mime-type icons, a proposal

Frans Englich frans.englich at telia.com
Sat Oct 2 10:19:45 EEST 2004

On Saturday 02 October 2004 04:41, Rob Lanphier wrote:
> On Fri, 1 Oct 2004 22:23:41 +0000, Frans Englich
> <frans.englich at telia.com> wrote:

Copied from below:
> Ryan happens to be a very contentious person who is trying to work
> with the community to establish clear and fair rules of the road, and
> is asking "hey, what are the rules here, so we can make sure we follow
> them?".  The response seems to be "there shouldn't be a road here.
> Roads are stupid".  It'd be a bummer if that's the attitude, because
> as more apps get out there, and more non-technical,
> non-community-oriented users come to Linux, the next wave of
> developers may not be so polite, and I think this group will regret
> not establishing good rules up front.

> This is partly a matter of choosing your battles.  Every one of the
> things you mention above (patents, EULAs, open source vs proprietary)
> are far bigger and more important issues than this one is.  Firstly,
> because even if your nightmare scenario of things becoming just like
> Windows in this respect is not nearly as bad as losing any of the
> other battles.  

If I sounded zealous, you surely dramatized it further. I don't see it as 
battles, and even if I did, I wouldn't let focus off details(like this mime 
thing) because of eventual issues which are more important(if that's the 

I wrote it to demonstrate this is a conflict of interest. Here it is in it's 
"We could gather together a bunch of major companies, and ask what they 
honestly think is best -- for everyone -- regarding software patents, EULAs, 
open source/proprietary, etc, and we know what they would answer."

In the end, companies care about the sole reason for their existence -- that's 
what the above quote implicitly said. Cynically as it may sound, I try to 
illustrate that companies won't say something that's against their core 
values -- it would be like committing suicide when one's mission is to 
live(but that you say "I can see both sides of this issue" sure sounds 

Let's say I am this anti-capitalistic, non-cooperating, emotional, zealous, 
immature prick, and you to that respond my mentality is "Roads are stupid" 
and "It'd be a bummer if that's the attitude". That would then be fair.

But let's say I in a calm, correct way(I don't say I did) explains that this 
is all about branding(I don't say it is), and we, for the sake of this 
discussion, assume we don't want it -- would that change your comments? I 
would still be emotional and non-cooperative towards commercial 3rd parties 
who doesn't want to build roads. Well, you could say it's only because the 
way I put it, and not about content. It's a conflict of interest.

To make it clear: If it is this black&white, two completely different 
interests, the producer and the consumer, then there's no way a decision can 
be done without me being an emotional zealot, or you being a corporate crook. 

I don't see how I would become the one who wants to build roads, without 
reverting my comments on branding to what you like(here's an amount of 
indesputable logic here..)

> Secondly, because in one of the ideals you are holding 
> up (Mac OS X), Ryan *demonstrated* that they are more app-centric than
> you are giving them credit for, and the platform is still
> aesthetically just fine.

Yes, that is hard to miss -- Ryan brought it up and the links, and Alexander 
responded. I was aware of it, but I don't see the one-to-one mapping that you 
do. But perhaps I was contradictory, as you say. Hm..

> App-centric vs. document-centric is a spectrum, and "just right" is
> probably somewhere in the middle rather than either end.  

> On an 
> intellectual level, people only care about their task, and not the
> tool.

And that's why we want to be document centric instead of tool/app-centric? No, 
that's not what you meant.

> On an emotional level, people are very, very fussy about their 
> tools, no matter how technical.   The debate could be about vi vs
> emacs, KDE vs GNOME, Mac vs Windows vs Linux, or it could be Ford vs
> Toyota vs Volvo.  You may make it slightly easier for someone in their
> very first few weeks of using Linux to be very document centric, but
> they'll quickly start caring about whether Abiword, KWord or
> OpenOffice launches when they double click on a .doc file, and will
> appreciate having a visual cue to remind them they should right click
> on the file to pick a different app if they don't want the default for
> some reason (and perhaps as a cue to figure out how to change the
> default).

Sound nice, did you see my reply to Ryan? (the XDG list have a nice delay) It 
sounds like something in that direction, although there must be something 
I've missed.

We can speculate about if there is, from the user's POV, valid reasons for an 
application oriented mime system -- but the reason why I don't think there 
is, is because no one really promotes it. Except you 2 from Real Networks. 
IMO, I haven't seen any convincing reasons, but if someone from KDE, GNOME, 
or ROX, push for it, then I am convinced(I think Alexander have been pretty 

I will make this easy: If there's any impression that I need to be convinced 
to pull a decision, it can be forgotten. However, I will eventually ask 



PS. Feel free to send solely to the list.


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