[Annoyances] X-Windows Copy & Paste

Seth Nickell snickell at stanfordalumni.org
Thu Aug 21 22:13:04 EEST 2003

On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 11:29AM -0800, Marko Macek wrote:
> Hi!
> Mike Hearn wrote:
>> The main problems with the clipboard IMHO are:
> [...]
>> - It doesn't persist *anywhere*, meaning that if you cut something to
>> the clipboard intending to paste it later and you have a power cut, 
>> it's
>> gone.
> Well, for files windows does something different, it just marks the 
> file as "about to be deleted" and doesn't do anything with it until 
> it's pasted somewhere else.
> It might be interesting to do this consistently everywhere, even for 
> text... There's always "delete" for actual deletion.

This behavior breaks the conceptual model of cut and paste. Rather than 
having the clipboard be a location, it now is an abstract list of things 
that can be pasted but haven't actually gone anywhere yet. This is a 
less tangible model. The way cut and paste works with files is klugey 
and is not a good pattern to follow.

While I would have no problems with a system that made the clipboard 
persistent (arguably this is what ms should have done w/ the clipboard 
except that the ms clipboard isn't a stack but stores one item), showing 
shadows of "cut items" isn't so hot.


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