[Annoyances] X-Windows Copy & Paste

John Meacham john at repetae.net
Tue Aug 19 22:14:32 EEST 2003

On Tue, Aug 19, 2003 at 03:35:13PM +0200, Kevin Krammer wrote:
Content-Description: signed data
> On Tuesday 19 August 2003 13:42, Richard Boulton wrote:
> > On Tue, 2003-08-19 at 12:09, Waldo Bastian wrote:
> > > Hash: SHA1
> > >
> > > > this doesn't affect people who like everything to be all GUIy with
> > > > edit menus and whatnot, it is so apps without explicit edit menus
> > > > can co-behave with apps that do have them in a sane fashion.
> > >
> > > Apps without explicit menus can still use explicit key shortcuts.
> >
> > Two problems with that:
> >
> >      i) It requires users to know about some secret method for
> >         putting the copy into the clipboard. Secret in the sense that
> Without it the user has to know about the secret that selecting anything 
> will destroy his clipboard content.
But this is a single 'secret' global to the enviornment.
the other secret was a keybinding which had to be learned on an
app-by-app  basis. 

the whole point of this excersize is to make cut-n-paste EASY and
FUNCTIONAL for new users.  to do that one needs to be able to answer
questions like 

'how do I copy text?'

right now, there is no good answer. with app-specific keybindings the
answer becomes even more unsatisfying, oh.. look in the man page.. or if
it doesn't have that.. look at the source code..

> If an application does not provide any obvious way to cut/copy it won't 
> occur to the user that he can cut/copy from there, like it would be on 
> systems without PRIMARY selection.
> IMHO its more or less a decision by the application developer. If he does 
> not want to support both methods, he does not have to.
> If he wants to support both, he should do it in a way that lets other 
> developers make that decision for their applications.
Ack! this is what got us into this mess. 

This is what my proposal is trying to Allow. apps which only support one
type of cut-n-paste. 

right now, it is impossible to get by with a single form of cut-n-paste
UI interface.  everyone must supply 2 UI mechanisms to be sure they can
communicate with everyone. my proposal would allow you to say, use your
wine apps (which just uses the clipboard metaphor) with xterm (which
just uses the mouse drag metaphor) or turn off the mouse-selection style
drags alltogether.

John Meacham - California Institute of Technology, Alum. - john at foo.net

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