Proposal for a MIME mapping spec

Hongli Lai h.lai at
Thu Jul 8 10:45:22 EEST 2004

Jonathan Blandford wrote:
> The defaults are first read in
> $XDG_DATA_DIRS/applications/defaults.list.  It is expected that these
> defaults are set solely by the distributor of the system.  Then, a
> $MIME_PREFS_LIST environment variable is checked for other preferred
> applications.  This is expected to be set by a sysadmin providing their
> own defaults.  Additionally, each desktop should prepend its own
> defaults to this variable.  Then, $XDG_DATA_CONFIG/mime/defaults.list is
> checked for user-specific defaults.  Finally, it is expected that each
> desktop will have their own (optional) user-specific desktop file.

The spec looks pretty good. But how does the desktop environment change 
the list of default preffered apps, if that list is stored in an 
environment variable? As far as I know you can't change the values of 
environment variables in other processes. So if the user changes 
something in gnome-default-applications-properties, the changes won't 
apply until he relogs in.

Or did I misinterpreted something?

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