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

Kevin Krammer krammer at
Tue Dec 24 08:37:54 PST 2013

On Tuesday, 2013-12-24, 16:26:27, Thomas Kluyver wrote:
> On 24 December 2013 15:06, Kevin Krammer <krammer at> wrote:
> > > BTW, I happen to know one breakage caused by Linux not having open(1)
> > 
> > like
> > 
> > > OS X.
> > 
> > Looks like the implementors either had not thought about cross platform
> > integration or had no information about things outside the platform they
> > are
> > working on.
> I think it would be beneficial for 'open' to work the way that people
> writing scripts on OS X expect, i.e. an alias to xdg-open, because it's not
> obvious that it is a platform specific thing.

Well, a quick check would have revealed that it is.
Cross platform development always requires testing on the targetted platforms, 
one can not simply assume things.

Even if a tool or command with the same name exists it might have different 
capabilities, arguments or options.

Even if it is the very same tool, which already is quite unlikely, it could 
come in different versions with different capabilities, etc.

> Of course, you'd still need to consider cross platform compatibility for
> Windows, but people are used to assuming that similar shell commands work
> across posix-y platforms, while Windows is a very different ball game.

Assumptions are always at risk of not turning out to be true.
Even if something is specified in a standard and is compliance checked it is 
still necessary to test since compliance checks will often not be all 

On this particular case I am not sure if the open command is part of a 
standard, compliance checked or not.

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