RXVT copy/paste behavior

Andrew DeFaria Andrew@DeFaria.com
Tue Feb 8 21:41:00 GMT 2005


Dave Korn wrote:

>> The selection model used by rxvt is standard throughout the X11 world.
>
> It's insane.

And it's not necessarily standard either. For example, Konsole on SuSE 
does not auto select.

> 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 button.
>
> 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.

It's not quite as bad as that really. Slight movements do not alway 
register a selection. It is hit and miss sometimes...

> 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 text.
>
> 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.

Good points.
-- 
A closed mouth gathers no feet.


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