Bug#172436: debian-policy: [PROPOSAL] web browser url viewing
Joey Hess <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Package: debian-policy
> Version: 188.8.131.52
> 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 %
> This browser variable was proposed by Eric Raymond at
> 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.
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