In GUI environments, we open (almost) any data file with a double-click. The system will somehow magically, launch your preferred program and load the data file onto it for you.
For those who prefer command line over mouse-clicking, GNOME provides a nice, simple command that does the job (thanks to Carthik’s discovery):
~$ gnome-open Usage: gnome-open <url>
<url> means any URL, or path in the filesystem. Thus, you can use it to open a website, FTP site, a PDF file, a OGG file, a directory etc. Try it!
To save keystrokes, I’ve added a shortcut command “go” for myself:
~$ echo "alias go='gnome-open'" >> ~/.bash_aliases