protocol/scheme entry in .desktop?

Patrice Dumas pertusus at
Mon Nov 26 01:53:08 PST 2007


Currently the mime information that allows to chose an application based
on the mimetypes it handles is part of the .desktop file. But another
item of an url that could be a criterium for application selection is the
protocol/scheme that appears in front of urls, like http, ftp or file. 
So maybe it could be nice to add a new entry in the desktop entry,
called Protocol or Scheme, with a ; delimited list of protocols handled
by the application.

This solves a real use case (well, in my opinion), taking pdf as an
example, evince handle http url while xpdf doesn't, still evince isn't 
a generic browser (like firefox, for example). So this seems to me
to be an interesting application property to exhibit.

In that case it may be relevant to add a fake mimetype that stands for
'any content' such that if an url has no discernible content is still
handled by an application. For example an url like
or a complex one with cgi/target and so on, and so forth would be
handled by such application. Typical application for this kind of urls
(miometype) would be browsers(firefox, konqueror...). I guess that 
mimetypes are outside the scope of the freedesktop desktop specification, 
but I nonetheless described this because I think that a way to specify
a generic browser should be possible within that framework.

Another possibility would be to add a fake mimetype for the protocol,
like x-url/http, but the issue with this, in my opinion, is that it adds
a new semantic to the mimetype which are normally only for content, and
also it doesn't allow to specify both the mimetype and the protocol.


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