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Re: Sums added

Segin Noname wrote:
The explanation is simple: all X11 users benefit from the fact that no significant effort is needed to place a selected chunk of text into the clipboard and to fetch it from there. Unfortunately, this is not the case in MS Windows. Moreover, different applications require different procedures. For example, to simply copy the selected piece of text to the clipboard, you may need to
- choose Edit -> Copy from the menu
- press a button with two pieces of paper on it
- use keyboard shortcuts Ctrl-Insert or Ctrl-C.

The fun part is that, while not all applications in Windows have cut and copy buttons, they DO all support Edit -> Copy and Ctrl-C, which means that I have the universal power to hit ^C and get a copy operation immediately, and that is consistent behavior across applications. Firefox, Word, Notepad, Win32Pad, the command prompt, eMule, VNC, Gaim...they all let me Ctrl-C to copy. This consistency also exists in the text selection and editing process; for example, I frequently hold shift and use arrow keys to select from the cursor, shift+ctrl to select entire words from the cursor, shift+page[up/dn] to select huge blocks of text. How do I do this in X? A lot of my speed in Windows is because I can do so many things from the keyboard that I rarely touch a mouse to do work.

But this is only the beginning of the story. How do we paste the contents of the clipboard into an X-application? By middle-clicking once. (Note how the middle or the ring finger get their fair share of exercise.) How do they paste in Windows? In yet more ways than they copy:
- choose Edit -> Paste from the menu
- press a button with a piece of paper on a clipboard
- press a button with a brush
- press a button with a bottle of glue
- Shift-Insert, Ctrl-V or Ctrl-P
and so on.

The nice part being that, at a minimum, the menu and control shortcuts are consistent, and I've never seen a Windows application that used ctrl-P for paste. X/C/V are pretty much the standard for cut/copy/paste in Windows, and they seem to work almost anywhere I want them to.

Besides that, the X11 users don't have to click-click-click with their mice only to move the focus from one window to another or to lower/raise a window - simple operations that require lots of clicks or just are impossible (lower!) in MS Windows.

Of course, the mouse selecting which window has focus can be a pain as well, because that means that the pointer has to be in the window, and if you happen to move the mouse by accident, you may end up typing in an xterm when you were once typing in abiword. Most of the window managers and desktops I see in Linux don't suffer from this problem. Lowering windows? Minimizing them shoots them straight to the end of the list of windows. Alt+Tab can be faster than trying to click-click-click, especially with twenty windows on the screen.

I know that Linux is not Windows. I don't expect it to be, but I do expect to be able to find generally equivalent operations to what I am used to doing so rapidly on Windows. The freedom of choice and configurability in Linux is both a strength and a weakness here, because the same choice that makes the system behave however I want also requires days of editing files and testing to get it right, and there is a clear lack of consistency with the "little things" between applications. I believe the "UNIX Hater's Handbook" details a lot of these arguments, and I refuse to delve any further here. Suffice it to say that the reason I haven't broken free of Windows yet is what I just discussed. I can do without Paint Shop Pro and eMule, and MS Office is certainly something I'm not tied down to, but the ability to hold shift+ctrl and use arrow keys to select large blocks of text, hit ctrl+x to cut it, move a few more arrows, and hit ctrl+v to paste it, all without moving hands away from the keyboard, is something that must reveal analogs in Linux before I will completely switch. Sometimes I think that the creators of X11 apps hated keyboards for some reason.


On 5/23/06, *Alan Cox* <alan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:alan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

    On Llu, 2006-05-22 at 22:18 -0400, Jody wrote:
     > I'm very slowly transitioning to Linux.  My problem is that I want a
     > clean system, and of course it takes a lot of work to compile,
     > and install stuff yourself.  My main problem is that I'm so used to

    Well yes thats why the distributions have large teams doing it 8)

     > Windows key combinations and whatnot that the Linux way of doing
     > keeps beating the tar (no pun intended) out of my productivity.
     > What maniac designed the cut-and-paste that you use in Xedit anyway?

    People in the early 1980s who didnt have enough memory to keep the
    cut/paste buffering in the server itself. Xedit is a dinosaur 8)

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