Cross-desktop helpers

nf nf2 at
Sat Dec 11 03:32:15 EET 2004

On Fri, 2004-12-10 at 15:18, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
> Hi Hongli,
> On Thu, 2004-12-09 at 23:56 +0100, Hongli Lai wrote:
> > Alex Graveley wrote:
> > > 	* opening a web browser
> > 
> > It's a bit hacky, but I wrote a script which tries to guess the user's 
> > preferred browser, based on the current desktop environment.

> 	As hacky as this may be, its not a million miles away from the solution
> we converged towards when discussing the $DESKTOP proposal earlier ...
> 	i.e. have a defined $DESKTOP_LAUNCH env variable, have the session
> managers set it to something appropriate and provide a small sample
> implementation of using this (be it a shell script, and maybe a small
> sample xdglaunch.c).
> 	The key thing is to tackle each of these problems in such a way that we
> don't have every app hardcoding the kind of logic you have in your shell
> script.

Perhaps every desktop should set a $DESKTOP_CTL variable, which points
to a desktop specific control client like


Those $DESKTOP_CTL executables implement a standardized interface
(command line args, stdin, stdout and error codes). The important thing
would be to have a "single entry point", not separate env vars for the
default web-browser, file-manager, mail-client,...

$DESKTOP_CTL --open-browser url

$DESKTOP_CTL --edit file.ext

$DESKTOP_CTL --open-filemanager file/dir

cat mailtxt | $DESKTOP_CTL --compose-mail --to xyz at

echo $DESKTOP_CTL --which-desktop

$DESKTOP_CTL --list-features | grep supports_compose_mail 



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