While reading the Chris Coyier’s post Application-Specific Links the other day, I realized what has been bugging me for a long time now: a proper solution for openening a certain URL in a modern Web App.
Since the beginning of the digital age (feels like that), we have files associated to a certain application, installed on our machine, regardless if its running Windows, iOS, OS/2 or whatever. We have learned that well and no one questions it … but … the IT world keeps on turning and today we are not only talking about files, but about links.
Many modern applications are written with Web technologies, thanks to cross platform frameworks like Electron. Some of them are real apps for working on things, like the famous editor Visual Studio Code, and some are mirroring their online services in a desktop app only, like Slack or Notion. However, the latter have the problem how to deal with links to their online services. When a user is sent a link and has become accustomed to using the desktop app, it won’t open in the app as he clicks on it, but in his default browser. The question is, how to associate not only files, but links with certain desktop apps?