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

Thomas Kluyver thomas at
Tue Dec 24 09:06:08 PST 2013

On 24 December 2013 16:37, Kevin Krammer <krammer at> wrote:

> 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.

But I don't go and check that simple commands like cp or grep will work on
a Mac. It's easy to see how someone could have assumed that 'open' is a
similarly common command and would work on Linux systems. Of course you can
blame developers who make incorrect assumptions, but why not aim to make
the obvious assumptions correct?
> Even if a tool or command with the same name exists it might have
> capabilities, arguments or options.

That is a valid concern - OSX's open has several options that xdg-open does
not (currently). But I think the benefit of having a similar obvious way to
load files and URLs outweighs that. Developers are also familiar with
common commands like cc and make being provided by different
implementations that may support different options.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the xdg mailing list