xdg-utils does not implement the standard for default applications

Reuben Thomas rrt at sc3d.org
Tue Oct 4 19:39:31 UTC 2016

On 4 October 2016 at 20:34, Maxwell Anselm <silverhammermba at gmail.com>

> On 3 October 2016 at 21:09, Maxwell Anselm <silverhammermba at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> I'm unclear whether you think that /usr/bin/file *should* not be used by
>> xdg-mime (in which case, fair enough, I guess), or simply that it currently
>> provides the wrong types or mis-identifies files too readily.
> file is a fine tool for what it intends to do, but since it does *not*
> intend to implement the standard it does not make sense as a fallback. For
> example, the shared MIME-info database allows for specifying MIME type
> according to the internal root and namespace of an XML file. Unless the
> file devs are willing to push an update for every single esoteric XML
> format out there, xdg-mime could end up behaving incorrectly.
> If xdg-mime and xdg-open implement the standard themselves there would be
> no need for any external fallback.

Unless I've misunderstood something, there might well be file formats
formats that file can identify which another implementation cannot, even if
xdg-mime and xdg-open do implement the standard, simply because of the
range of formats covered by their database. So the use of file could still
be complementary.

There's also some scope for getting file to pull namespaces out of XML
files. I'm not sure what you mean by an "esoteric XML format"; surely
there's only one definition of XML? Or are you saying that such XML files
would not actually contain their MIME type, so it would still have to be
recognised somehow?

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