[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: The Real Problem With Debian

On Sun, Oct 13, 2002 at 04:25:27AM -0400, Michael D. Crawford wrote:
> I find the clipboard utterly incomprehensible, and nearly useless.


> Copy some text from a gnome-terminal and then highlight some text in the 
> URL box of mozilla and paste to replace it with a URL you got out of the 
> terminal.

Yes, true enough.  Highlighting copies the text.  Basic to the definition.
If that's not what you want, then blank the URL box first (ctrl-U, or
highlight it and backspace), or paste it into the client window which will
make Mozilla load it.  Make sure it stays highlighted while you paste it
into Mozilla, though (see below)...

> Or copy some text from a window, close the window (to make space on the 
> screen) and then paste.  The text disappears, because X doesn't really have 
> a concept of a clipboard, but uses selections instead, and if the selection 
> disappears, so does your text.

Uh, no.  X has two... the cut buffer and the selection buffer.  The
behavior depends not on the source, but on what the destination expects to
use when you perform a paste operation.  Example... open two xterms,
highlight some text in one, then close it, then middle-mouse-click in the
other.  Pastes it just fine, eh?  That's because xterm cares about the cut
buffer.  Now, try to paste the same thing into Mozilla's client area.  Hm,
that didn't work, did it?  Mozilla doesn't care what's in the cut buffer...
all it cares about is what's in the primary selection buffer.

You can blame applications, but don't blame X.

> Mozilla manages to do it in a way that I find comfortable, but it only 
> works when transferring text within mozilla or from mozilla to other 
> applications.

Actually, Mozilla is, IMHO, one of the worst offenders, in large measure
because of the behavior you describe below.

> And it only works as long as mozilla is still running.  What 
> mozilla apparently does is maintain an internal clipboard buffer that it 
> declares as the selection to the rest of X, rather than supplying text that 
> is selected in a window but has not been subjected to a "Copy" command.

The problem isn't that X doesn't provide facilities.  The problem is that
there isn't a central standards authority (hello, MS) forcing
user-interface standards down the throats of applications.  So, since
there are multiple ways to do things, some apps do things one way, some do
things another way, and some do things in a mixture of the two (hello,

If you want to really tell what applications are doing, run xclipboard for
a while and give a little attention to when it updates.  It might surprise

All it really means is that you need to know what your applications expect.
That, or stick to Gnome/KDE, where the same standards enforcement is going

Just my opinion.

Marc Wilson

Reply to: