Firefox 3 and Copy & Paste headaches

Since i’m using Firefox 3 there are some real issues regarding copy & paste of URLs.

If you’re not using Linux/Unix on the desktop you probably don’t know about a really cool feature:

Copying text into the clipboard is as simple as selecting text. You don’t have to press Control+C or open context menu – the selected text is instantly copied to your clipboard. Pasting the contents of your clipboard is easy too: a click on your third (middle) mouse button does the trick.

So if i wanted to post an URL to a buddy of mine i would just double click the Firefox URL bar to get the URL selected (copied to clipboard) and press the middle mouse button in my instant messenger chat window (paste from clipboard). Simple as that.

First issue with Firefox 3:

The URL gets decoded – that means if you’re opening the URL

in FF3 it will be displayed as 3 copy sucks

in the URL bar (%20 is the URL-encoded representation of a single space).

I don’t know why the developers changed this – it might be they think the user could be confused by these “voodoo-characters” in the address bar.

You might now have a clue what’s the issue with this for Linux/Unix users… you really don’t want to post URL-decoded URLs in forums, usenet, instant messengers, IRC or even emails.

However: if you decide to copy via Control+C or right click context menu firefox will copy the URL-encoded string to the clipboard … you’re so funny, firefox developers. Not!

Second issue:

Whenever i copy something to my clipboard that matches the regular expression


the KDE clipboard application Klipper will popup something like this:

KDE Klipper action popup

This is really useful if you’re running irssi and someone posts an URL:

Double click the URL to get it selected (and thus copied to clipboard) and the popup will appear.

I’m using this so called Klipper “action” basically to transfer .torrent files to my server for later download:

Copy link location in firefox right click context menu

With Firefox 2 i just had to choose “Copy Link Location” and Klipper would popup the actions dialog above. With Firefox 3 this doesn’t work.

There is a chance this might be a bug in Klipper and not in Firefox because the URL is copied to clipboard nevertheless – just the popup doesn’t appear.

Does anybody know how to fix these issues or can point me in the right direction?

Comments ( 5 )

  1. Owen
    Just out of curiosity I notice that you are using KDE. Does this have the same result on other window managers such as XFCE & Gnome?
  2. Marcel
    I didn't test it but i believe the de-/encode issue remains. With the Klipper issue i'm still not sure if it's a firefox or KDE bug or something. Can't say at the moment.
  3. Tim
    Using Gnome here with ubuntu -> same issue... how silly... never noticed it...
  4. Arne
    While we're at the topic, there is a third annoyance: the file selection field (consisting of a text field containing the path to the selected file and a button to show the "open file" dialog) can't be edited anymore - so the only way to select a file is through the "open file" dialog, just pasting a path from the clipboard (e.g. from copying a file in konqueror) into the text field won't work anymore.
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