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Re: [PATCH] bracketed paste support

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: [PATCH] bracketed paste support
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2014 11:40:19 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

Daniel Colascione wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> > I use paste into the shell with an embedded newline in order to
> > immediately execute a command *a lot*.  If that were removed I would
> > be very unhappy.
> I strongly doubt that your use case is typical. 

It doesn't matter if it is typical or not.  A feature need not have a
51% majority in order to be retained.  Everyone does things
differently.  If we were to examine your operating modes carefully I
am sure that we would find some practice that you use often that few
other people are using and would be annoyed greatly if removed.
Furthermore it is impossible to know how many people use it.  This is
a long standing feature that if removed would disenfranchise the users
of it.  That is all that we can say about it.

I very often triple-click to select by line and then paste it into the
shell for immediate execution.  I less often triple-click to select
multiple lines of a command set and paste them into the shell for
immediate execution.  I am sure there are many others not in this
discussion who do the same.

> I've asked several of my colleagues; all have complained about
> accidentally pasting a large amount of text into the shell at one
> time or another. Nobody has complained about losing automatic
> execution of code after paste.

Unfortunately that is not a useful survey.  It is self-fullfilling!
If I ask ten of my peers of whom I have each taught a feature if they
use that feature then the answer will of course be yes.  If on the
other hand I have vilified a feature with my peers then it is likely
that the reverse would be true.  A survey asking colleagues around you
is simply not a worthwhile survey.  Sorry.

Knowledge and use tends to group and cluster.  "Birds of a feather
flock together."  This is one of the reasons why things like
conferences, newsgroups, and mailing lists are so useful.  It allows
people to meet others and learn about practices outside of their
normal routine.  People not only learn other things for themselves but
they also learn that there is diversity in others too.  In this case
you learn that a feature that you despise is one that is liked by

> Speaking from personal experience, I've been using terminal emulators of
> various sorts for almost 20 years, and in that time, I've accidentally
> pasted documents into my terminal orders of magnitude more often than
> I've deliberately pasted multi-command sequences.

I have used terminals for a very long time as well.  I am using one
now.  I won't say that I haven't sometimes pasted in paragraphs of
text into a terminal by mistake.  I have.  I also use kitchen knives
to chop vegetables.  I have sometimes cut myself doing so.  That
doesn't prevent me from avoiding cutting up vegetables with a kitchen
knife.  I have also accidentally removed a file with rm that I didn't
intend to remove.  In none of those cases do I want to remove rm or
kitchen knives from the world to prevent anyone from doing either of
those things again.

> As far as I'm concerned, automatic execution of code on paste isn't a
> feature: it's a bug and security hole. Users should have to opt into
> security holes. 

It is not a security hole.  Simply "declaring" it to be so does not
make it so.  I get that it is a feature you hate.  But labeling it
with incorrect negative labels is simply a normal day of US political
advertisements.  It has no business on a technical list.

> We've only lived with the existing behavior so long because it's
> only recently become possible to distinguish pastes from other
> input.

And I think it is great that you can now have it operate differently.
Isn't it a wonderful world that we live in?


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