[Annoyances] X-Windows Copy & Paste

George jirka at 5z.com
Thu Aug 21 20:26:50 EEST 2003

On Thu, Aug 21, 2003 at 06:32:00AM +0200, Marko Macek wrote:
> >Just ignore PRIMARY, it's an easter egg. It's not going to confuse
> >anyone because they won't find it. Most mice don't even have a middle
> >button.
> This is not true.
> When a newbie asks how do to copy/paste there is > 50% chance that 
> somebody will reply "copy with left button and paste with the middle" 
> instead of it "works the same way as in windows/mac, use standard 
> bindings Ctrl+XVC, Ctrl/Shift+Insert/Delete".
> This is why I proposed an option to disable this easter egg by default. 
> It is confusing people IMO.

And how will that solve the problem?  A linux geek will still enable that and
he will still tell a newbie "copy with left button and paste with the
middle".  All that will change is that now it won't work for the newbie and
he'll be confused.

It's the same with "how do you copy a file", a unix geek will tell you "open
a terminal and do 'cp fromfile tofile'".

You can't solve this problem by disabling these "features".  They are there,
they are unobtrusive since they really don't present any UI to confuse anyone
and so can quite safely be ignored by majority of users, without having to
be "disabled".

So what you want to solve is what we tell newbies and that can only be solved
by making the UI so simple that they won't ask questions.  If 
  1) The common Ctrl-XVC or whatnot bindings work they are likely not to
     ask as they are used to those
  2) Most places have an easy to find edit menu with these items they are
     not likely to ask.

You can't solve this issue by disabling some feature on SOME (not all)
desktops and applications.  The more discrepancy will there be among common
functionality of apps, the more confusion there will be.  It is more
confusing if the newbie hears the middle click thing and it doesn't work then
if it does.  And if the user never hears it, or sees it, then it can't
confuse him.


George <jirka at 5z.com>
   I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.
                       -- Rita Mae Brown

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