Ubuntu and the clipboard

Derek Broughton news at pointerstop.ca
Thu Sep 28 13:18:49 UTC 2006

cl at isbd.net wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 27, 2006 at 09:34:47PM -0700, Simon wrote:
>> I switched to Ubuntu (and Linux as a whole) about 7-8 months ago, and
>> needless to say, I'll never go back (you know what place I'm talking
>> about).
>> However, one thing has irritated me from the first day. It seemed as if
>> many times, when I copied something (using ctrl+c) and then attempted to
>> paste it, the clipboard would be empty. Of course I can slip every now
>> and then and hit the wrong combination, but what I was used to before
>> Ubuntu was probably a 99% success rate, whereas now, I seemed to lose
>> the data probably two times out of three.
> I personally find the whole CTRL/C and CTRL/V way of cutting and
> pasting incredibly clumsy.  It's a Windows invention anyway and thus

In defense of Windows, I think it was an OS/2 invention (though they used
the more reasonable INS & DEL keys), but it might have been around before
that, too.

> is (to my mind) cobbled on top of the correct Unix/Linux way of doing
> things.
> In the 'normal' Unix/Linux way of doing things:-
>     Selected text (i.e. text marked by dragging with button 1) is
>     automatically put in the buffer.
>     You then paste the text by pressing the 'middle' button (often
>     emulated by pressing both buttons if you only have two).
> This avoids all keyboard interaction at all and (at least to my mind)
> is much more logical.  Why involve the keyboard at all? 

Because most of us are actually _using_ the keyboard when working with text,
so moving to the mouse is actually an _extra_ step, not a simplification. 
Mouses are for people who can't type. :-)

> You *have* to 
> use the mouse to select the text and probably also to say where it is

No I don't - if I'm text editing, I will almost certainly use the cursor
keys to select the text, and to move the insertion point.  Even if I'm
selecting text from a different window from the one I'm inserting it to,
I'll use the keyboard to change windows.  The place where this usually
falls down is when I want to select the text from a browser, and have to
use the mouse.

> to be pasted so involving the keyboard inevitably means more hand
> movement is required than if only the mouse is used.

In any case, the ctrl-C/ctrl-V buffer is distinct from the buffer used for
copying selected text (at least in klipper - I believe it's the same in
gnome), in some way I've never really understood, and I frequently make use
of both.

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