's a spelling error.
I don't know about this patch. Some of your long forms are a bit too
long. "Cascading Style Sheets stylesheet" and "Microsoft Windows Media
Video video", for example, are particularly long and redundant, and
would look stupid should a programmer ever actually employ the long
The above one (ASP) with the spelling error doesn't suffer from this,
but to be consistent you might make it "Active Server Pages page".
Since a lot of what you are doing seems to be acronym expansion, I think
a better approach might be to use what many web pages employ nowadays,
namely an <abbr> tag. I am not sure how this XML/mime-type description
file is parsed, but it seems to me rather than writing "Microsoft
Windows Media Video video", it would make more sense to write "WMV
Video" and have WMV be an abbreviation whose tooltip would provide the
expansion to "Microsoft Windows Media Video". But this doesn't seem
like it can be done in a quick-and-dirty patch just to this XML file,
but rather needs some understanding from those who are reading it.
This would solve the particular ugliness that this file is becoming, and
also rid us of the unfortunate possibility that a programmer actually
make use of your redundant long forms. But I don't even know if that
much is really necessary.
Just to further push my point, many desktop publishers use TIFF files
and JPEG files and PDF files all the time, without caring at all that
TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format, and that JPEG stands for Joint
Photographic Experts Group, and that PDF stands for Portable Document
Format. In the rare case that a user cares what these acronyms stand
for, he might browse the web. I'll tell you something else: everyone
who goes to my college knows what an MP3 is, but many fewer know what an
MPEG Layer 3 file is.
What seems to be more necessary in that document (and is not found at
all) is some taxonomy, some categorization. Files tend to fall into
groups which tend to be handled by the same class of applications,
admittedly with lots of criss-crossing. But we know WMV files and
Quicktime files are both at least video files, and that MP3s and Ogg
Vorbis files are both at least audio files, and that RTF, DOC, and
AbiWord files are at least formatted text files. These may not be so
useful to programmers as they are to users who might have to, one day,
deal with the mime hell that exists on their computer. At least they'll
have some sane categories to work with.
Anyway, I think this patch needs at least a _bit_ of discussion before a
commit, and at least needs to have some of these sillier long entries
Andrew J. Montalenti
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