Re: [Usability] An extended default applications dialog

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Christian Neumair wrote:
> Am Samstag, den 13.01.2007, 11:59 +0100 schrieb Christian Neumair:
>> Am Donnerstag, den 11.01.2007, 20:50 +0000 schrieb Matt Medland:
>>> I'm proposing that mime-type association be centralised in the
>>> Preferences>Preferred Applications area, since that seems the natural
>>> place that anyone would go to. This would, potentially, be useful for
>>> everyone.
>>> The spec is here:
>>> and any comments or criticism would be appreciated.
>> I'm extremely in favor of the "MIME type categories" proposed in some
>> comments on the spec page, i.e. we'd have certain categories like
>> "Audio", "Images", "Plain Text", "Text Documents", "Spreadsheet" etc.
>> Each category would provide a listing of MIME types that each
>> application has to support to be elegible for that category.
>> The GUI must also allow to determine exceptions for particular MIME
>> types that are part of the category, else we're not flexible enough to
>> deal the requirements with specialized setups. The specialized MIME
>> selection allows to select all applications that can be used for the
>> MIME type in question.
> This is what I have in mind technically:
> The idea is to get rid of many of the "defaults.list" entries
> (/usr/share/applications/defaults.list), and associate category
> information with each MIME type. Applications could then register
> against categories, and are just stored in defaults.list (i.e. against
> special MIME types) when they are specialized or override the default
> handler. Specialized applications would for instance be your favorite
> Macromedia Flash Image Extraction Frobnicator.
> I'm currently hard-coding categories and MIME types in a python script,
> but we might end up with .desktop files that contain:
> [Category]
> DisplayName=Foo
> Name=foo
> MimeTypes=foo/bar;...;
> Note that we'd standardize the valid "Name" fields.
> I'm attaching a little not yet demo application I wrote in python that
> can be used to play with the GUI. You can easily download it and run it.
> * Pro: Simple default application selection
> * Con: Many MIME types per category would make the "Details" entry very
> long. Either use a specialized dialog, or just list exceptions.
> Exceptions have the advantage that they do not list duplicate
> information.
> * Con: We use a combo box cell renderer in the tree view. Users might
> not be used to it.
> * Con: The current layout will make it impossible to have many MIME
> categories although it looks good. We'll hopefully find a solution,
> either tab based, or by having a layout like
> Default Foo Application:    [ Application Combo ] [ Details ]
> Default Bar Application:    [ Application Combo ] [ Details ]
> Default FooBar Application: [ Application Combo ] [ Details ]
> Please run the attached python script and give some feedback! :)

Wow, I can tell that you've put lots of effort into this. :)

I really like your script, maybe you could put a scrollbar on the side
so that we could have more categories. Would there be anyway to only
allow one drop-down thing to be open at a time?

I think that that gui would work really well once the few small teething
problems have been ironed out and it's been jazzed up a bit with some icons.

Do you mind if I upload this to the bazaar branch that's attached to the

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