Fixing Copy-Paste issues on Eclipse and KDE

This article describes a solution to fix a long term issue (bug?) involving copy & paste when running Eclipse on KDE.

The problem

When launching Eclipse from KDE, one might experience several types failures with cut, copy and paste actions in Eclipse. The reported misbehavior is non-deterministic, but frequent enough to degrade user experience.

Inside the editor, specially the Java or C/C++ editor, selecting text and issuing the copy action (ctrl+c or equivalent menu entry) may not copy the select text to the clipboard (no text is copied).

The cut action (ctrl+x or equivalent menu entry) erases the selected text as expected, but may not save to clipboard (text that was cut is lost!).

Even worse, after the selected text was apparently copied (or cut) correctly, the past command (ctrl+v or equivalent menu entry) does always write correctly from clipboard. Sometimes, paste only writes part of the expected text (part of the text is lost).

Fortunately, copy & paste or cut & paste does not corrupt text, it only looses text frequently.

Copy & paste never fails on text boxes in dialogs. It might fail only on text editors.

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Polling files on NFS shared directories

These days we were implementing a distributed application where processes read startup information from a shared file stored in an NFS directory. Unfortunately, the approach did not work as expected, and we faced strange situations. After all, we learned that polling NFS shared directories can be quite tricky.

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