New handling for URI scheme handlers

David Faure faure at
Sun Dec 1 15:59:30 PST 2013

(very old mail, but this is bugging me again :)

Context: I believe that associating a webbrowser with x-scheme-handler/http is 

On Wednesday 06 October 2010 00:38:40 Bastien Nocera wrote:
> David Faure wrote:
> >  When you click a http URL that 
> > points to an .odt document, you want to launch openoffice, not a
> > web-browser.
> If you're already in a web browser, yes, but in this case, the lookup
> shouldn't be including a scheme handler lookup, just an application that
> handles that particular mime-type.

But what if you're not in a webbrowser in the first place?
E.g. in a desktop email application, you click on an HTTP link to a .odt 
document. Should that really start firefox, just so that it can then launch 
(same with any other content application that can handle HTTP urls on its own; 
same with other schemes that apps might support, like FTP).

Note that at this point we have no clue about the mimetype. We can start a 
download and find it out, but the first question is: should we do that, or 
just blindly trust the app that says it wants all URLs with this scheme (http, 
in my example).

Since we don't want this to happen in KDE, I had to write code such as "if KIO 
supports a scheme and an app exists for the mimetype x-scheme-
handler/<scheme>, then give priority to KIO". (for the special case of http, 
there is actually a user setting for "send all http urls to this particular 
app", but that's not the default setting).
I don't like it very much though, it feels like a hack :)
But I guess it makes sense, since in KDE we prefer to open HTTP urls by 
mimetype, while IIUC in Gnome you prefer to open them with a single scheme-
associated application (i.e. webbrowser).

So, it's all fine, I'm just curious about what happens in your case when the 
user isn't in a webbrowser in the first place (and to pick the worst case - if 
it's not running yet, which means a long delay coming from the startup of two 
large applications one after the other).

David Faure, faure at,
Working on KDE, in particular KDE Frameworks 5

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