a common VFS - a different approach

Waldo Bastian bastian at kde.org
Mon Sep 22 15:35:33 EEST 2003

Hash: SHA1

On Monday 22 September 2003 13:32, Alexander Larsson wrote:
> So, I say, lets take a step back and look at the problems. The problem
> for actual users is that they cannot rely on applications to load the
> same files if the apps are not using the same library stacks. Users
> don't expect to be able to access the gnome desktop ui such as
> preferences: from kde, but they do want to be able to load normal
> document files, such as those URIs given when double-clicking on a file
> in the filemanager, URIs from DnD, uris from recent-files, etc.

I think typical applications have a rather limited set of requirements in the 
form of "download from this URI" and "upload to this URI". To support file 
browsing you can then add "list all files on this URI". Although it may not 
be the most efficient, it really should not pose much technical problems to 
let a GNOME application download KIO-specific urls or vice versa.

If you have KDE installed then a command such as
"kfmclient copy https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/xdg-list file:/tmp/
mytempfile" does all the hard work, i'm sure that someone with some GNOME VFS 
experience can wrap that with a proper GNOME VFS API with little effort.

> A much less intrusive way of solving this, with a much higher chance of
> adoption and ultimate success is sitting down and specifying the details
> of "VFS URIs", and then making sure that all vfs implementations use
> this common spec. This involves questions about encoding, escaping,
> hostnames in file: uris, common ssh: uri-spec, uri-chaining, etc. Such a
> specification isn't only good for the cross-desktop problems, having
> rigid specifications for such a visible thing as a URI is good for the
> projects themselves too.

Yes, that would be a worthwile effort because even when we can read URIs using 
each others framework, it would be more efficient to use the native framework 
and when a specific scheme is natively supported by both desktops it's of 
course important that it is spec'ed in a compatible way.

- -- 
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