Proposal for a MIME mapping spec

Alexander Larsson alexl at
Thu Jul 8 16:22:36 EEST 2004

On Thu, 2004-07-08 at 09:45, Hongli Lai wrote:
> 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?

Eh. I think so.

First, when the user changes his settings, he changes the settings file
in his homedir. Not the environment variable.

Secondly, the environment variable points out a file. If the sysadmin
wants to change the gnome default, he changes that file, not the
environment variable.

 Alexander Larsson                                            Red Hat, Inc 
                   alexl at    alla at 
He's a globe-trotting guerilla gentleman spy searching for his wife's true 
killer. She's a blind impetuous detective with an evil twin sister. They fight 

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