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Re: [Annoyances] X-Windows Copy & Paste



On Wednesday 20 August 2003 23:50, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> It doesn't copy. It doesn't affect CLIPBOARD at all. Just ignore the
> existence of PRIMARY entirely and you'll be fine.
[snip]
> Yes, there is only one clipboard.

Yes, I know it doesn't copy memory, it is volatile and an evil hack IMHO.
You are just playing semantics to call 'VOLATILE CLIPBOARD ONE' 'PRIMARY' and 
to say it does not 'copy' and 'paste' text because it does not go via 
'CLIPBOARD'. BTW no ill intent, but I think you need to take a step back from 
the problem when you begin to nitpick that selections aren't a means for the 
user to copy and paste text because select doesn't copy and it doesn't use 
'CLIPBOARD'. Think about how you would explain selections to your mum or PHB, 
I have a feeling you probably would not bother or you would end up explaining 
the implementation just so they understand how to use it and understand that 
when you close the app, the selection goes away (without more evil hacks upon 
hacks).

When I said there should only be one clipboard, I mean there should only be 
one of 'PRIMARY', 'SECONDARY' and 'CLIPBOARD'. 'SCONDARY' is already 
deprecated, I am proposing a means to also deprecate 'PRIMARY' and design a 
sensible unified system without evil hacks. As you said we need to write down 
how it should work and make all apps match the spec, not each other. We can 
still have behaviour like selections without 'PRIMARY' with what I am 
proposing.

The *only* good reason for selections to go to 'PRIMARY' and not 'CLIPBOARD' 
and to still even have 'PRIMARY' at all, is that selections would be 
destructive of 'CLIPBOARD'. What I am proposing is 2 selections, one 
non-destructive one of 'CLIPBOARD' with the left mouse button (as before), 
and instead a middle button selection which *does* copy to the 'CLIPBOARD'. 
This is button semetrical with middle button click being the 'paste' of 
selections which seems more logical. Middle button drag to select, middle 
click to drop. Middle button drag goes to 'CLIPBOARD'. Left button drag does 
not destroy 'CLIPBOARD' (and could still go to 'PRIMARY' for transitional 
compatibility if you like).

Okay so I'll describe this in more detail and extend my original proposal with 
a possible transitional layer to get us to the final objective or deprecating 
'PRIMARY':

Legacy Apps:
Left button select	- highlight text and set selection as 'PRIMARY'
Middle click		- copy 'PRIMARY' selection to app
cut/copy/paste		- works with 'CLIPBOARD' as expected
and does whatever other random things it does

Transitional Freedesktop Spec Apps:
Left button select	- highlight text and set selection as 'PRIMARY'
Middle button select	- highlight text and copy to 'CLIPBOARD'
Middle click		- paste 'CLIPBOARD' to app
cut/copy/paste		- works with 'CLIPBOARD' as expected
lecagy paste option	- copy 'PRIMARY' selection to app (app and context menu 
options)

No compat Freedesktop Spec Apps:
Left button select	- highlight text
Middle button select	- highlight text and copy to 'CLIPBOARD'
Middle click		- paste 'CLIPBOARD' to app
cut/copy/paste		- works with 'CLIPBOARD' as expected

In the final spec there is no volatile primary clipboard anymore, it is now 
deprecated. Left button select is non-destructive. User is not confused, 
mouse buttons are used semetrically.

-- 
Regards
John




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