Idea about generic command framework for launching common applications
pcman.tw at gmail.com
Sat Nov 15 19:02:39 PST 2008
Instead of common commands for common applications, I suggest that
there should be a common way to launch web browser, mail client, and
terminal emulator. Now gnome, xfce, and kde have their own different
ways to configure this part. Xdg-open only partially solve the
problem, and as I stated in previous mails, its implementation is
The terminal emulator, however, is not covered by xdg-utils. You
cannot launch a terminal emulator in your applications without asking
the user to set his/her favorite terminal emulator or you just force
the use of xterm. This is quite annoying.
There should be some solution to this. Otherwise it's quite annoying
for application developers.
On Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 10:10 AM, Darren Fulton <dfulton at gmail.com> wrote:
> Like many system administrators, I started with UNIX and Linux using the
> command line interface. I have for several years also been a Linux
> desktop user. I have a simple idea that will, in my opinion, improve
> desktop usability for so-called "power users" without hurting ordinary
> I think it would be easier to launch applications if you had the option
> to run the default application of a particular type from a short,
> generic, plain language command.
> The main reason why this would be useful is because, as a computer user,
> you are not necessarily going to know the name of a program installed on
> the computer that you are using that will do what you want. It isn't
> silly that we have dozens of text editor programs. What _is_ silly is
> that we don't necessarily know what command is used (or where in the
> program menu you need to click) to launch a text editor program. I'm not
> suggesting that the names of existing programs be changed.
> I am suggesting that it would be nice if, for example, you were logged
> into a KDE session on some random computer and you entered "text-editor"
> into the "Run Command..." box or in a terminal session, it would launch
> a text editing program such as kwrite or gedit or whatever the user's
> default text editor is. This could be implemented with symbolic links or
> the alternatives system or perhaps some other way.
> Some examples of what default generic commands might be (in English)
> are: text-editor file-manager email-client web-browser terminal
> word-processor spreadsheet calculator sound-player sound-editor
> image-editor image-viewer
> Perhaps you could specify text-based and gui application preference by
> running using "--tui" or "--gui". Not specifying a text or GUI option
> would default to your current environment. For example, if the
> "web-browser" command were given from an X session it would perhaps open
> Firefox. If the same command were issued from the console, it would open
> elinks. If the command "web-browser --tui" was given from within konsole
> (KDE Terminal Program), elinks would open within konsole.
> Of course there is nothing stopping administrators from implementing
> this within their own organizations, as many I'm sure have done. But,
> wouldn't it be nice if some basic commands worked cross-organization,
> cross-distribution, and cross-platform?
> To summarize: 1. It is sometimes useful to launch applications with a
> command. 2. We often times don't know the name of the program that we
> want to use. 3. A few simple generic command names could be useful,
> especially to sophisticated users. 4. I'm not suggesting that we force
> users to use these commands and I'm not suggesting that clicking on
> things (file icons and program shortcuts) in order to open apps isn't a
> great method.
> Please let me know your thoughts and thank you for your time.
> Best Regards,
> Darren Fulton
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