For a very long while now, several years actually, I’ve been a bit annoyed by the behaviour of terminals under X when you doubleclick links. What the UI considers a word is selected. Selection ‘starts’ at the point that is doubleclicked and ‘spreads’ in each direction, stopping at a char it considers to be a word delimiter. A space is probably always considered a delimiter. Sometimes a ? too, and often , as well. This has been very annoying for me. I spend quite alot of time in irc. Irssi in a screen. Its lovely in combination with bitlbee. Every now and then someone pastes an url which I want to doubleclick and then paste into my browser. Now the selection stops prematurely as it’s not uncommon for a hyperlink to contain one of the characters that is in the word delimiter list. I’ve thought of this as a limitation to the system I use and, although annoyed, never gave it much thought. Maybe I’ve been to susceptible to propagandaists telling me gnu/linux is user-unfriendly.

A couple of weeks ago I started to think a little about it and the solution is rather simple. I use Eterm more or less exclusively. In ~/.Eterm/user.cfg I’ve put this:

begin misc
cut_chars "\t\\\`\\\"\'() *,;<>[]{|}"
end misc

This might not be perfect but it’s certainly served it’s purpose. I have been able to doubleclick on the links and then middleclick in the address field (or open a new tab) in the browser. My OS is even better =)


03 May 2008