RXVT copy/paste behavior

Dave Korn dave.korn@artimi.com
Tue Feb 8 21:33:00 GMT 2005

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cygwin-owner On Behalf Of Phil Betts
> Sent: 08 February 2005 17:09

> The selection model used by rxvt is standard throughout the X11 world.

  It's insane.

  Unless you have the precision muscular control skills of a world-class
gymnast, a mouse always moves at least a little bit when you press down on the

  This makes it very tricky to select a new window without unintentionally
erasing the contents of the clipboard that you were hoping to paste there
because the mouse moved just enough as you clicked it to select a single
character and the auto-copy destroyed your clipboard contents without asking.

  Destroying user data without any kind of confirmation, are-you-sure, or
requiring a difficult-to-type-accidentally key-combination (such as ctrl-c) is
an appallingly incompetent piece of UI design.  It's like having a pistol
without a safety catch, or an ICBM without a dual-key control.

  FWIW, it's not just X programs that do this.  TeraTerm (a 'doze terminal
emulator) has this same behaviour, and it has wasted lots of my time and energy
in having to repeatedly go back to the original window and re-copy the original

  And don't tell me that I'm only ever allowed to select windows by clicking on
the menu bar and that I get what I deserve if I click in the main part of the
window.  If you have lots of windows open, the menu bars of many of them are
often obscured.  Why should 99% of the window's surface area be verboten for
selecting that window?

  The entire model is screwy.  It wastes lots of my time and interrupts my
workflow.  The 'doze way works smoothly and is much closer to fail-safe: it's
very hard to accidentally press Ctrl+C and lose data in the same way.

> Learn it and enjoy the elegant simplicity of the scheme instead of the
> insane mouse, keyboard, mouse, keyboard routine that characterises the
> Windows way.

  Real experts operate a computer with one hand on the mouse and one on the
keyboard *at the same time* anyway.  This makes it very easy to do selecting,
cutting and pasting.  And under 'doze, you can also use a right-click over the
selected area to bring up a menu with cut, copy and paste options.  You don't
*have* to use the keyboard if you don't find it more efficient.

Can't think of a witty .sigline today....

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