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Re: app wrappers and gworkspace

From: Stefan Urbanek
Subject: Re: app wrappers and gworkspace
Date: Fri, 06 Aug 2004 00:31:17 +0200

On 2004-08-06 00:10:21 +0200 "Sascha Erni, .rb" <address@hidden> wrote:

Hi Christopher,

On 2004-08-05 23:46:42 +0200 Christopher Culver <address@hidden> wrote:
That's not the way to do it. GNUstep should not have to act
differently than other desktop environments in this respect. We
should use the files in /usr/share/applications, using on the
FreeDesktop specifications, to get information. Why should we have to
almost reinstall all the apps we want to use just to get them from

The tool is supposed to be sort of a workaround until a better solution comes up (say, according to the freedesktop specs). i.e. as long as GWorkspace can't do it automatically, I'm quite glad to have a handy app that lets me wrap and register my binaries easily rather than having to create them from scratch.

I think everybody here will agree that, ultimately, there must be an easier / "automagical" way for the GNUstep workspace to access installed applications and their associated filetypes and actions. One of the things that really annoyes me about the app-wrapper idea is the filetype icons that need to be stored within every single application. I want to tell my workspace once what a xhtml file is supposed to look like, not multiple times just because I have more than one program installed that can / should deal with such files.

What I think is, that we want to use inapropriate tool for our task. What is the task? To 
be able to easily find and launch applications. There are lots of places where apps are 
stored and there are different kinds of apps (gnustep, system native, other environments, 
...). And we use a generic tool named "file manager" - windows of GWorkspace 
are nothing more and nothing less, just plain file manager.

Having wrappers, hacks or any other kind of magic will still be just a hack or magic. 
what is really needed is an grpahical tool/application that manages applications. 
Existing examples of such tools are: "Start menu" and its clones or Program 
Manager from ancient windows versions. The later one is better example of the management 
app - at least the original idea was not so bad. That is kind of application that user 
should use instead of file manager. File manager should be used sparingly, only when one 
wants to manage and share files.

Most of the time we do not manage files, but we use applications. With such app 
management tool you can have features like: "search for application that can edit 
photos" - information known from application roles as proposed several months ago on 
discuss-gnustep. Or you can have browser (literally NSBrowser) that will browse 
applications by various apsects like by role or even by vendor, as it is unluckily and 
impractically used on ms windows.

The application has no magic in it, it is only an abstraction layer over 
applications present in the host system. With bundle extensions for various 
types of apps user will have common access to every app in the system.

Stefan Urbanek

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you 
- Mahatma Gandhi

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