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Re: [Texmacs-dev] Patches: copy/paste and selection handling.

From: Norbert Nemec
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] Patches: copy/paste and selection handling.
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 20:35:34 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090318)

Dear Joris,

great news. Let's just hope that I remember all my work a few months ago... :-)

I just checked the changes that you put on top of my patches and I am not sure whether I agree. The name "mouse" selection was chosen very intentionally: As far as I understood the various documents and comments on the web, the mouse-buffer on X-Windows should really work exclusively for selections made with the mouse. A mouse-middle-click should just paste the last mouse-selection, no matter what you did with the keyboard in between. This is also the behavior that I observed in several other applications, so at least on X-Windows this seems to be standard. Of course, this means that the content of the mouse-buffer should be preserved beyond the lifetime of the visible selection. If you select by mouse and then move around with the keyboard or the scrollbars or even click on the text to place the cursor (without dragging) the mouse-buffer should still contain the content of the original selection and paste it on middle-click.

Therefore, changing the meaning from "mouse" to "visible" is confusing in two ways: It allows keyboard actions to interfer with what is supposed to be a pure mouse mechanism by FreeDesktop standards, and it suggests that the content of this buffer might be lost once the selection is not visible any more, which should not be the case either.

As for the imprecise positioning of the cursor on middle-click: This is exactly what happens in any other editor as well. The positioning on middle-click is just as sensitive to the exact mouse position as the positioning on left-click. I don't quite understand why you worry about this specifically. What is the connection to the removal of selections on mouse click?

So far, I never to the Qt version running stable to test it (every time I compiled it over the past months it would crash and burn for other reasons...) I fixed all issues that I found from reading the sources but could not try it out.


Joris van der Hoeven wrote:
Dear Norbert,

I am just resuming my work on TeXmacs... starting with your pending patches.
Thanks for the good work ! This makes cut-and-paste behaviour far more standard.
I applied all patches. A few remarks:

1) I changed the "mouse" selection into "visible" selection and
   also use the "visible" selection for the current keyboard selection
   (made using control space in Emacs mode or shifted cursor keys otherwise).
2) I am fine with removing the current selection on mouse clicks,
   except for one potential drawback: when pasting using middle click,
   the cursor has not yet been positioned in a very precise manner.
   This is important in TeXmacs contrary to emacs, because different
   cursor position may be very (even infinitely) close graphically.
   Anyway, I do not see any appropriate fix, so we probably have
   to live with this drawback.

3) Since the visible selections become much less persistant
   (they are only used in combination with middle clicks),
   it makes sense to replace the selection on keyboard or paste events,
   as is usual under Windows / MacOS, at least if we are not in Emacs mode.

4) I don't think that the new implementation of delete is a problem
   for users of the Emacs mode: in Emacs, one rather uses C-w anyway.

5) Did you check whether the behaviour is correct for the Qt version?

6) In the future, we should implement kill rings and multiple selections.
   This is on the list since a while, but, well...

Best wishes, Joris

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