New clipboard proposal

Philip Van Hoof spamfrommailing at
Fri Dec 31 04:09:37 EET 2004

On Fri, 2004-12-31 at 02:20 +0100, Philip Van Hoof wrote:
> On Fri, 2004-12-31 at 01:34 +0100, Diego Calleja wrote:
> > El Thu, 30 Dec 2004 16:03:52 -0800 John Davidorff Pell <johnpell at> escribió:

> It could be useful, yes. For example some text-editors might want to use
> it rather than using the terminal. How are you going to paste the
> "text/html" target of a selection you made in mozilla, to a console
> text-editor if the terminal is using the UTF8_STRING target? Using the
> proposed mechanism this would be perfectly possible by letting the
> text-editor query the xclient through DBUS. It would just ask it
> directory in stead of using the xterm|terminal and the xserver.

Of course, in order to make it possible for that console text-editor to
know about which process to talk to without going to X to ask it, a
clipboard manager would have to keep a pointer to it, and would have to
provide such application with that information. So you can view a
clipboard manager like a huge arrow pointing at the current application
owning the clipboard. At this moment it's X who's pointing. A console
text-editor, however, can't ask X about that (without an xlib

The same clipboard manager could be used to get clipboards from console
applications to the X environment (the other way around). Easily by
pushing a new clipboard and telling it should become clipboard-owner on
X while using that new clipboard.

Not only console-application to X11. Also other such situations. For
example plugins for such a clipboard manager that make the clipboard
shareable on a network (using some sort of authentication of course).

Another type of applications that could benefit from this are
virtualisators like VMWare, pearpc and qemu. It would be a lot more easy
for them to manage the clipboard between the guest and the host
operating systems.

There's other examples imaginable. But others on this list have quoted
that we shouldn't dream to much. In stead of only dreaming about the
greatest freedesktop, we should rather be doing it. 

Philip Van Hoof, Software Developer @ Cronos
home: me at freax dot org
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org
work: philip dot vanhoof at cronos dot be
junk: philip dot vanhoof at gmail dot com,

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