- Hey, did you know that in Linux, you can type the name of an app in Terminal and launch it?

- Oh, neat!

*fires up GNOME desktop* Ooh, let’s try this!

$ files .

- Oh, sorry, not that. That’s nautilus.

- Oh, uh-uh… ok, how about…

$ web

Ah, yes, no, that’s epiphany!


· · Web · 7 · 6 · 15

Cue: “you’re holding it wrong” and “it’s an upstream issue” in 3… 2…

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Well it's handled with "open". Try "open".

Oh, right, it's "xdg-open", which will probably change once Wayland becomes mainstream. You should know that, dumb user!

@sirikon @aral wait, why would it change once Wayland becomes mainstream?

@bugaevc @aral

Sorry, thought that the X in XDG related to XServer, as usual, but seems like I was wrong, but not 100% sure.

@sirikon @aral I believe XDG stands for Cross-Desktop Group; XDG stuff in general is not specific to X (in fact, some XDG stuff is even specific to Wayland). xdg-open works here on Wayland :)

@sirikon @aral I'm on Wayland since last year and xdg-open works fine.

@aral Nah man, that's a GNOME issue for obfuscating the real name of the applications. Good take 13/10

@aral I'm pretty sure you can create aliases :)

@aral I mean, since everything is so free and modular, you can't have multiple applications calling themselves the same

@aral Normally 'view' is mapped to something useful for text files... that is, useful if you remember how to exit vim. But yes, as a text adventure, the command line is lacking.

@feonixrift Ah, if it was a text adventure, it would be perfect (you want those to be challenging) ;)

@aral ok, i'll admit, 'help' was more helpful than anticipated. Maybe I should try viewing this as an adventure more often...

This is exactly my problem with the terminal, as a medium-weight, non-developer, self-taught Linux-er. Caja, Nautilus, etc. And then I have to go digging to figure out what the terminal name is, since it's often not exactly the same as the name in the menu.

@aral Good point, there's plenty of paper cuts like this around and it's good that you are mentioning this.

This one might be easy to solve: add aliases to bash.rc which point towards the defaults. So web could point towards Epiphany with something like alias web=/usr/bin/epiphany.

Sounds like low-hanging fruit to make a distro more user-friendly :) Btw there are probably not enough interaction-designers using FLOSS & noticing these things AND willing/able to fix them. So shall we do this?

@BjornW @aral But why should you let the user use the terminal? In Gnome at least you press the super key and type the first letters of the activity you want. Like 'web' selects Firefox and Ephinany is on the right of that, cause it's not the default, but still present.

@jeroenpraat the issue @aral mentioned is that if the user does the same on the terminal, for example, typing web, it does not work. So it would be nice (not to mention consistent) if the defaults set for the desktop GUI are also used in the terminal. If a user decides to use the terminal she can type web and the default browser will launch on the default desktop.

@BjornW Oh OK. It's about consistency. Well than a symlink or an alias, is the right thing to do.


@jeroenpraat yep and it would be cool if distro's using Gnome defaults would do this for the terminal automagically out-of-the-box :)


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