Debugging File Type (MIME) Associations

I’m having less and less time to blog and write stuff lately, so it’s a good oppertunity to catch up with old thing I did. Back in the happy days I used Gentoo, one of irritating issues I faced was messed up file type associations. MIME type for some files was recognized incorrectly, and as a result, KDE offered to open files with unsuitable applications. In order to debug it I wrote a small python script which would help me debug the way KDE applications are associated with MIME types and what MIME type is inferred form each file.

The script does so by querying the KMimeType and KMimeTypeTrader. The script does 3 things:

  • Given a MIME type, show it’s hierarchy and a list of applications associated with it.
  • Given an applications, list all MIME types it’s associated with
  • Given a file, show its MIME type (and also the accuracy, which allows one to know why that MIME type was selected, although I admit that in the two years since I wrote it, I forgot how it works :))

The script is pasted below. I hope someone that still fiddles with less than standard installations, will find it helpful.
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Disable Touchpad Tapping in Kubuntu

In Ubuntu (gnome) there is an easy graphical way to disable tapping on the touchpad. However, KDE lacks such thing. But lacking graphical configuration doesn’t mean this should be difficult. All you need is the gsynaptics package. The package provides a small utility called synclient. Now you can disable tapping by doing

 synclient TapButton1=0

To disable the tapping permanently you should use the following to run the command at the start of every KDE session.

echo "synclient TapButton1=0" > ~/.kde/env/

Upgrading All KDE Related Packages in Gentoo

Yesterday, Gentoo marked KDE 3.5.10 as stable on amd64. I looked for a way to upgrade all of the KDE related packages, without manually specifying each one of them. Normally one could do

emerge -avu world

but I encountered some nasty conflicts that I didn’t have time, nor will, to resolve at that time. So I’ve looked for a different solution. To my rescue came qlist for the great app-portage/portage-utils package. This package provides a set of very fast utilities to query portage. I’ve used qlist to list all of my installed packages, grep‘ed the list and piped the result as arguments to emerge using xargs.
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