Hey list, Unless I'm misunderstanding things, it seems to me as though typical GNU typical distros seem to ship two different systems for determining a file's magic.
There is the older file(1) / libmagic / magic(5) mechanism. One can test it via running file(1) on a particular file and it will identify it and can also provide the MIME type. The second way is via /usr/share/mime/packages/<mypackage>.xml mechanism as described by the fd.o shared-mime-info-spec. Typical desktop shells like Gnome's Nautilus, Xfce's Thunar, pcmanfm, etc., seem to identify files via this way. The amount of redundant work in specifying file magic patterns for both systems is substantial considering how many different types of files there are out there in the wild. I am assuming, but I don't know this for certain, but the latter's /usr/share/mime/packages/freedesktop.org.xml might have been initially generated from file(1)'s upstream magic source database (ships as libmagic-mgc on my distro). Ironically neither one of these two mechanisms seem to communicate with each other. If the second mechanism is intended to superannuate the first, would it not make sense to provide an fd.o replacement for file(1) which queries the system's shared-mime-info database instead? I would think this should be trivial to implement. Yours truly, -- Kip Warner | Senior Software Engineer OpenPGP signed/encrypted mail preferred https://www.cartesiantheatre.com
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