Automatically find applications to open files based on MIME type

Registered by Dylan McCall on 2008-06-02

Presently, when a user tries to open a file in Nautilus whose type has no associated programs, no useful solutions are presented. The current "choose an installed program to open this file" dialog presents a serious usability issue, and should really be considered a last-resort fallback for geeks; most applications have properly registed file type associations so if Nautilus gets to this point in trying to open a file, we can probably give up. The average user, however, does not know this and becomes very confused when presented with, for example, "Text Editor" as an option to open a file. Unlike the proprietary competition, however, Ubuntu is different because we have a proper searchable catalogue of available applications which can be installed! Using gnome-app-install, we can have Nautilus open a search for available programs which can open a particular file type. In this way, users will be immediately presented with solutions to their problems in an intuitive, easy and unique way.

Blueprint information

Status:
Not started
Approver:
None
Priority:
Undefined
Drafter:
None
Direction:
Needs approval
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Definition:
New
Series goal:
None
Implementation:
Unknown
Milestone target:
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Just popping this up here to get gears turning. I haven't created a Wiki page quite yet. I'll be trying my hand at this soon...
I do know that gnome-app-install can be opened with a search via, for example "gnome-app-install --mime-type=text/html". One issue to deal with is that the application catalogue does not detail mime types very well, but this should be fixable. If there is some incentive to do it, I am sure we will see these sorts of searches getting a lot more information.
-Dylan McCall

(?)

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