Talk:Default applications

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Futher improvement

Would be great to see such detailed explanation for KDE too. --AlexanderR 23:57, 22 January 2012 (EST)

It might be worth to mention that Enlightenment's file browser (in version e19) still uses the depreciated defaults.list file. --Drtebi (talk) 09:01, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

This can be placed in section "File managers" as a subsection for "Application launchers" (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 14:16, 20 May 2016 (UTC)).

Clean up and Merging

This article is very difficult to read and understand. Also it provides redundant information which is better described within other wiki pages.

  • All *.desktop file related sections can be deleted and/or merged to the [Desktop Entries] article
  • All xdg-open related sections can be deleted and/or moved to the [xdg-open] article

After cleaning up and linking to those 'renewed' sections, this article should be rewritten in a way, that the reader understands the basics:

  • Which ways of defining default applications are available
  • Which ways are recommended for DEs, WMs or TTY environments
  • In which way does the system solve

Following this, new sections describe different system environment setups. Hands-On examples or links end each environment section.

—This unsigned comment is by T.ask (talk) 17:42, 21 March 2015‎. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Related discussion: Talk:xdg-open#About Merge. I think it would be simpler to recreate the article from scratch than try to fix it. -- Alad (talk) 18:05, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Maintaining settings for multiple desktop environments

Remove "This article or section needs expansion" in section "Maintaining settings for multiple desktop environments"? (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 10:27, 14 May 2016 (UTC)).

I have renamed section and removed "tag" (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 09:43, 16 May 2016 (UTC)).

about "Undo revision 434926"

  1. I have removed variables Categories and Keywords because they are not global as "NotShowIn" or "OnlyShowIn " or fixed as "Actions" and not affecting start up type as "Terminal", "DBusActivatable" or "MimeType".
  2. The article is not directly related to *.desktop files but only on how MIME-types and *.desktop are related and affecting start up of programs in *.desktop. I could get a really big list of variables with lsdesktopf --sud but this article is only about basics.
  • May be also add description about variables that begins with X- are not general and supporting only by related desktop environments?

(Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 10:53, 14 May 2016 (UTC)).

I don't follow that. If the article is just about MIME type associations, why does the sentence above the table read "Common entries in *.desktop files that affects how application acts and shown in menu." and why do you add the link to the menu specification below it with [1]? --Indigo (talk) 11:32, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
"Shown in menu" - I should explain more "shown in menu for default actions" in file manager, or removed it after I removed Keywords and Categories. This (freedesktop.org "menu specification".) I should also removed because it is not related to MIME-types.
Or may be also remove variables: NoDisplay , NotShowIn , OnlyShowIn , TargetEnvironment? And leave only: Actions ,DBusActivatable ,MimeType ,StartupWMClass ,Terminal ,Type ?
(Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 12:05, 14 May 2016 (UTC)).
Ok, I now understand why you removed "Categories" and "Keywords" and also which way you are working, but I do not agree yet:
Whole desktop environments (e.g. MATE) were created because a lot of users prefer a traditional desktop with a menu tree for applications. A .desktop "Category" will sort an application into the correct position in the menu. That's a completely different way to work with the desktop than your way of using your desktop via right-click filemanager or MIME type assocations.
(I appreciate your work for this article, but please stop editing it until is it clarified what content it is meant to contain. You editing out content I quote above is counter-productive. [2]).
In my view the article should be general, e.g. enable MATE users as well. What do you think (e.g. which article should MATE users get their info from)?
--Indigo (talk) 12:30, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
If the User questions is about why application isn't shown in a "Menu" then it should be in Desktop entries section but if the question is about MIME-type associations, correct start up of programs in *.desktop and variable: "Actions" related then it should be section about MIME-types. And may be give more description about variable Type. Here is output of unique Type that I found with my script:
Type=Application
Type=MBTheme
Type=MimeType
Type=Service
Type=XSession
EDIT: Here is a big list of variables found only in my /usr/share/applications directory: List of variables
(Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 14:22, 14 May 2016 (UTC)).
Ah, yes, that makes sense. I was reading too quick and did not follow through the link to Desktop entries via the Default applications#Maintaining settings for multiple desktop environments expansion template.
I agree now it makes sense to only have the .desktop variables in the table that relate to this article (MIME associations) and have undone my revert: [3]
There is Desktop entries#File example for the ones that affect how an application is put in the menu. Removing more (you mention NoDisplay, NotShowIn, OnlyShowIn, TargetEnvironment) makes sense too, but we should look first if something is useful to move to the other Desktop entries#File example list.
The two articles are very related and should crosslink each other in the intro, but that's another topic.
edit: I've added back [4], and [5], [6] to relate both articles.
Thanks for explaining! Ok to close this or other points related? --Indigo (talk) 18:06, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Output examples by tools

Almost for every output I use my lsdesktopf script or adding new functions to make need output, it feels like making of the useful advertisement. I am not sure if it is OK to write everywhere "See also:" "Use to show:" for my script that only shows everything to stdout or for other programs that manages mime-types in console and have some kind of output? (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 21:27, 15 May 2016 (UTC)).

I see what you mean, your tool is very useful for complex searches. You can of course use a Template:Tip in a place where you think lfdesktopf is particularly handy for readers. Two further ideas: (1) You could change the second lsdesktopf example you provide in Desktop_entries#List_or_search_in_.2A.desktop_files for the tool to one that handling MIME-type information relevant here. (2) We still also have Xdg-open, which is more about tools to configure. It has Xdg-open#Usage examples about searching MIME type, which can be crosslinked as examples too.
Apart from a tip, I would not use much more examples for tools in this article at the current time. First, it should be decided what happens to Xdg-open. After Talk:Xdg-open#Move_suggestion and Talk:Xdg-open#About_Merge are clear, we should have a place where some more useful tool command examples (incl. mimeo and lsdesktopf) can be put.
Ok? --Indigo (talk) 16:43, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
I am done with the 1st advice. But in xdg-open replacements can be moved to Utilities to manage MIME types, but I must rewrite section "Utilities to manage MIME types" in style as table in "xdg-open replacements" for some tools that is not there yet, I can't provide so detailed info about missing yet. Other parts I haven't decided where I can put, but it can be minimized very much. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 19:56, 16 May 2016 (UTC)).
Alright, nice. I think it is simpler to convert all tools to Template:App, as suggested in the style template, and drop the table. --Indigo (talk) 18:34, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
I think that it is better with table because it is comparison of tools and not just description with a link as in Template:App. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 04:39, 18 May 2016 (UTC)).
Fair enough, I've merged into the table. --Indigo (talk) 12:06, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
After I will test all command line tools in table I will probably rewrite it in a table if I will find some bigger difference or similarity. Many programs are prioritizing *.xml instead of mimeapps*. It will be a big list of short examples for a while until I will short it down. And one more thing---- It is good to have a separator between examples but not section names, is it good if I will use bold text of tool names instead? (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 16:17, 18 May 2016 (UTC)).
We can't have examples for too many different tools, so I think one example section and bold as separator is a good idea. By the way: Why do you use xdg-mine for the first examples in Default_applications#Examples_of_usage? If they are needed here, they should be crosslinked to Xdg-open#Configuration. --Indigo (talk) 19:05, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
I have edited table but it is so Ugly code inside, may be make new or it other was to make it look good. It might be also an alternative to have One More Table with Columns: Type(Launcher,Both,Setting,Incl. Tool),GUI(Yes,No),Prioritize Order(*.xml,file,other) (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 18:13, 18 May 2016 (UTC)).
We can remake the table in simpler format. I can help, but not today. I also have to catch-up with all the great work you have already put into the article; I'll do that one of the next days.
The new columns "Type" and "GUI" read good. One question from me: What do you mean by prioritize order(*.xml,file,other)? To my understanding, the *.xml files are part of the packages and should not be user modified (see [7]). The new pacman hook does the automatic work for update-mime-database according to what the applications provide in the .xml specs. It is ok to mention the *.xml files, because they are part of the logic. However, to my understanding the configuration of the correct mimeapps.list should be the focus in his article, because this is where the user choice (app per mime type) is configured.
So, what do you mean by "prioritize" ? --Indigo (talk) 19:03, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
I have created an example table at the bottom that shows "prioritize order", *.xml = that it detects MIME-type by extension, Magic = if no description about extension is found in *.xml (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 19:59, 18 May 2016 (UTC)).
I see and like how you are progressing with new ideas about the section and now also understand what you mean with "prioritize" (great you also adopted the archived AUR packages). The example you provide in [8] sounds like a xdg-mime bug to me actually - or was it a text that you renamed to foo-file.jpg to show the effect? Other than that I don't have more input at current. --Indigo (talk) 17:57, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Just try examples with and without any extension or with wrong extension, if you have DE installed and necessary tools. I just added extension to "foo-file". (The discussion is too tight now so I start with a new begin.) (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 18:07, 19 May 2016 (UTC)).

I think that I am done with all related to article name sections. I will not use many outputs per tool, only basic and little configuration.
  1. Default applications
    1. Description of what MIME-type is and ways Linux uses them.
    2. Set default applications
      1. Configure *.mimeapps.list files
      2. Configure *.xml files
      3. Use tools for configuration
    3. Get information about MIME-types
      1. in MIME-type database
      2. using tools
    4. Start default applications by
      1. using utilities
      2. configuring other applications to use tools for starting default applications
    5. Troubleshooting of *.desktop files if associated program doesn't start correct

(Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 13:52, 20 May 2016 (UTC)).

I went through the article until the Default_applications#Utilities_to_manage_MIME_types section, please have a look, thanks. I like your above TOC layout a lot. I have started to implement it in a similar manner ([9]) until the section I got today. --Indigo (talk) 18:00, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
You did great, but I didn't described completely when I used word "misconfiguration" in section "Variables in .desktop files that affect application launch", I meant that not all variables in "Exec" can be combined in the same *.desktop file or in the same "Exec"(in some *.desktop files I found more then one "Exec" that belongs to each new section that related to description in variable Actions, for each Action own Exec in the new section within same *.desktop file), e.g. to open file and to open device can't be in the same *.desktop file with "Exec" but standard changes so I didn't wrote about all details only that "misconfigured" Exec can affect start or be shown in the menu. For the section about tools I don't know what is good and how much I should write about each tool or in subsections, e.g. xdg-open may be need more details but article is not about xdg-utils but too much examples not good. May be it can be different between subsections (in one more examples and in another less or no examples, e.g. as it look like now). May be also add a section about file managers as in suggestion: Talk:Default_applications#Futher_improvement? Add information about GUI launchers that each DE is using? Add some "ERROR" template about that sections about tools is not complete and must be extended or something in that style (it is very messy in that part) because I think that it can take long time until it will be completed? I don't know how much time I will have to put on wiki but I will do my best to "finish"(until I have some ideas and time left) this article and also may be add some more info to Desktop entries. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 23:57, 20 May 2016 (UTC)).
Glad you are generally ok with my changes yesterday, if you see something wrong later - just change or tell me. Don't worry about time. The article is in a much better state already thanks to your expertise and careful work! If you want, you can also leave it to me to go over the Default applications#Utilities to manage MIME types section first, and see afterwards what of your ideas you want to implement as soon as you have time/want to work on it further.
For the "Variables in .desktop files that affect application launch" section: yes I think I understand. Perhaps one of us has an idea later how to improve it without mentioning too many exceptional cases, it is a complicated topic. I think it should stay in Troubleshooting though, like you put it above in the TOC.
For command output: I don't think we should mention much more about GUI tools/filemanagers of particular DE/WM. That should be left to the DE/WM (e.g. GNOME#Default applications, Xfce#Menu), so that this article can stay more general. For more see my reply below to Kynikos. --Indigo (talk) 12:15, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
As for he ToC structure, this freedesktop.org introduction mentions three layers involved in the association between MIME types and applications. The last sentence of the introduction says that the scope of this page is only the third layer, yet it tries to describe also the other two layers quite extensively. I have no problem with adjusting the scope according to the content, but the ToC should reflect how the layers build on each other, especially describing the lowest layer (i.e. the shared MIME database) in the middle of the article is a bad idea.
I can get involved more deeply than just criticising in a couple of days, so you can just wait for me...
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:27, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
I've adjusted scope with [10] for now. I think the order of layers we chose is ok, because most users will not have to care about the database. Either way round it is tricky anyway, because the middle layer is handled with desktop entries. Glad to wait for your input how to improve clarity further. --Indigo (talk) 14:09, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

I haven't followed this discussion closely, but after merging xdg-open I do think that at least some examples from the xdg-open#Configuration section should be restored here, because for example the tables in Default_applications#Detect_MIME-type are quite informative, but at a glance it doesn't even look like they're talking about actual commands :) — Kynikos (talk) 09:37, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

Yes, we all agree on this I think (see Andy's above reply). I think for now it is pretty simple to add back more command output, because Andy had actually written a meaningful command example before. In my view it should suffice for now to add back the commands leading to the Default_applications#Detect_MIME-type tables for now and then see how it works out.
Btw, can you name a couple of specifics for the top-level style template you put? I'd like to fix them on the next go through. --Indigo (talk) 12:15, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
Is it OK to have a section with additional practical examples for other tools too as I started in Default applications#Extended practical examples, without any cryptic descriptions (instead Type/Extension use video/flv)? I don't see a better way of adding more examples without destroying logical layout of other sections. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 18:39, 21 May 2016 (UTC)).
Thanks Andy, your solution works for me.
@Indigo, I've fixed several formatting/punctuation non-compliances, however I've left the values in the tables almost untouched for the moment; in theory options and variables should all be shown with Template:ic, and I'm not sure under which Help:Style/Formatting and punctuation category we could consider MIME types to belong.
Kynikos (talk) 05:46, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing, Kynikos. It was actually my confusion when I used Template:ic for .desktop extension et al. When I did so, I recalled Lahwaacz had reminded me to something similar a good year ago, but got misled trying to find it again in the style guide ^^
For the MIME types: I don't think we can fix these 100%. I'd say they can be either properties or (e.g. for custom x-* ones) Help:Style/Formatting and punctuation#File content. So, monospace in my view when mentiioned in text, but I'd like to keep them normal text in the tables. --Indigo (talk) 11:43, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I agree with using monospace for MIME types, and, as long as it's done consistently, I have no problems with keeping the tables in plain text :) — Kynikos (talk) 09:30, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

About tag: "Reason: Lacks clarity, content tacked on"

What is more missing or must be rewritten to remove tag about: "Reason: Lacks clarity, content tacked on" that is in section "MIME types and desktop entries" (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 09:47, 16 May 2016 (UTC))

I have removed "{{Style|Lacks clarity, content tacked on}}" and closed this discussion. If I was wrong then explain please what is still missing. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 18:25, 18 May 2016 (UTC)).

Remove section Default locations of the mimeapps.list_files ?

this section is a RAW copy from freedesktop.org. It is better to have a link to it instead. What do you think, is it good if I remove it? (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 18:44, 17 May 2016 (UTC)).

8 vs 10 fields, 2 more fields in table in this wiki. this should stay I missed the difference that 2 global system path is only here. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 19:18, 17 May 2016 (UTC)).


"Reason: The MIME database is located at"

Read here: [11]. "XDG MIME-type database" is in the /usr/share/mime but mimeinfo.cache is located in other folders and updates automatically after update or installation of new programs:
find /usr/ -type f -name "mimeinfo.cache"
/usr/local/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache
/usr/share/applications/mimeinfo.cache

(Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 17:05, 23 May 2016 (UTC)).

The section title is "Shared MIME-info database", there are two links to [12] and the update-mime-database.hook updates the database in /usr/share/mime/. The mimeinfo.cache files are different database handled by update-desktop-database.hook. Also, there is an incomplete sentence around the first link. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 17:26, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you are right, it must be rewritten and corrected. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 22:21, 23 May 2016 (UTC)).
Thanks for the info, Changed and removed template with [13], please proof-read again. Closing. --Indigo (talk) 11:49, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, the description of the "shared MIME-info database" and the "desktop file MIME type cache" are still all mixed up. I can do a rewrite in a few days, so I'll leave this open until then. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:14, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

"Reason: The following comparison table either conflicts"

The table contains just a list of packages and files to give the user an overview of packages that contains preset MIME-type files or a human readable description of MIME-types. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 17:19, 23 May 2016 (UTC)).

/etc/gnome/defaults.list does not contain any human-readable descriptions, but GNOME's default applications associations. /etc/mime.types is a plain list of (some) MIME types and completely unrelated to the standard being described on the page. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 17:44, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
The mime.types is used as fallback by browsers to detect mime.type by extension, but also by some tools that are used to detect type of the file.
file /etc/gnome/defaults.list /usr/share/applications/defaults.list
/etc/gnome/defaults.list:              ASCII text
/usr/share/applications/defaults.list: symbolic link to /etc/gnome/defaults.list

(Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 18:26, 23 May 2016 (UTC)).

Where should the table be placed, create new section? So far as it is not a binary data in the file it is readable, if has patterns then can be used tools like grep, and it is a good basic description of some "1st parts" of MIME-type in this wiki now. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 20:14, 23 May 2016 (UTC)).
Why do you want to show the gnome-defaults-listAUR package at all? It doesn't matter that /etc/gnome/defaults.list is a text file, I just don't see why it's so useful for showing and its relation to the other two packages. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 20:34, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I want to show users that it is more than one "default" place where is possible to find files that has some kind of description about MIME-types, even if it is old but is still available online. Why limit article only to modern from official repositories if something is still available in AUR? And it also written only few word about "defaults.list" but may be someone want to know more it? It is just a little more information for curious users. I haven't found a better place for the table yet but I wish it will be somewhere in the Article, only left to find a section for it. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 22:34, 23 May 2016 (UTC)).
I will add some more path to default "text" files, into the table, that contains mime-types. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 22:40, 23 May 2016 (UTC)).
Again, /etc/gnome/defaults.list does not contain any descriptions about MIME types. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 06:24, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I moved two of the three table packages into text.[14] [15]
Andy, please reconsider gnome-defaults-listAUR. It is only Ubuntu defaults and might have been useful more in the past for users during the Gnome2->3 switch. Current GNOME does not have any /etc/gnome/, so mentioning the package at this place will indeed confuse readers.
Ok to remove it and ok with the other changes? --Indigo (talk) 11:58, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, thanks, it's ok. I have copied the table to my User Page and will expand it there for personal use to have as a reference, so it can be completely removed from this article. (Andy Crowd - 蔡依林 13:00, 24 May 2016 (UTC)).
Ok, good; removed remaining table from that section.[16] Closing. --Indigo (talk) 16:15, 24 May 2016 (UTC)