open(1) removed from Debian? (was: 'open' instead of 'xdg-open' for usability?)

Dominique Michel dominique.michel at
Tue Dec 24 05:19:11 PST 2013

Le Tue, 24 Dec 2013 12:59:13 +0800,
Ma Xiaojun <damage3025 at> a écrit :

> > A danger in customizing shell-level commands is that shell-scripts
> > can become hard to debug remotely and hard to share.
> True. But you can even customize /bin/sh on Debian/Ubuntu.
> > I'm personally in favour of keeping xdg-open and not making a grab
> > for "open", because it helps people remember that the user of a
> > script might be running a different desktop environment, and that
> > "xdg-open instructions.txt" might not (for example) bring up gedit
> > by default for them.
> Fail to see the connection. I guess xdg, if it stands for X
> Desktop Group, would be obsolete soon if people move to Wayland or Mir
> based desktop.

Simply, it is a big differences between desktops like Gnome that like
to think for the users and the system about how they must be doing
things, and force the installation of idiotic softwares like *kit.
Other desktops like Fvwm-Crystal let the user and the system do
their job without interfering at all with them.

Wayland is another issue, its compatibility layer will just be a never
finished job, X and all its extensions is just too complex, and just
because of that, even if the idea behind wayland is good, in practice
it will be a complete mess that will break hundreds of good working
programs. Wayland may be good for the mobile or the game market, but I
think in the desktop market, X will continue to exist a long time, just
because many users will favour a good working system over a broken one.
Or they will look for alternatives.

Generally speaking, I don't like the actual tendency of many GNU/Linux
actors which are, exactly like with the commercial software,
thinking the never the better. Because of that, GNU/Linux is becoming a
huge mess. I try Debian Sid the other day: What a failure! Even the
cgroups are broken, a useful kernel function! But sure, it take more
time to learn how to use the kernel, than to believe that systemd is a
good working software. Systemd idea is good, but like many recent new
Linux software, its implementation is a total mess.


> BTW, I happen to know one breakage caused by Linux not having open(1)
> like OS X.
> _______________________________________________
> xdg mailing list
> xdg at

More information about the xdg mailing list