xdg-utils does not implement the standard for default applications

Maxwell Anselm silverhammermba at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 20:05:02 UTC 2016

On Tue, Oct 4, 2016 at 3:39 PM, Reuben Thomas <rrt at sc3d.org> wrote:

> 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?

I see what you mean about file as a fallback in that sense. That is a
reasonable use if the MIME-info database has no information relating to the
file. Currently, file is a fallback in the sense that if xdg-mime does not
detect a DE and mimetype is not installed, then it will use file to get the
MIME type without even attempting to check the MIME-info database itself.
That is what should be changed.

For a specific example of what I'm talking about with XML, I package an RPG
utility for Arch Linux called gcs. gcs mainly uses XML files for its data,
for example *.spl files are XML files with a spell_list root element that
store magic spell information. If I want it to be possible to double click
one of these files and have gcs open as the default application, I need to
register a new MIME type: gcs obviously can't handle arbitrary XML files,
and *.spl is also used for Shockwave Flash files. Now if the file devs
really want to push an update so that it correctly identifies gcs spell
list files, go right ahead, but personally I would find that kind of
ridiculous for such an obscure and specialized utility (though if you do,
please use application/x-gurps-spell so that I don't have to update my
package ;P).
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