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# Document  $Id$
# Summary   Important infos about the chemical-mime-data project.

0. Content

  0. Content
  1. About chemical-mime-data
  2. Copyright and License
  3. Introduction and configuration
  4. Supported MIME types
  5. Download and Installation
  6. Associate your chemical application with a chemical MIME type
  7. TODO
  8. Footnotes

1. About chemical-mime-data

The chemical-mime-data [1] package is a collection of data [2] files to add
support for various chemical MIME types on Linux/UNIX desktops, such as
KDE [3] and GNOME [4].

Chemical MIMEs [5] were proposed [6] in 1995, though it seems they have never
been registered with IANA [7]. But they are widely used and the project's aim
is, to support these important, but unofficial MIME types.

2. Copyright and License

Copyright (C) 2004-2008 Daniel Leidert <>.
Copyright (C) 2004-2006 Egon Willighagen <>.

  This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
  modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public
  License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either
  version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
  This library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
  but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
  Lesser General Public License for more details.
  You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public
  License along with this library; if not, write to the Free Software
  Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin St, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA
Please see the file COPYING or visit [8] to obtain a
copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License.

Initial data was taken from »The Chemical MIME Home Page« of Henry Rzepa [5],
but this compilation is written and continuously extended by Egon Willighagen,
Daniel Leidert and others (see the distributed AUTHORS and THANKS files for a
list of who has contributed to this project).

3. Introduction and configuration

Newer desktop systems need to know the MIME type to associate applications
with it. Writers of chemical applications can, will and make use of this
feature too. But there are several systems [9], which first need to be
prepared. During the development of Jmol [10] and CDK [11] we came to the
problem, to integrate these applications into the Linux desktop. This issue
raised up the chemicalMIME [12] project, which is the forerunner of the
chemical-mime-data [1] project. [13] project system

    Newer GNOME [4] and ROX [14] desktops use the Shared MIME-info
    Database [15] to determine MIMEs. We provide a file
    chemical-mime-data.xml, which has to be installed into the database at
    $XDG_DATA_DIRS/mime/packages and follows the
    specification [16]. After running update-mime-database the MIME types are
    registered. This should work for all systems and applications mentioned
    at [17]. You will need the shared-mime-info package [18] for your

    To associate an icon for a MIME type, the icon has to be installed into
    the hicolor-theme [19] and named e.g.:


    The syntax is:


    If the icon naming scheme follows this direction, the MIME type is
    automatically associated with the icon.

GNOME [4] <= 2.4

    Older GNOME [4] desktops use the ${datadir}/mime-info path with .keys and
    .mime files [20] to determine [21] MIME stuff. Icons are determined the
    same way.

KDE [3] < 4

    KDE [3] desktops use the ${datadir}/mimelnk [22] path with .desktop files
    to determine MIME stuff. Icons are determined the same way.

If you need more information, checkout the documentation section [23] of the
projects website.

4. Supported MIME types

Please check the large table form you can find at [2]. This table is also
shipped with the package.

5. Download and Installation

To build and install chemical-mime-data from SVN:

    (1) install autoconf, automake, intltool/gettext, xsltproc
    (2) get the SVN sources
    (3) run (./
    (4) see next part ...

The latest release can always be found in the download section [24] of the
project's website. Make sure to also download the MD5 sum file (.md5) to check
the files integrity. For e.g. the .tar.gz tarball check it with:

   md5sum -c chemical-mime-data-<version>.tar.gz.md5

To build and install chemical-mime-data from release tarballs:

    (1) Get the required applications:
        - intltool/gettext (I18N)
        - pkg-config
        - xsltproc (create .desktop, .mime, ... files from XML)
        - gnome-mime-data
        - shared-mime-info (contains update-mime-database)
    (2) Configure and compile:
        (see ./configure --help for possible configure options)
          $ ./configure [options-you-like-most-here]
          $ make
    (3) Install everything (probably needs root permissions):
          $ su
          # make install
($: means user-shell, #: means root-shell)

The file INSTALL contains some generic installation instructions.

6. Associate your chemical application with a chemical MIME type

To associate the chemical MIME types with a special application, you need to
do the following:

	* KDE: [25][26][27] ([25] only for KDE 3.3 and above)
	* GNOME [25][28][29][30][31] ([25-28] for GNOME > 2.4, [31] for <= 2.4)

The desktop-file-utils package [32] contains the command-line tool
desktop-file-validate to validate, manipulate and install .desktop files and
to update the database, which holds information about applications and
associated MIME types.

If you need more information, checkout the documentation section [23] of the
projects website.


For a list of things, that need to be done in the near future or for later
releases, refer to TODO.

If you want to have an overview, which features need to be implemented or
which bugs need to be fixed, check the projects tracker [33] page.

8. Footnotes


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