Something for the Clipboard discussion

Bill Spitzak spitzak at
Wed Nov 5 02:42:24 EET 2003

Lately I have been trying to clear up the Primary/Clipboard confusion by 
describing the X Primary selection as "drag and drop". In fact it acts 
exactly like that, with the advantage over Windows/Mac drag & drop in that 
you can rearrange, open, and close windows before you finish the "drop". This 
includes the fact that you can actually drop in a particular location.

At first I thought I was just being clever, but the more I look at it, the 
more identical they seem, and I am thinking now that this should become the 
recommended explanation and that programs should try to act like these are 
identical. Perhaps in the future there will be no difference between 
selecting something and dragging and dropping it, and selecting the same 
thing and middle-clicking in the destination.

Xdnd is already emulating "drop" by sending fake middle-mouse clicks to 
destination programs. Support so middle-mouse click causes a drag & drop from 
the last program to select something would require additions to the Xdnd 

Anyway I thought maybe you would want to add a mention of this drag & drop 
equivalence to the Clipboard discussion.

                   ,~,~,~,~ ~ ~ ~ ~
     /\_       _|_========___         Bill Spitzak
 ~~~/\/\\~~~~~~\____________/~~~~~~~~ spitzak at

More information about the xdg mailing list