Standardized keyboard shortcut to paste PRIMARY?

Toni Ruottu toni.ruottu at
Sun Feb 25 05:32:07 PST 2007

> But, as I alluded, SECONDARY is almost forgotten, so it is OK to
> just add PRIMARY support.
> (BTW, do qt or gtk even have mouse support SECONDARY?
>  If not, then kbd support is completely unnecessary.)

- ICCCM [1]

	The selection named by the atom SECONDARY is used:
	- As the second argument to commands taking two arguments
	  (for example, "exchange primary and secondary selections")
	- As a means of obtaining data when there is a primary
	  selection and the user does not want to disturb it

- Current clipboard specification [2]

	"No one ever does anything interesting with SECONDARY as far
	 as I can tell."

	"possibly contradicting the ICCCM, clients don't need to
	 support SECONDARY, though if anyone can figure out what
	 it's good for they should feel free to use it for that"

- Frisco Rose, on Clipboards Wiki [3]

	X application copy/paste proposal for atom SECONDARY 

	Extend default X copy paste functionality to include
	paste over highlight without breaking current
	mouse-highlight (copy) mouse middle-click (paste)

	Practical use for the atom SECONDARY. If mouse-highlight
	(HL) data is different from contents of atom PRIMARY,
	duplicate atom PRIMARY into atom SECONDARY and put content
	of (HL) in atom PRIMARY. Then on (HL) middle-click if (HL)
	is same as atom PRIMARY contents paste data from atom

	This keeps the existing behavior, implements additional
	features and is not difficult to implement. Since atom
	SECONDARY is mostly unused this would be a good use for
	it - IMO.

- I [4] think we should work on standardizing behavior that Frisco
  describes, as it does not have a big conflict with current
  specification, it seems to improve usability a lot and it should
  not bother an average user in anyway. In addition it is very
  close seems to the use that the original ICCCM specification

  I don't think that we should not blindly look at the existing
  implementations. Lets design for a sane future instead.

  --Toni Ruottu

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