Cross-desktop helpers

Dave Cridland dave at
Sat Dec 11 16:12:40 EET 2004

On Sat Dec 11 01:43:25 2004, Alex Graveley wrote:
> This sounds sane to me.
As a first step.

I'd like to add another requirement.

Here's my situation:

I sit in front of a 64-bit workstation, which, at least when I last 
checked, can't run, which I need to deal with people 
who send me certain Word documents.

No problem, since I also have an x86 box, sans monitors, which I can 
SSH across to, and run there. No problem so far - it's 
one of the joys of X.

Now, Word Docs sometimes have hyperlinks in them. If I click on one 
of those, then opens it for me, using not only 
entirely the wrong browser (not it's fault, that's a shared config 
system issue) but on the wrong machine - I *have* a browser open, and 
*that* browser is the one I like thing to open in. (I'm a tabbed 
browsing addict - I never close tags).

So a simple callable executable, while a good start, doesn't solve 
*all* my problems - some form of network-awareness would be useful 
too - ideally, I suppose, one of:

- D-Bus message exchanging to request an action on a URI. (The URI 
could be optional, making "applications" an action rather than a URI, 
to appease purists, like me.)
- X messaging to acheive the same. Presumably a special top-level 
window which receives URL drag-drops to handle them? (Then you get 
free legacy support, too.)
- Something else.

Personally, I think a custom drag-drop based solution might be 
nicest, but this is way outside my area of expertise, assuming I have 
one at all. I just thought I'd raise the issue.

It may be I've just not set things up correctly, and all this should 
just work anyway. :-)

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