New clipboard proposal

Philip Van Hoof spamfrommailing at
Tue Mar 1 02:31:50 EET 2005

On Thu, 2004-12-30 at 20:21 +0100, Philip Van Hoof wrote:

> There's been many problems with the current implementation of the X11
> clipboard. 

Since not very much core X11/GNOME/KDE developers commented on this
proposal, I'm going to hold-back any initial development efforts.

There's a small chance that I will nevertheless implement some
experimental stuff (that will most likely never get used). But I'm not
sure when I'll start with this. I do want to know whether or not it's
possible and how the result would be like.

I just don't think that there will be a lot support-from-others for
this. It seems most core developers of desktop-technologies prefer
keeping the clipboard broken rather than breaking their code and redoing

I don't think you can say that the current clipboard isn't broken. It's
broken: (a)

	o. It really sucks in performance: It isn't designed for large
	o. It's copying data over network-resources, also when this is
	   absolutely not necessary (two processes on the same host,
	   while only the xserver on a different host)
	o. It isn't supporting non-x11 applications. 
	o. It's confusing for normal users: There's three!!! clipboards.
	   Three damned, three!!! Nobody needs multiple clipboards OR
	   would start using a clipboard-history!
	o. It's insane hard to let your applications support the x11
	   clipboard correctly. The prove for that is that almost NONE
	   of the current HUGE stack of x11 applications are utilising
	   the X-clipboard correctly nor to it's full extend. 
	o. And finally it's nearly impossible to have clipboard-history
	   or to have a clipboard thats being shared across your
	o. Therefor it makes it very difficult to do something creative
	   with the clipboard. Which is most likely the reason why
	   nobody ever did do something creative with it. 

My personal opinion is that this is sad. Other companies which most of
us started to hate, have been doing the exact same thing since they for
example created a vicious computing architecture or, another one, bought
and sold an idiot single tasking operating system: They just thrown
candy on it until it eventually smelled good enough to sell it. I really
think we shouldn't care all that much about backwards compatibility no
more. Sure the applications from the 70ties will stop working. But I
want to create a desktop for the years to come. There's plenty software
that can support old X11 applications.

Oh and we CAN actually let those older applications work with newer
clipboard-implementations. So then still it isn't a valid point not to
redo the clipboard.

I really can't imagine for example Keith Packards X on OpeGL (xgl) stuff
with the current totally broken clipboard. We'll have a great graphical
environment with a set of very common and typical desktop-needs that are
totally broken (a). How are we going to sell that?

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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