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    Does www-browser belong in /etc/alternatives?
    by bronson on Friday, November 30 @ 05:38:48 GMT

    Many programs now spawn browsers (dhelp, gnome-term, …). Unfortunately, the user must configure each program separately to tell it which browser to launch. It’s very time consuming.
    Debian has the perfect solution to this: /etc/alternatives. Every browser package would provide a “www-browser” alternative. By default, Debian packages would launch “www-browser” when they want to spawn a web browser. Now the user can then select his or her favorite browser using update-alternatives, and the change would be noticed instantly and everywhere.

    To implement this, the following packages need to be patched:

    Browsers: konqueror, galeon, mozilla, netscape, skipstone, lynx, w3m …
    Packages: dhelp, gnome-term, … (I’m sure there are many more)

    I’m happy to create and submit these patches if they would be accepted. Is this a good idea?

    There might one minor issue: browsers aren’t real consistent with their command-line arguments. I don’t think this is a problem because currently all of them accept a URL on the command-line. That’s all we need right now. Packagers can write shell scripts for the weird ones.

    Your Name: Anonymous [ New User ]



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