a common VFS - a different approach

Alexander Larsson alexl at redhat.com
Mon Sep 22 17:08:45 EEST 2003

On Mon, 2003-09-22 at 14:35, Waldo Bastian wrote:
> 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.

Yeah, to some degree this could work to get at least some form of
compatibility. Of course, emulating real file operations by copying to a
tempfile does cause the problem of leaving the temp files around.

Maybe a kio-cat and kio-ls command line apps with well defined output
would work better. 

> > 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.


Your proposal above would make gnome depend on the kde stack to read
kde-only locations, but as long as we agree on the common uri-types this
will seldom cause problems. If you ever get a kde-only uri, chances are
almost 100% that you have kde installed (since it was probably a kde app
that generated the uri). 

Hmmm. How would gnome know when to use kio to open a file though?

 Alexander Larsson                                            Red Hat, Inc 
                   alexl at redhat.com    alla at lysator.liu.se 
He's a war-weary native American matador on the edge. She's an orphaned 
nymphomaniac detective with someone else's memories. They fight crime! 

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