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Re: how to configure xdg-open applications?

Paul Johnson wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 1:21 PM, Rex Dieter <rdieter math unl edu> wrote:
>> Paul Johnson wrote:
>>> I want to change the programs that xdg-open points to for things like
>>> pdf or dvi.  There are no configure tools I can find on the
>>> freedesktop site and the xdg-open man page gives no help at all. In
>>> /etc/xdg I don't see settings for evince or such.  "grep -r pdf *" in
>>> the /etc/xdg directory returns nothing.
>>> Throw me some help, please.
>> xdg-open uses the default apps as defined by the desktop you're using
>> (gnome, kde, etc...).  So, the question becomes, which desktop are you
>> using?  Do you need help setting the default .pdf app on desktop foo?
>> -- Rex
> Well, I use several different desktops, if you must know.  On all of
> them LyX runs and uses xdg-open to grab pdf files, and I had thought
> that the freedesktop framework was aiming at having a
> desktop-brand-free method of specifying what applications are used.
> That is the long term goal, I think.  Googling tells me that many
> people have the same desire, but it is not implemented YET because the
> freedesktop people are coming along with general standards after the
> desktop systems evolved.
> But I have something of an answer.  The previous poster points me to
> the xdg-mime program. It is used to set the default applications. I've
> been testing it and reading its source code.  It is not a general
> application chooser.  Rather, it "adjusts most desktops" to use a
> program program. If you run it  in your current environment, it tells
> you what is specified if it understands what desktop you are previous
> running (AFAIK, it is OK for Gnome,KDE, and XFCE, but not for a less
> desktopish desktop like an old fashioned window-manager-only setup
> like  WindowMaker.  If you use xdg-mime to set a value, it tries to
> set values for Gnome, KDE, and XFCE if it finds them in your system.
> It can set them either for the whole system or the user account.
> Another answer I've found is that Gnome users can hand edit this file:
> /usr/share/applications/defaults.list
> That is the "gnome" way of doing it system wide, and xdg-mime just
> edits that file for you.
> If an individual user already has this file,
> ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list
> then system-wide changes will have no effect, and users have to either
> edit their own defaults.list or delete it and let it be re-created by
> the desktop environment.  That will copy the system-wide set into the
> user's account.
> But, then again, this is all stuff I've pieced together in the last 2
> hours, so hopefully the program maintainers will step up and tell us
> if I have it wrong.

Excellent detective work! :)

Good news for all that latter stuff about defaults.list... Most desktops (including kde4) use that same spec/standard too.

-- Rex

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