Fwd: 'open' instead of 'xdg-open' for usability?

Kevin Krammer krammer at kde.org
Wed Dec 18 03:47:48 PST 2013

On Wednesday, 2013-12-18, 04:59:33, Robert Qualls wrote:
> > I have to agree with you, but I have strong doubts about just
> > "renaming" xdg-open to open (without keeping xdg-open available)
> > because of lot of 3rd party applications (including proprietary one)
> > have standardized on xdg-open and not having xdg-open available
> > will break them, for zero added value.
> Looking back, I see how my thread title suggested renaming xdg-open. I
> actually didn't mean this. I just think that the open should refer to
> xdg-open or any other agnostic file opener. Other than breaking
> things, it's quite possible that xdg-open will not always be the best
> way to open files, especially since it assumes a desktop environment.
> Since some of the more conservative distributions are worried about
> compatiblity, it might be possible for an interim script to determine
> whether the call is likely to open a file or is intended for openvt.
> Maybe. xdg-mime query filetype and if it's a file, use xdg-open?

xdg-open can be called with URLs, etc.

Speaking as one of the initiators of the xdg utils set, their goal was always 
just to bridge the gaps between different implementations until standards for 
the respective use case had been established and reached enough update to 
eventually make them just thin wrappers around a standard tool.

That standard tool might then have different capabiltities to the wrapper and 
thus need a different name (or some really good compatibility mode).

IMHO, even such a new name should have some namespacing. but maybe using a 
suffix instead (thus becoming one of the autocomplete choices).

Namespace pollution is really one of the nasties diseases of shared directory 
infrastructure based systems. Any developer using verbs or every-day-things 
words for names should have all their accounts closed for some meditation 

Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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