Register as default atom:// URI handler?


I guess as all Atom users I get this message during the last few weeks. Unfortunately I don’t really understand what’s it about if someone can explain so I can make the best decision.


You may find this topic of interest:
Always asking to set as URI handler :: Atom V1.23 Beta0 installed as a portable version


My question is more about understanding what URI handler is all about. I guess most users don’t understand what the message is about.
As for the discussion link, it discuss somekind of a bug, when the user clicks ‘never’, so it handles a different issue.


It’s one of those vaguely jargon-sounding things that’s actually really easy to understand if you realize that it’s basically not jargon at all.

  1. URI stands for Uniform Resource Identifier. It’s an identifier of resources that always follows the same structure, ergo “uniform”. I guess that might technically be jargon, but it’s really weak jargon.

  2. The format of the string atom:// is identical to that of http://. It’s not a large mental leap to guess that they fill the same role, and that is correct. It’s not necessary to understand Internet protocols, because not all URI prefixes indicate that a specific protocol should be used. For example, the most common uses of atom:// are just replacing file:// in URIs pointing at your filesystem.

  3. There is no unique definition of the word “handler”. It just means a program to handle whatever you’re talking about.

So Atom wants to register itself with your operating system as the program that can handle URIs that start with atom://. Since it is unlikely that you will have another program also looking for the same URI pattern, if you don’t know why you wouldn’t want that, you probably don’t have any reason to disable it.


My attempt to be helpful is dismissed a bit too quickly.
Within the linked posting is:

Though @DamnedScholar (thank you) supplied a very nice answer.

As bonus: Do note the bug mentioned in the posting has a work-around which is mentioned there.


Thank you very much! @DamnedScholar and @danPadric


What are examples of what those will be- which documents use that?


Some packages might.


Just Atom stuff? Wondering for what reason that wouldn’t be a default. What else would use the atom:// URI besides Atom?


Atom’s designers have made a lot of decisions around making Atom as configurable and flexible as possible, and I assume that that’s the same reason why Atom gives people an option here.