Re: Unbreaking the gnome clipboard

On Mon, 2003-06-16 at 18:20, textshell neutronstar dyndns org wrote:

> I don't know about the 3.x version but kde 2.x's klipper works well enough to
> make adobe acrobat reader unusable with copy protected pdfs. As soon as anything
> is selected in acrobat reader it throws up a lot dialogboxes saying something to
> the effect "you are not allowed to copy this text". So it seems klipper tries to
> copy the text in a short intervall.

Yes, and I don't think that its worth having a application that does
bruteforce polling on the PRIMARY-selection just to support a broken
feature of X correctly. That's also the reason why I never fixed that
part of GNOME Clipboard Manager .. because the solution sucks, period.

IMHO we should ask the people of to try get something in
X that will fix the issue the right way and make GNOME (Clipboard
Manager) use that feature if the X that is running supports it.

If we do what Klipper does, then we just say to those who are
responsible for X : It's okay, leave your broken Clipboard in place, we
have a hack for it. In 20 years we will have 20.000 such hacks .. and
then you will use google to find this E-mail, just to tell people: we
should have done something about it when it was still possible. :-)

For that I support the FreeDesktop.Org project. They are doing exactly
that: getting broken things working again by introducing standards and
waking those people who don't want to use the standards.

My only question is .. how the heck will you get that into all
implementations of X on which GNOME runs.

> > Anyway, having the normal clipboard working properly is the number
> > one priority IMHO, but it would be nice to get this working at some
> > stage...
> Yes i think we should do something so it works at least for modern applications.
> If the X protocol isn't up to that task, we should either try to get the X
> people to fix it or do some cross Desktop hacks to work around (for example the
> app that is closed signals a clibboard manager to take to selection and contents)

The one major issue with the Clipboard is that applications very
frequently only support ONE target-atom : the COMPOUND_TEXT target.
Applications like spreadsheets, browsers, E-mail clients, Text
Processors and any application that produces formatted content should at
least provide a "text/html"-target of what is currently selected.

If I select a bunch of MP3's in the playlist of XMMS and I paste it in a
E-mail client I would like to see a HTML-table with the filenames. If I
paste it in a spreadsheet I want the spreadsheet to convert that
"text/html"-content to tables in the sheet. If I paste it to nautilus I
want nautilus to copy those files to the current directory... and that
is where the GNOME Clipboard is broken ..  the only way to support such
behaviour is by fixing each application. And that is a huge job.

And do belive me if I say that stuff like that "just works" in Microsoft
Windows. And YES, that is because Microsofts owns the complete desktop
environment of the Windows world. Well if we, the GNOME community and
programmers, cannot agree on such simple and common standards .. then we
suck and should not try to create a desktop at all. So again : listen to
FreeDesktop.Org, they are doing a great job.. really everybody who is
developing a GNOME application : LISTEN to them or fail trying to create
a usable desktop environment.

Oh and IMHO we should leave the PRIMARY selection unmanaged. The only
clipboard that should be fully supported by GNOME and by a Clipboard
Manager is the CLIPBOARD-selection (CTRL+C and CTRL+V). Select-and-paste
if for hackers and programmers. Not for common users. Hackers and
programmers don't need nor want a manager for their selections. And it
could be a security-issue if you automatically collect that selection :

Image everything that you select being collected and saved in a non
encrypted format to your disk. If you select a password of a website (to
delete it and type it again, whatever) then it will be collected and
saved by the Clipboard Manager. If you then accidently leave your
session unclosed .. one could use the Clipboard Manager to recover your
password. For CTRL+C, CTRL+V it's accepted that it stores information
and (most) people understand that that information should not be a
password for example.

It's also the reason why by default managing the PRIMARY selection is
turned OFF if you use GNOME Clipboard Manager.

Philip Van Hoof, Software Developer @ Cronos
home: me at freax dot org
work: Philip dot VanHoof at cronos dot be,

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