handling of mime-types

I am writing an application which interprets some mime types.  I want to
use the default and user-defined mime-types and handlers found in the
gnome control center.  I am confused as to the layout of files in the
...share/mime-info and ~/.gnome/mime-info directories.  Should I be
checking all of the .mime and .keys files (I plan on identifying and
handling them)?  Why does mc.keys define handlers for types it does not
"own"?  It seems that they should be in gnome.keys and used by gmc instead
of split between gnome.mime and mc.keys.

What is the most correct and portable way to find the directories I should
be searching in?

Nathan Clegg

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