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Re: introduction of x-www-browser virtual package

On Tue, 08 Jan 2019 at 13:20:14 +0100, Bastien ROUCARIES wrote:
> I could add a sensible-x-www-browser to be more nice to our user to
> sensible-utils

Please use xdg-open instead of reinventing it. Unlike the alternatives
system, xdg-open respects the per-user configuration written by our
default GNOME desktop (and hopefully other desktop environments), which
should be a good way to avoid users getting unexpected behaviour ("I
configured Firefox to be my default browser, why do I get Chromium?" or
similar). Unlike the use of $BROWSER in sensible-browser, it doesn't
require setting an environment variable, which only relatively
Unix-literate users are going to be able to do. Unlike sensible-browser,
it's non-Debian-specific and can be recommended to upstream developers
without having to say "... but this only works on Debian".

In a GNOME environment, xdg-open uses `gio open`, which uses the
configured freedesktop.org default handler for the x-scheme-handler/http
or x-scheme-handler/https pseudo-MIME-types. Those default handlers in
~/.config/mimeapps.list are what GNOME sets when you change the default
web browser, and also what Firefox sets when you tell it to make itself
the default. None of this is GNOME-specific or Debian-specific (`gio`
is a GLib tool, so it's more closely related to GNOME-derived desktop
environments, but it's looking at a cross-desktop source of
configuration), so I would hope that any/all desktop environments can
implement it.

In a "generic" environment, xdg-open seems to reimplement essentially
the same logic that GLib uses, including the x-scheme-handler/foo

In non-GNOME environments that it recognises (KDE, DDE, MATE, Xfce, etc.)
I don't know the specifics of what xdg-open does, but if they're wrong,
that's a bug in xdg-open or the tools/libraries that it uses, and should
be fixed.