gnome-launch proposal

During a discussion on #gnome last night about gnome-edit, and if it
should be there (vs. using only mime types).  Miguel pointed out that it
would be difficult/annoying/frustrating if a user decided to switch to vi
to emacs, for example.  

I thought of a couple of similar (to gnome-edit) programs that would be
good, such as gnome-term (configurable to whichever is your preferred
terminal) and gnome-email (similar for email, mailcheck would then
launch this by default instead of having its own configuration), and maybe
even gnome-wm (modified (or not) wm-properties).  One wrapper program
(gnome-launch?) could be written, which handles all of these in a manner
similar to gnome-edit.

A gnome-lauch function could also be written which lets GNOME apps
easily launch the user's preferred application for different tasks.

But there are still the mime-types, which seems to create two sets of 
settings.  But hopefully this provides a good solution (or at least hints 
at one):

Have a setting (mime type?) for different launching classes.  Examples of
these would be edit, email, term, image, wm, etc.  These would all be
configured in one capplet (mime-types or a dedicated one with multiple
entries similar to the gnome-edit capplet).  These would have settings for
maybe an edit and a view applications associated with it, which
point to either a mime-type for that application or a .desktop file.

They would at least have one program associated with them, the edit/view
comes to mind with images and html files, which could be selected (for
example) in the gmc right-click menu.

Each mime-type for a file type could then point to one of these classes,
and say whether the default is to edit or view.  Then, if you decide to
switch from xv to ee, you only have to change the image/view application,
and not the 20 or so image types.

Or, if you want to switch terminals, you can change just the
gnome-term entry, and not numerous .desktop/menu files.  Plus, any
programs that start terms for you will also use this (right click on the
gmc desktop, new->terminal).

A very intuitive way of configuring this would to have the mime-types
capplet have use a tree structure, with the different mime-types being
children of the launcher classes.  One should probably be able to toggle
between this and the current alphabetical ordering, though.  This might be
a bit complex/not cleanly doable though.

Or you could just have one capplet which has the launcher classes, and
also the mime types capplet which configures each type.  This seems not so
complicated, and might be better.

To a "normal" user this might be a bit complicated, but given a good
initial setup of the mime types and associated launchers I think it should 
be MUCH more intuitive than the current mime types setup gnome (and
windows, and netscape) uses, since you only have to change the launcher
for each class in one place.

Most of this doesn't seem to be too hard to implement, and could probably
use some CORBA to be more nicely integrated with other GNOME aspects.  

I would really like to hear comments about this.  I'm not completely
sold on it yet, but it seems promising to me.

Thanks for reading this mess,

Jacob Berkman

"Me fail English?  That's unpossible!" - R. Wiggam

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