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Re: Bug#172436: followup on browser proposal

On Mon, 2003-06-16 at 11:36, Joey Hess wrote:

>   Thus, every program that launches a web browser with an URL must 
We're making this RC?

> use the
>   BROWSER environment variable to determine what browser the user wishes
>   to use.

This is definitely a good idea.  If a user wants to always use a
particular browser, they can set it.

>   If the BROWSER environment variable is not set, the program should use
> | /usr/bin/x-www-browser if DISPLAY is set,
>   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.

This, I have a big issue with.  Let's say I have a multiuser system
where I install GNOME and KDE.  Now, suppose konqueror registers itself
at a higher priority for this alternative for whatever random reason. 
Then whenver I'm in GNOME and click on a website, by default konqueror
will be launched, which is broken.  Likewise, if I'm in KDE, epiphany
shouldn't be launched, at least by default. I hope I don't have to
elaborate on the reasons why this is broken; it has been discussed in
the past.

This proposal is probably great for unintegrated environments, but some
sort of exception should be made for integrated ones.

Probably we say something like this:

If the BROWSER environment variable is not set, if the program has a
preferred browser which is installed, it may fall back to that. 
Otherwise, it should use /usr/bin/x-www-browser...

> | Instead of implementing the above in every program that runs a web browser,
> | programs in Debian may be configured to use /usr/bin/sensible-browser .
> | 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.

To help implement the above, sensible-browser should have a --preferred
option or something which it tries first.

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