Preferred & Startup applications gone?

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Tue Feb 8 08:51:02 UTC 2011

Bastien Nocera wrote:

> On Fri, 2011-02-04 at 08:52 +0100, Kevin Kofler wrote:
>> Adam Williamson wrote:
>> > it's a design feature, we are told. the intent is that applications
>> > should offer the option to set themselves as the default, instead of
>> > the desktop providing a central config point.
>> To the GNOME developers (Adam, I know you are just the messenger):
>> This is very broken. You cannot expect non-GNOME applications to support
>> setting themselves as the default in GNOME. (For example, if you want to
>> use, say, Konqueror as your default browser, how would you set that?
>> Konqueror obviously does not support GNOME preferences.)
> There's no GNOME preferences involved. Make sure Konqueror sets itself
> as the handler for x-scheme-handler/http (and https) and you're done.
>> Plus, we have seen where leaving this to the applications leads to on
>> Window$: applications fight for being the default and the user never gets
>> asked! Instead, merely running an app will change his/her file
>> associations, leading to a ping-pong effect. Please do not head down that
>> road!
> We're talking about browsers and mailers. Browsers already do that.

KDE doesn't use x-scheme-handler for browsers at all. Instead, it has a 
Default Components setting (very similar to GNOME 2's Preferred 
Applications) where, for the browser, you can set it up to use the program 
associated with the text/html file type (the default setting) or to use a 
specific browser. (In fact, this was added in KDE 4, modeled on the GNOME 2 
dialog. In KDE 3, it was hardcoded to always use the text/html file 
association as a browser.)

In Fedora, the default text/html handler for KDE is set in
with the following line:
We patch the startkde script to set XDG_DATA_DIRS so this setting is also 
seen by non-KDE applications.

None of the browser packages I have installed override this setting. If I 
want to change it, I have to either change the priorities for text/html in 
the file associations or force a default browser in Default Components in 
KDE's System Settings (or both).

See line 286 of:
for how this is implemented in KDE. (You'll notice that, when not running 
the KDE Plasma Workspace, kdelibs will use xdg-open if installed, so GNOME's 
way of handling URLs, including x-scheme-handler, will be used in that 

As of KDE 4.6, KDE now supports x-scheme-handler for the things KDE's old 
protocol handler scheme is used for, but that isn't quite the same thing as 
what GNOME uses it for.

        Kevin Kofler

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