Cross-desktop helpers

Chas Honton chonton at
Sat Dec 11 01:05:25 EET 2004

Shaun McCance wrote:

> No, I don't think so.  People aren't going to have the sound recorder
> set as the default handler for WAV files.  And even if they did, the
> order or operations is all wrong.  You don't open a WAV file with the
> sound recorder.  You call the sound recorder, and get a WAV file back
> from it.  (Well, all right, if you're calling it from an application,
> you probably need to give it a location under /tmp or something, so you
> can read the file back into your program.) 

On windows, the registry has seperate commands per action. There has 
been talk of the xdg mime database supporting action verbs other than 
"open".  So the sound recorder could be found with a mimetype audio or 
audio/wav, action "edit".

> The four examples I gave were chosen particularly because they don't
> operate on files or any sort of URIs.  At least for the calculator and
> sound recorder, it would be useful to have a standard way of getting
> data back.
> You could make up non-file-associated not-quite-mime-types for things
> like this.  Like x-service/sound-recorder.  I don't think that's a very
> nice solution though. 

I agree, this does not look like a good fit for mime.

> The way I see it, launching user-preferred applications falls into three
> categories: launching on a file, launching on a URI type, and launching
> some general service.  The difference between when you use files and
> when you use URI types is pretty hazy, and I don't pretend to have any
> great guidelines. 

Launching a file works.  Launching a URI type would be easy with a mime 
convention.  Non-MIME services are the sticky problem. I suggest that 
whoever takes up this gauntlet starts with expanding mime action verbs, 
then URI mime conventions.


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