Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stupid Linux/X-Windows tricks

Linux doesn't include a GUI component however most Linux distributions will ship with some form of X-Windows. X-Windows has a broken copy and paste implementation that has been the bane of my existence for the last 3 years.

I've just run into an example of how this brain damage makes my life unpleasant. I bring this up here because every time I mention that copy and paste is horribly broken on linux people deny it. Try this on your linux box.

I've opened about 20 files in gedit (a very simple editor that works as a normal window/mac program does.). I've written something in the first tab, copied it, closed the tab and tried to paste it into the next tab. It doesn't work. It doesn't work because you've closed the window that contains the thing you've selected. No other operating system does it this way. Other operating systems, at least conceptually, store whatever it was you copied to a system clipboard. You can then quit the application and your data is safe.

The current linux situation means that I have to copy and past my text into some other window or application so that my clipboard contents don't go away when I close the tab that used to contain the information. This is totally absurd. You want to know why I'm not an Linux fanboy? It's because of stuff like this.

1 comment:

James said...

What NeXT did was to have a pasteboard server. I think GNOME and KDE might have something similar, but it'd only be available to apps written to those environments, and only ones that take advantage of it.