[Resolved] Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

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[Resolved] Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:34 am

This topic has been marked "Resolved" because an answer was found. However, there has been no word from the site administrators (either in this topic or in the related "Autostart KDE Clipboard" in the "Suggestions" Forum) regarding automatically starting the global clipboard for KDE users. Until it is auto-started KDE users must manually start Klipper or, apparently, they run without a global clipboard service.


Yesterday, I decided to ask one more time about the problems with <Ctrl+C> and <Ctrl+V>. I had just seen a topic entitled "What are you most dissatisfied with in Linux Mint?" (viewtopic.php?f=60&t=41512&start=20) and it seemed like a good place to add my query since I had posted it earlier, and replied to someone else's post about the same problem, and still it has not been addressed.

Was the issue addressed by the techs this time? No. Within a few hours of my post the thread (which has been open for seven years) was locked. I'm not sure what nerve I have touched, I do not understand why the problem exists, I do not understand why none of the senior techs supporting LM apparently refuse to discuss this problem (even going to the extreme of locking a thread as soon as this problem pops up). It seems that since the problem can't be fixed nobody wants to touch it or even mention it. Everyone wants to talk about abuse of the thread or forum or what Microsoft and Apple did around the dawn of mankind - and no-one will actually tackle the problem.

I'm not attempting to vent or rant - I haven't used any expletives of foul language - I haven't criticized anyone - I don't care about any of that - I just want to see if the problem can be fixed.

BTW: Here is the ENTIRE POST which caused the older topic to be closed....

This seems like a good topic in which to ask - again - for some help with copy / paste.

Mint (17.2 - KDE) is the only OS I have used (Windows, Linux, even Apple if you remap the keys) where control+C (and/or control+V) does NOT work RELIABLY. Sometimes the keyboard shortcuts work... and sometimes they don't. I have asked about this before, and not received a definitive answer. This situation has very nearly caused me to abandon Mint. I've depended on those very simple shortcuts for so long that I want to explode when I copy something then it refuses to paste.

Someone said to use the mouse to copy and paste - but that is NOT a keyboard shortcut. And, if it is supposed to work, but doesn't, is it a problem with my computer? No. I've had the same problem on a different computer, and I've heard about the same problem on the computer of a friend I convinced to give Mint a try.

Every time this happens my frustration level goes through the roof.

Can it be fixed? Is there a keyboard shortcut that works reliably to copy and paste? I don't think this is "rocket science" since every other OS I've encountered has mastered the concept and implementation.

BTW: Mint is my 4th Linux distro. I really like it - much more than the previous ones I have used. And, I have no other issues. But, this one is making me nuts (more nuts).

Any help will be truly appreciated !!


Specifically what has tripped me up - over and over - is...
-opening a text file (using KWrite)
-hi-lighting some of the text
-using <Ctrl+C> to copy the selected text
-closing KWrite
-opening a different text file (again, with KWrite)
-using <Ctrl+V> to paste the text I copied above
-nothing pastes
-repeat the process but use mouse to "copy"
-second process works correctly


I have seen other posts and complaints about this exact same issue. What can I - or the LM community - do to get this problem isolated and corrected ?

THANK YOU !!
Last edited by tovian on Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by karlchen » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:05 am

Hello, Tovian.

Let us stick with your example of the editor Kate.
You copy some text from Kate into your clipboard.
Before pasting the clipboard content into any other programme, you close Kate.
The moment you close Kate, the content of the clipboard which Kate put there is discarded.
This behaviour can be seen with any Linux (Mint) application, not just Kate.
This is by design. And those who created the design would add, "This is for security reasons as well."
So Copy & Paste works reliably, only not quite in the way you Windows spoilt users expect. :wink:

Cheers,
Karl
--
P.S./Corrected:
Tovian mentioned KWrite, not Kate. Yet, as stated above the behaviour is the same for any application. Once it exits the content that it put into the clipboard gets discarded.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by Moem » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:30 am

tovian wrote:Within a few hours of my post the thread (which has been open for seven years) was locked. I'm not sure what nerve I have touched, I do not understand why the problem exists, I do not understand why none of the senior techs supporting LM apparently refuse to discuss this problem (even going to the extreme of locking a thread as soon as this problem pops up).
The thread was locked because the mods found it unproductive, as explained here. It's not because you touched a nerve, it's not because anyone refuses to discuss your problem, it's simply because support questions and rants and gripes posted in the same thread makes for confusion, not for a good place to help people.
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:44 am

karlchen wrote:Let us stick with your example of the editor Kate.
Sorry, I made no reference to Kate - I was using KWrite. Should I assume the same (design and behavior) characteristics apply to it?

Regardless, THANK YOU for finally engaging in discussion and attempting to provide some facts. I have just learned more about this issue than from all the previous questions I have posed (assuming KWrite and Kate behave the same way).



What a coincidence that a mod picks practically the moment I ask my question to evaluate and determine that the other thread should be closed (after seven years) because "support questions and rants and gripes posted in the same thread makes for confusion, not for a good place to help people". But....... if you say so :wink: :wink:
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by karlchen » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:21 am

Hi, tovian.

The title of your thread got my attention, because I had stepped into the pitfall of the emptied clipboard in the past more than once. Took me some time to understand that this was the design.

Cheers,
Karl
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by BigEasy » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:27 pm

karlchen wrote:The moment you close Kate, the content of the clipboard which Kate put there is discarded.
This behaviour can be seen with any Linux (Mint) application, not just Kate.This is by design.
Really? For me clipboard working well and regardless closed application or not. I.e. just like in Windows.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by karlchen » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:27 pm

Hi, BigEasy.

Yes. This is somewhat embarrassing. It looks as if what had been true on Gnome2 is no longer true today. The embarrassing thing is that I had not noticed so and spread outdated wisdom. :oops:
After I had read your post I tried it on my Ubuntu 14.04.3 Unity desktop (sorry for using genuine Ubuntu, too. :wink:). And it is true, the clipboard content of a closed application is not discarded. Could paste it into another application later on.
So, I better keep quiet for the moment, at minimum, till I have found out whether the Gnome2 behaviour has died with Gnome2.

<Added Tuesday April 5th 1:30 CEST>
Found one place where I had read emptying clipboard content on application exit was a common behaviour (2010): Clipboard Persistence.
Now I have to locate when it has been fixed (without me noticing). Then at least my erroneous statement it were the common behaviour and by design will have been cleared up.
</Added Tuesday April 5th 1:30 CEST>

Cheers,
Karl
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by Cosmo. » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:47 pm

I don't use KDE and cannot judge from own experience. But reading in the Ubuntu wiki I see, that in KDE the clipboard manager comes pre-installed. In case that this is also true for the KDE version of Mint there should be an icon in the panel, where you can look at the clipboard content. So it should be rather easy to watch, if after ctrl-c the copied content is inside and if it vanishes, if this application gets closed.

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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:41 pm

I will not intentionally contradict what anyone else has posted here. But, I used Mepis for a year or so, then PCLinuxOS for about 3 years, always the KDE versions. I've never experienced this behavior before. Maybe there's a switch or setting in the KWrite software - or KDE, itself - that can change this behavior. I don't know - I just can't help but wonder why it never bit me before I started using LM.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:52 pm

I may have come a bit closer to the answer. If some of the tekkies would read this a better answer (for LM users) might emerge:

https://techtavern.wordpress.com/2008/0 ... e-and-kde/
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by LinuxJim » Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:41 pm

tovian wrote: Specifically what has tripped me up - over and over - is...
-opening a text file (using KWrite)
-hi-lighting some of the text
-using <Ctrl+C> to copy the selected text
-closing KWrite
-opening a different text file (again, with KWrite)
-using <Ctrl+V> to paste the text I copied above
-nothing pastes


Here is one possible explanation.

In KDE, you have options that specify how 'mouse focus' behaves. You can set it so that "clicking" in a window focuses that window (makes it active), or merely "hovering" over that window gives it focus.

If you select text in, say, KWrite, and then move the mouse such that it is outside KWrite's window, then when you type ctrl-C to copy the text, KWrite will not be the active program (because you unfocused it with the mouse), and it will not receive the ctrl-C command. Whatever became the "focused" program (the application that owns whatever spot your mouse landed) is what wil process the ctrl-C, and since you likely didn't have anything selected in that program, nothing gets copied.

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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:41 am

LinuxJim wrote:If you select text in, say, KWrite, and then move the mouse such that it is outside KWrite's window, then when you type ctrl-C to copy the text, KWrite will not be the active program (because you unfocused it with the mouse)
That makes perfect sense and would be the expected behavior. But, it's not the issue here. I have always copied text from the active (focused) window.

After some testing it seems...
1. the "empty clipboard" syndrome is consistent behavior (when the window containing the copied text is closed prior to the paste)
2. Doubling up on the command does NOT solve the problem

What I think I heard (above) is that someone's idea of making my computer more secure is to clear the clipboard. So, instead of quickly grabbing some text (or whatever) and immediately closing the window and moving on - we must keep the window open until we have pasted what was copied - in all the places we need to use it - then go back and find that window and close it. This method creates more work for the user. And this keeps Linux safer than Microsoft Windows and Apple ? That's almost laughable. If someone has been hacked to the point the clipboard is a security issue it would be FAR from the most valuable asset to be compromised.

And, I still don't understand why it's never been a problem with other Linux distro's I have used. I guess it's possible I never attempted to do it in the past - but as much as I use copy/paste that seems utterly impossible.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:31 pm

I wanted to verify my comment above so I am posting this from a 2014 version of PCLinuxOS.

Please note the following text:


To send text messages from eMail
AT&T: @txt.att.net
Alltel: @message.alltel.com
Nextel: @messaging.nextel.com
Sprint: @messaging.sprintpcs.com

That text (above, in black) was copied to the clipboard from a window opened with KWrite
KWrite - Version 4.14.3

The KWrite window was then closed completely. My internet browser was not even open yet (Firefox version-28) - so I then opened Firefox, navigated to the LM Forums, logged in, and posted this reply. I was able to paste the text I had copied even though the KWrite window had long been closed. This seems to confirm my statement that other Linux distro's apparently have not recognized the need to "secure" the computer by clearing the clipboard when a window is closed. Apparently, even Ubuntu is working this same way.

If this is felt to be a feature that is beneficial to the Mint community I can live with that - but couldn't you please make that a default that we can override if we want/need to??

THANK YOU


Edit: I also feel that Karlchen's characterization of me (and others) - above - as "you Windows spoilt users" is a bit unfair. So, I wanted to prove that I was not only spoilt by MS-Windows, but, even after converting to other Linux distro's, I continued to be "spoilt". I'd bet the <Ctrl+C> and <Ctrl+V> shortcuts even work on the distro that's running my refrigerator (if I could hook up a monitor and keyboard). For me the MINT implementation of clipboard management is not a matter of being spoiled or not - it's simply counter-productive AND user-UNfriendly - and I do not see it having any effect whatsoever on the security of my computer.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:02 pm

Please test it with the Mint system and check the clipboard as I described above.

Another idea, which comes to my mind: Do you probably use in Mint a password manager, which inserts the password via clipboard, when you log in anywhere? Password manager have indeed the feature to remove the content of the clipboard manager after usage or after some time, to protect the password. The reason for this behavior of password managers should be obvious.
Last edited by Cosmo. on Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by LinuxJim » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:11 pm

tovian wrote:[other Linux distro's apparently have not recognized the need to "secure" the computer by clearing the clipboard when a window is closed.
Clearing the system clipboard when a window (or application) closes seems a rather silly idea to me as well. I had never heard of it until yesterday, and I've been involved with Linux since the day it was 'born' (not saying that it doesn't exist).

If someone really did implement that with an eye toward security, they weren't thinking very clearly. I could almost believe that clearing the clipboard when one logs out could be argued as a security improvement - but after a window closes? That defeats the purpose for the existence of a clipboard in the first place! For as long as I can remember, the contents of the clipboard have persisted indefinitely - until one fills it up, and old contents get pushed off the edge, or until one gives an explicit command to empty it (as in the case of a password manager like Cosmo mentioned).

Perhaps the person who mentioned this was thinking of the copy/paste buffer that is INTERNAL to many editors, rather than the global clipboard? I don't know...

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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:17 pm

Thank you for your comments. I run KeepassX once every month or two - but I do not use it (or KWallet or any other app) to insert passwords, anywhere, ever. I wrote my own script to copy my user-id and password to the clipboard directly, and they remain useable until I overlay them with something else. That's a potential security hole on my computer, but Mint's clipboard management does nothing to protect me from myself in that case.

I would love to have a very calm, polite, civilized discussion with whoever thinks that the clipboard should be cleared of contents tied to a window when that window is closed. I'd just like to know the reasoning behind that position. I'm perfectly willing to learn something new that will change my feeling on the matter, but that won't happen without some discussion. It's even possible that the original reason for this implementation is no longer valid but no-one has gone back to change it.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:23 pm

Very calm and quiet: In Cinnamon the clipboard content does not get removed, if the program, wherefrom the content has been copied, gets closed. Password managers are an exception with a reason. I cannot judge about KDE.

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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:26 pm

@Cosmo - Thank you for your suggestion. I'm really NOT shooting from the hip. After I read your post yesterday I tried to do exactly what you suggested. In fact, I fooled with it for about a half hour and never could find what you referred to in the "panel". I checked the "Cashew" and the System-settings app, I even did a single Google search, but I never found what you were referring to. I know I'm a brick sometimes, but if you'd give me specific instructions I should be able to perform your test. AND - regardless of what I observe - the results will be useful to me and (hopefully) others.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by tovian » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:34 pm

LinuxJim wrote:I could almost believe that clearing the clipboard when one logs out could be argued as a security improvement - but after a window closes? That defeats the purpose for the existence of a clipboard in the first place!
It just can't be said any better than that.

AND - PLEASE - EVERYONE - Understand that I'm not ranting or venting or criticizing !!! I'm just trying to identify something I feel is broken and see if we can't get it fixed. I believe the entire Mint community (specifically the KDE users) are being ill-served and would benefit at least a little bit if this behavior can be corrected.
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Re: Copy/Paste do not work RELIABLY

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:35 pm

The panel is, what you see in this picture at the bottom, left to the clock. I cannot say, if the terminology is different in KDE.

If my information is right, there should be the icon for the KDE clipboard manager. Don't ask me, how it gets used. On my (not KDE-) clipboard manager I see the content of the clipboard by a left click.

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