Current desktop detection / app access - take 2.

Shaun McCance shaunm at
Wed May 19 00:32:05 EEST 2004

On Tue, 2004-05-18 at 08:21, Waldo Bastian wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On Tue May 18 2004 05:15, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > Hmm, I ended up writing a bit of a rant here, please just take it as my
> > initial opinion.
> >
> > We should get Jonathan Blandford to comment on this, he's offline for a
> > few days though. He's been paying attention to the
> > MIME/preferred-applications stuff, which I'm guessing conflicts with the
> > desktop-launch concept. (If I change my preferred application or MIME
> > setting for PDF files to foobar, then do I get foobar or the PDF viewer
> > that's part of the desktop, for example. And if there's a standard
> > preferred applications system, shouldn't it just allow per-desktop
> > settings, instead of having this separate desktop-launch thing?)
> >
> > I guess I'll be blunt and say this DESKTOP thing seems like a pretty
> > huge hack, I'd rather see us just standardize the MIME and
> > preferred-apps systems, with per-desktop configuration included in those
> > specs if required.
> Maybe we should start with the specification of a "desktop-launch" tool that 
> implements this yet-to-be-standardized mimetype activation spec so that ISVs 
> can start using it in their software. Then we can start working out the 
> details of the yet-to-be-standardized mimetype activation spec on this list, 
> and distributions can then in the meantime, while they wait for us to finish 
> here and deliver the real thing, already ship such a "desktop-launch" tool 
> based on black voodoo, neural networks and/or the opinion of stock market 
> analysts (I guess they will need to be downsized in order to fit on a CD).
> In particular also because, once the yet-to-be-standardized mimetype 
> activation spec is actually finished, I don't expect that every ISV wants to 
> waste time actually implementing this spec, but instead just wants to make 
> one simple call and be done with it. So we will need such "desktop-launch" 
> tool sooner or later anyway.

(From the perspective of somebody employed by a very desktop-neutral
ISV, but not on behalf of said ISV.  Standard disclaimer, I'm not
representing my employer, my opinions are my own, I just noticed a
relevant discussion, etc.)

Yes, please.

There is a lot of desktop-neutral software out there that is far less
ambitious than with respect to desktop integration. 
Mostly, users of the software just want it to do the right thing when
they click a URL.  Having something like gnome-open that just works with
your current desktop would be a simple solution that ISVs could work
with *right now*.


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