Package: debian-policy Version: 184.108.40.206 Severity: normal As discussed earlier on this list, and now implemented by lots of stuff in Debian and with only a few to go, I'm proposing that the following be added to policy around section 12.4: Web browsers ------------ Some programs have the ability to launch a web browser to display an URL. Since there are lots of different web browsers available in the Debian distribution, the system administrator and each user should have the possibility to choose a preferred web browser. In addition, programs should choose a good default web browser if none is selected by the user or system administrator. Thus, every program that launches a web browser with an URL must use the BROWSER environment variable to determine what browser the user wishes to use. The value of BROWSER may consist of a colon-separated series of browser command parts. These should be tried in order until one succeeds. Each command part may optionally contain the string "%s"; if it does, the URL to be viewed is substituted there. If a command part does not contain %s, the browser is to be launched as if the URL had been supplied as its first argument. The string %% must be substituted as a single % <footnote> This browser variable was proposed by Eric Raymond at http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/BROWSER/ </footnote> If the BROWSER environment variable is not set, the program should use /usr/bin/x-www-browser if there is an available X Window System DISPLAY, and /usr/bin/www-browser if not. These two files are managed through the dpkg alternatives mechanism. Thus every package providing a general-purpose web browser must call the update-alternatives program to register the appopriate one of these alternatives. If it is very hard to adapt a program to make use of the BROWSER variable, that program may be configured to use /usr/bin/sensible-www-browser instead. This is a program provided by the Debian base system that checks the BROWSER environment variable, and falls back to /usr/bin/x-www-browser or /usr/bin/www-browser if it is not set. I'm looking for seconds. If you seconded the earlier, informal proposal, please re-second this formal one. -- see shy jo  sensible-browser http://lists.debian.org/debian-policy/2002/debian-policy-200211/msg00189.html  debianutils, links, mozilla, urlview, w3m, xchat, xpdf  lynx has a patch in the BTS; konqeror is patched in CVS pending new release; any other unmentioned web browsers still need updates as do probably still tons of packages that hardcode calls to netscape. Find something and I'll gladly patch iT.
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