An addition to the clipboard specification

Lubos Lunak l.lunak at
Thu Apr 20 12:20:12 EEST 2006

On Wednesday 19 April 2006 23:54, Toni Ruottu wrote:
>   hi
> > > I created a patch which sharpens the current specification in the way I
> > > was requesting.
> > >
> > >  - when PRIMARY is set, any selection visualization regarding
> > >    the old selection (conceptually showing former content of
> > >    primary) should be cleared
> >
> > This may be the traditional way, but it can be also pretty annoying
> > (people don't select things just in order to copy&paste them)
>   Could you please be more specific. Gtk+ works this way _today_ and I
> don't remember anyone complaining about it.

 The world is not just Gtk+. E.g. Qt doesn't work this way and I don't 
remember anybody complaining about it either. Not that I'd expect anybody to 
be bothered enough to complain about it, as it's one of those small nuisances 
that people just shrug off with a sigh. At least, that's what I remember 
doing when some selection (to highlight something, result of a search,...) 
"mysteriously" goes away just because I selected something else.

> > and especially given the item below it doesn't make that much sense.
> >
> > >  - a selection becoming unselected should never unset PRIMARY
>   "selection is always in PRIMARY" policy may help user, because
>   when she sees something that is selected, she knows she can paste
>   it with middle button.

 I don't think people work like "oh, I see there's something selected, I think 
I'll paste it somewhere with the MMB". They want to copy&paste something, 
they select it, remember it's in PRIMARY and paste it after that. The way 
people work with PRIMARY probably wouldn't change at all even if the 
selection got cleared right after becoming PRIMARY.

>   "PRIMARY is always selected" policy is not that intuitive. With
>   such a policy e.g. selecting a single a-character would have to
>   select every visible a-character.


>   Luckily, both policies work separately and there is no need to
>   combine them. "selection is always in PRIMARY"-only is the
>   original way.

 Is it? And where is that said? ICCCM is as usually as vague as possible. 
Besides, even if it were the original way, that still doesn't automatically 
mean it's right. After all there must be a reason why so many people hate MMB 
copy&paste and "selection is always in PRIMARY" sounds like a good bet for 
being a reason.

Lubos Lunak
KDE developer
SuSE CR, s.r.o.  e-mail: l.lunak at , l.lunak at
Drahobejlova 27  tel: +420 2 9654 2373
190 00 Praha 9   fax: +420 2 9654 2374
Czech Republic

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