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Re: Whatever happened to the Secondary Selection?

Le quintidi 5 fructidor, an CCXXIV, Emmanuele Bassi a écrit :
> I read the textual description,

Well, eight minutes of video to just explain that the secondary selection
does not move the text cursor ("insertion point"), that does not make for a
high density of information. The main impression that I get watching it is
the need for a long stay in a Mouse Detox Clinic; I suggest Vim.

>                                 mostly because after 20 years of using
> X11 I've never even seen an implementation of the SECONDARY selection
> protocol outside of Motif applications.

Speaking about the secondary selection is already entering in the
implementation details. Let us speak only of the behaviour. There is the
automatic paste when releasing Ctrl: in terms of accessibility, this is
terrible. But the main side to this discussion is to have a text selection
that is independent of the text curser.

This behaviour, IIRC, was the default and only behaviour of the text editors
I used on Atari in the early 1990s.

Much closer to us, this behaviour is what I get right now running Vim inside
XTerm: the "primary" selection is Vim's visual mode and yank buffers, the
"secondary" selection is XTerm's selection (implemented with X11's PRIMARY
selection and cutbuffers), and they are entirely separate. (I could enable
X11 support in Vim or escape sequences to get a more standard behaviour, but
I do not want that.)

> The GTK+ team is pretty much following the behaviour set out by the
> freedesktop.org clipboard specification:
>   https://specifications.freedesktop.org/clipboards-spec/clipboards-latest.txt

Note that this document specifies the communication protocol between
application, but fortunately does not mandate the user interface. It tells
how application are supposed to offer text for copying, but not how the user
is supposed to tell the application what text they want to copy.

The (optional!) possibility of selecting text with the mouse without moving
the text cursor controlled by the keyboard would be a worthy enhancement to
user interfaces.


  Nicolas George

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