Sub-class of text/plain

Alexander Larsson alexl at
Tue Jun 21 09:50:31 EEST 2005

On Mon, 2005-06-20 at 23:55 +0100, Bastien Nocera wrote:
> Heya,
> I was wondering why GEdit opened up .rtf files on my system (instead of
> say Abiword, or, heck, OpenOffice). GEdit registers itself as supporting
> text/plain thus being the application that would support all the
> text/plain and subclasses of text/plain mime-types.
> The problem is that a number of mime-types that are only relatively
> related to text/plain (ie. that are not binary) are listed as subclasses
> of the aforementioned mime-types.
> - application/rtf
> Lowest common denominator word processor format, useless as text
> - application/smil, application/x-xbel, 
> Really a descendant of text/xml
> - application/x-awk and a whole slew of others
> Scripting languages, makes sense to edit those with a text editor
> - application/x-desktop
> A desktop file
> Should we modify gnome-vfs to have an application that advertises the
> proper mime-type rather than one of its parent as the default? (ie. if
> Abiword explicitely mentioned text/rtf, it would be the default, rather
> than GEdit that only supports the parent)

We definitely should prefer the handler for the more specific mimetype
when picking the default application.

> Or should we remove from shared-mime-info the subclassing for those
> types that it doesn't make sense to edit as a file? (which would bring
> it inline with a number of other formats that are plain text, but make
> no sense to edit in a text editor, like playlist formats)

I agree, although I'm sure there will be some difference in opinions on
exactly which ones make sense to edit in a text editor. :)

 Alexander Larsson                                            Red Hat, Inc 
                   alexl at    alla at 
He's a benighted drug-addicted vampire hunter who hangs with the wrong crowd. 
She's a time-travelling motormouth traffic cop with an evil twin sister. They 
fight crime! 

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