Re: selected text is PRIMARY?

On Sex, 2006-03-10 at 12:36 -0500, Dan Winship wrote:
> Yevgen Muntyan wrote:
> > The "whatever was selected last is in PRIMARY" is not that inconvenient,
> > by the way. I use it, and
> > it works fine for me. Almost never I select text, then select something
> > else, then click middle button
> > and discover that I pasted wrong stuff. Usually I select something and
> > paste immediately.
> Yeah, exactly. People are arguing as though users actually think of
> PRIMARY/middle-click in terms of the ICCCM and the fdo spec, but that's
> silly. Users think "I select text here, I paste it there". In order for
> someone to be confused by Mozilla's "ambiguous" behavior, they'd have to
> have a mental model of middle-click that was something like "I can
> search the screen looking for selected text, and if I find something I
> like, I can use middle-click to copy it somewhere else". Obviously no
> one uses middle-click like that, any more than they expect to be able to
> get useful results out of Ctrl+V without having done a Ctrl+C/Ctrl+X
> shortly before. So I can't imagine how Mozilla's behavior would cause
> any real-world problems.
> (And the ICCCM has nothing to say on this topic, and the fdo spec only
> weakly enforces the current behavior, by referring to
> "currently-selected text", implying there can be only one selection. But
> if you change that to "most recently-selected text" [or just allow
> "currently-selected" to mean "most recently-selected"], then *poof*, you
> get Mozilla's behavior, and everything still works.)
> (Oh, and of course I agree that making this a configurable option is an
> awful idea. If gtk were going to change it should just always behave the
> Mozilla way.)

  Gtk+ is using the X11 selection mechanism and semantics that have been
defined decades ago.  Other more traditional X11 apps and toolkits honor
the rule of unselecting their text when they stop being the owner of
PRIMARY.  Why should the Mozilla model be the default?  It's just not
right to think "there is no installed base of X11 desktop users; they're
just a minority, let's ignore them and start afresh".

  Interface stability matters too.  You think you increase usability
with the mozilla selection mode, but consider that you also are changing
a decades old user interface.  Does the hypothetical improvement of
usability outweigh the interface breakage?  Absolutely not!  Besides,
middle-click paste is a very useful feature, in spite of being hard to
discover, and any user will be happy to have it available.

  IMHO, a good compromise solution would be a different selection color
for the state "selected in application but not PRIMARY selected", like
what gtk+ 1.2 used to have in GtkEntry.

Gustavo J. A. M. Carneiro
<gjc inescporto pt> <gustavo users sourceforge net>
The universe is always one step beyond logic

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