Proposal for a better mouse selection in text fields

Robin Dinse robindinse at
Tue Dec 16 14:33:15 PST 2014

> On 16 Dec 2014, at 17:38, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt at> wrote:
> Robin Dinse wrote on 08/12/14 05:15:
>> Hello XDG maintainers and list.
>> I have a proposal for improving the text field UI element.  I hope 
>> this list is the right place to bring it up.
> This list is for discussion of things that help platforms
> interoperate. Precise behavior of text fields doesn't really fall into
> that category.

Thanks for clearing that up.  I was referred to this list to reach the
maintainers of various GUIs.  Do you know a better place for these sort
of discussions?

Off-topic, but I’m curious: Were there ever considerations to add
usability guidelines to the concerns of fd.o?  It seems diverging UI
behavior in open source projects is often regarded as a weak point of
FOSS.  I think it would be great to have an open unified design
language (think Google Material and the Apple Style Guide/HI
Guidelines) which could possibly be created in a collaborative effort
of various GUI maintainers and designers.

>> First of all, I don’t know whether this behavior is already 
>> implemented somewhere or whether it is even patented.  I couldn’t 
>> find anything about it in a quick search.
> It's implemented in VCL (as used in LibreOffice), iOS, Android, and
> Windows Phone.

I have just tested it in LibreOffice, iOS and Android.  The behavior
is similar but a key aspect is different.  Note that in my proposal
the selection still gets extended all the way to one side if the
cursor is sufficiently far away from the text field.  I do not know
if that is the case in Windows Phone.

I just realized, though, that there are special cases if the text
field is near the top or bottom of the screen.  Perhaps, the old
behavior could be triggered when the cursor reaches the last pixel row
of the screen in these cases.

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