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Re: Selection changes in revno 100822

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Selection changes in revno 100822
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 01:16:35 +0300

> Date: Sat, 14 Aug 2010 18:21:05 +0100
> From: David De La Harpe Golden <address@hidden>
> CC: address@hidden, address@hidden, address@hidden
> > But pasting gets from the primary selection unconditionally, so it
> > seems.
> No, mouse-2 clicking does. pasting (C-y/ CUA C-v) doesn't.

This just adds more confusion.  Mouse-2 _was_ pasting until very

> mouse-2 click insertion and clipboard pasting are not equivalent on x11. 

I wasn't talking about clipboard pasting, I was talking about pasting
from the primary selection.

> If you think they are, then that surely would lead you to be confused.

Please give me some minimal credit that I know what I'm talking about.

> > IMO, whenever there's only one selection, its name, whether primary or
> > clipboard, is not important.
> Users have different expectations of clipboards and primaries. Following 
> de-facto standard in the area:
> clipboards aren't overwritten when you merely select text.
> clipboards are overwritten when you cut/copy (C-x/C-c)
> clipboards are not inserted when you click mouse-2.
> clipboards are inserted when you paste (C-v)
> (w32 clipboard, ns general pasteboard, x11 clipboard*).

We've been there before.  As far as Windows use patterns are
concerned, we disagree.  I expect most Windows users disagree with
you, because there's only the clipboard, so no way of having 2
different selection types and 2 different ways of pasting.  Now let's
stop arguing about this, because we will never agree.  The above was
just my opinion, not an invitation to another dispute.

> primary selections are inserted when you click mouse-2.
> primary selections are not inserted when you paste (C-v)

Does this mean I have no way of pasting from the primary selection
without using a mouse?  That's hardly a Good Thing.

> > Why do we need a separate variable for the clipboard on w32? why not
> > reuse select-active-regions?
> Why have the same setting do such grossly different things on different 
> platforms?

Because that makes users' life easier (less customizations when
switching platforms; can use the same .emacs without lots of
system-type conditionals, etc.).  Because we already do -- those are
all those x-SOMETHING variables.

> > So maybe we should continue setting the clipboard data on selecting
> > text, since w32 users always had that (mis-)feature.  They are used to
> > it.
> By all means have a clipboard-active-regions that defaults to t on w32 
> if you want, but please do not reinterpret select-active-regions to 
> affect the clipboard on w32.  You'd be making it gratuitously impossible 
> to have the 3 gui platforms behave similarly given similar settings.

X and Windows cannot behave similarly because they have different
abilities.  Where X has 3 selection types, Windows has only one.  We
need to map those 3 into that one in some fashion, but no matter which
mapping we eventually use, there _will_ be differences.  Instead of
dumping these differences on users, by presenting the Windows users
with an array of options that don't make sense, Emacs should adapt as
seamlessly as possible, and let similar behavior be customizable by
the same options.

What you suggest is an antithesis of usability.  Not to mention that
it makes documentation much-much harder and the result will certainly
be confusing.  And the only reason you give is some purist arguments.
I think that's simply wrong.

So I will continue pushing for re-using primary-related options on
Windows to be applicable to the Windows clipboard, where it makes

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